First, we will have you come in for a consultation with Dr. Packard, where he will perform an oral exam and take x-rays to determine if you are a good candidate for dentures. If you are receiving full dentures, we need to extract your remaining teeth.
You will need about 6 to 8 weeks to heal from any extractions before we can fit you for a prosthesis like a denture. Impressions are taken of your mouth for all denture types and sent to a dental lab that fabricates them.
It takes a few weeks for your dentures to be constructed. Impressions can be taken right away if you haven’t had any extractions (in the case of partial dentures). However, we will wait for your gums to heal before taking impressions for full dentures. Our Bowling Green team will also need to check how your bite fits together and will send this information along to the dental lab that creates your dentures.
Once the dental lab receives your impressions and jaw record, they will set your artificial teeth in wax and send them back to us so we can hold a try-in. This is a trial fitting of your unofficial dentures to test how they look and feel.
At this point, we expect to need to make adjustments and that’s perfectly normal. We can make any necessary adjustments and then have you retry your dentures. Once the dentures have been adjusted to your liking, you will have a final fitting where you receive your official set of completed dentures.
Full Dentures: A full denture replaces all of the teeth in the mouth. This is only recommended for patients who already have extensive tooth loss because it requires the extraction of your remaining teeth. A full denture is held in place through suction and restores support to your face as well as helps make eating and speaking much easier.
Partial Dentures: A partial denture is used to replace one or a few missing teeth in the mouth by hooking onto the existing abutment teeth in the mouth with metal clasps. Partials are like removable dental bridges that fill in gaps in the smile. They are usually connected through a metal wire framework.
Implant-Supported Dentures: An implant-supported denture is like a regular full-arch denture, except it’s secured in place by being attached to a series of dental implants. This prevents the dentures from shifting around, moving at all when you speak or eat, or falling out. This also provides a sturdy base for you to chew with, which enables you to eat more foods and speak more clearly than with traditional dentures. Best of all, dental implants preserve the jawbone so you don’t prevent extensive bone loss.
It takes about 30 days to adjust to a new set of dentures, so don’t worry if your gums feel sore or tender, this is to be expected. You’ll also experience difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, you’ll produce more saliva, and may even sound louder than normal. All of this will subside within a few weeks. In the meantime, you can help make this process more comfortable by:
- Taking anti-inflammatory pain medication
- Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater solutions
- Practicing reading out loud and pronouncing hard sounds
- Chewing on candy to encourage swallowing
- Practicing speaking
No one should feel embarrassed about their smile or struggle with tasks that should be second nature due to tooth loss. Dentures from our Bowling Green practice can help replace missing teeth so you feel confident in your smile again, can eat what you want, and can speak more clearly.
Do you have missing teeth that are interfering with your ability to speak, eat, and smile to the best of your capacity? If so, then dentures are an excellent option to the aesthetics and functionality of your smile.
Whether you are only missing a few teeth or you have extensive tooth loss, we offer partial and full dentures to fit every patient’s needs. With a pink gum-colored base and resin or porcelain teeth, your smile will look natural and restore your confidence.
However, you cannot have any active oral health problems such as tooth decay or gum disease. These problems need to be treated before you can be fitted for dentures. If you have a history of gum disease that is now under control, this doesn’t rule you out for dentures, unlike dental implants.
This is because dentures are a great way to restore support to your facial muscles and bite without requiring extensive bone support. Denture wearers don’t require bone grafting procedures to become eligible, which makes dentures much more accessible for the average person.
The process of getting dentures is painless but it is normal to experience tenderness, sensitivity, and discomfort in the first month of getting used to wearing your dentures. Because your mouth isn’t used to a foreign object placing pressure on the gums and ridge of bone, this can cause soreness.
The good news is that this will naturally subside with regular use of your dentures over time. However, in the meantime, you can get relief by taking your dentures out for about 6 hours in the very beginning to give your gums a rest.
However, over the long term, you must keep them in when you aren’t sleeping. Rinsing your mouth with a lukewarm saltwater solution, using hot compresses, and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication will help with swelling and pain.
It will be difficult to chew during the first month so stick to soft foods and don’t eat hard, sticky, or crunchy foods. If the pain and discomfort continue past the first month, this could be a sign that your dentures need an adjustment because they are not fitting properly.
The lifespan of your denture will depend on the type of denture you are receiving, natural changes in your facial structure as a result of bone loss, and how well you care for them. Partial dentures have a maximum lifespan of 15 years while full dentures last for an average of 7 to 10 years.
You should never rinse or soak your dentures in hot water. This can morph your dentures and require getting a replacement. To avoid damaging your dentures, practice good oral hygiene by brushing them with a soft bristle toothbrush and denture cleaner twice a day and soaking them overnight in a denture cleaning solution to prevent them from drying out.
Attend regular dental checkups every 6 months to check on the condition of your dentures. You still need to clean the soft tissues in your mouth even if you don’t have teeth. Finally, even if you care for your dentures properly, there is a chance you could need to get them replaced within a few years depending on how your bite and facial features change over time.
When you suffer from tooth loss, you also lose jawbone density and this causes changes to your facial structure and bite. Through these changes, your dentures can become ill-fitting and become uncomfortable. However, you may only need to get them relined or rebased before completely replacing them.