Living with all or most of your teeth missing can take a significant toll on your quality of life. Missing teeth can have an impact on your general health and make it difficult to eat, drink, and speak normally. Missing teeth can lead to the gradual deterioration of your jawbone, changing the bone structure of your face and your appearance over time.
Depending on your circumstances and oral health goals, our dentist, Dr. Jared Harding might recommend dentures as a possible treatment option. If you are considering restoring your smile with dentures, we encourage you to consider the following information about dentures, their care, and the range of smile restoration options available.
5 Things You Should Know and Consider Before Getting Dentures
1. Modern Dentures Are Not the Dentures of the Past
Dentures of the past did not always fit comfortably or look natural. Today, however, modern dental technology, diagnostic tools, design tools, and computer-aided manufacturing techniques have improved the process and products immeasurably. As a result, dentures of today are custom-designed and manufactured to provide patients with a perfectly comfortable fit and a natural look.
2. All of Your Treatment Options
Modern restorative dentistry offers a variety of treatment options that are intended to help patients replace missing teeth in order to explore their smiles. These options include a variety of different types of dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges.
Countless factors can affect a patient’s ultimate decision about which option is the right one. Some factors that you and our dentist can consider during a smile restoration consultation include your current oral health, the number of teeth you are missing, the location of your missing teeth, your budget, and your treatment preferences and expectations.
The treatment option that’s right for you might not be the same as what’s right for another patient – even another patient who has similar treatment goals and expectations. Our dentist can discuss all of your options with you during your consultation appointment to help ensure you make the decision that can best meet all of your needs and preferences.
3. The Different Types of Dentures Available to You
As a whole, restorative dentistry offers several tooth-replacement treatment options. If you decide that dentures are best for you, there are still more options available that can help you further customize your treatment and ensure you’re receiving the tooth-replacement solution that can best meet your needs.
In dentures, patients can choose from both full and partial dentures:
- Full dentures are designed to replace all of a patient’s missing teeth. They can be fitted to either or both the top and bottom arch of the mouth.
- Partial dentures are designed to replace multiple, but not all, of a patient’s teeth.
There are also traditional (removable) dentures and implant-supported dentures:
- Traditional dentures are fixed inside the mouth with a combination of suction and denture adhesive. They can be easily removed for cleaning daily/nightly and maintenance.
- Implant-supported dentures are fixed to dental implants that have been strategically placed inside the mouth. These dentures are either permanently fixed (all-on-4) or semi-permanently fixed (snap-on). They offer a 100% secure fit and involve an oral hygiene routine that is similar to that of an individual who still has natural teeth. Additionally, implant-supported dentures stimulate the jawbone, helping to prevent it from deteriorating over time.
Each type of denture offers its own list of benefits. Our dentist can answer all of your questions and help you select the option that is right for you.
4. Whether Your Mouth Needs Any Preparatory Work
Depending on the type of dentures (full or partial, traditional or implant-supported) you plan to get, you might need to undergo some preparatory dental work before you receive your dentures. This might include extracting remaining teeth to accommodate a full set of dentures, receiving a bone graft to prepare and strengthen your jawbone for dental implants, and undergoing the rest of the dental implant placement process.
Before you decide on your course of smile restoration with dentures, Dr. Harding can discuss any treatments or other preparations that are necessary during your treatment process.
5. Dentures Need to Be Cleaned Regularly
Like your natural teeth, dentures also require routine care. If you decide to get traditional dentures, they must be cleaned twice a day. At night, these dentures should be removed and brushed thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush. They should then be soaked in a mild denture-cleaning solution for about an hour (or as long as the cleanser’s manufacturer suggests). At this time, you should also clean your gums and cheeks with a soft, warm washcloth or gauze.
Implant-supported dentures can be cared for by continuing your regular oral hygiene routine. We recommend brushing with a non-abrasive (non-whitening) toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. You might also consider adding a water flosser to your oral hygiene routine for improved cleansing around your gums.
Keep in mind that using overly harsh or abrasive cleansers or cleaning tools on any type of dentures can damage them.
Comprehensive Restorative Dentistry in West Bend, Wisconsin
If you are missing one, several, or all of your teeth, Dr. Harding at Dentistry of West Bend can help you restore your smile’s form and function. To learn more about how dentures and other tooth-replacement treatment options can be used to help you restore your smile, we encourage you to contact Dentistry of West Bend at 262-618-0321 today.