Dentures & Removeable Partials.
Dentures are designed to replace missing teeth and are worn by approximately 25 million Americans. Advancements in technology and materials have made lightweight dentures that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Most dentures and partial dentures are made from synthetic material like acrylic resin and a combination of metals. Our dentures are custom fit and customized to each patient for comfort and a natural appearance. Our dentures are normally less prone to breaking and are worn longer because we use the very highest quality teeth and materials.
Types of Dentures
Dentures also known as “false teeth” are classified as partial or full. Partial dentures are designed to replace a few missing teeth. They also help hold onto existin healthy, natural teeth to keep them from shifting position and moving, which can negatively affect your bite. Full dentures replace an entire set of teeth with upper and lower dentures.
Partial dentures replace a few missing teeth and are made to fit over the remaining natural teeth or implants. Partial dentures have a pinkish gum-like plastic base into which replacement teeth are attached. Small clasps on the partial denture grab onto the remaining teeth to hold the partial denture in place. Dr. Thomas McCabe sometimes uses a special clasp, which can be more expensive, but is made of a natural-looking material that is hard to detect. In some special cases, a crown will be needed on an existing healthy tooth to provide a more secure hold for the clasp on the partial denture to prevent the partial from falling out.
Many patients are good candidates for immediate or interim dentures that are to be worn immediately following removal of infected teeth, meaning the patient will not have to leave the office with missing teeth! Before full or partial dentures are worn, a mold or impression of the patient’s mouth, jaws, and teeth must be made to create a customized denture.
What Patients Can Expect
Denture candidates can expect to have their denture fitted after about three or four visits. After we diagnose and create a treatment plan, the first visit will consist of Dr. Thomas McCabe measuring your jaws and mouth and taking an impression. This impression is critical for ensuring your new teeth will fit together correctly in a proper bite relationship, as well as for determining the proper size of the denture for the dimensions of your face. After the impression is made, a prototype set of dentures will be made in wax so we can ensure that the fit, tooth color, and shape are acceptable prior to making your permanent dentures.
Getting Familiar with Your Dentures
New dentures do take time getting used to. Denture wearers should expect this period of adjusting to last as long as two months. Dentures should be removed every night and cleaned. Dentures should not be worn at night while sleeping. Some denture wearers will need to wear their new interim dentures without removing them for a certain period of time, but only do this as instructed by Dr. Thomas McCabe. This allows Dr. McCabe to make the important adjustments needed for proper fit, and to ensure the greatest level of comfort.
Proper Care for the Most Comfort
Dentures today are made from advanced materials designed to give them a natural appearance. However, dentures should be cared for meticulously just like your natural teeth. This includes removing your dentures every night, brushing them daily, and making regular visits to Dr. McCabe to verify that they still fit correctly and that your gums are healthy and cancer free.
Your dentures need to be cleaned of food particles, plaque, and other debris just like natural teeth. Keeping your dentures clean will also help keep the gums and soft tissues of your mouth healthy, because an unclean or malformed denture can cause serious infections and irritation in your mouth. Remember to brush and rinse your dentures after every meal, and soak them overnight in denture solution. This also allows your gums to breathe and rest while you sleep, which reduces the likelihood of infection and bacteria growth on your gums or dentures.
Patients can eat most foods, but the way they eat will change. Denture wearers will have to cut their food into smaller bites and to chew on both sides of their mouth so the denture doesn’t get out of balance and tip to one side. Caution must be taken, however, to avoid certain kinds of hard, hot, crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods. The denture will also get more unstable over time due to the gums and jawbone changing shape, and will need adjustment. By making these and other adjustments, denture wearers can eat with confidence that their denture will not shift excessively.
Cleaning Methods Vary from Patient to Patient
• Patients brush their dentures in many different ways — slightly abrasive toothpaste, soap and water, while others use denture pastes and creams.
• Avoid using highly abrasive pastes or chemicals, or vigorously brushing with a hard bristled brush or toothbrush as these can scratch your dentures.
• Gently and carefully hold your dentures to avoid loosening a tooth or dropping it. If your denture is dropped it could break.
• Clean your dentures with cool water over a water-filled sink. Hot water may warp a denture. A water-filled sink will help protect from damage if it falls.
• Soak your dentures overnight in Efferdent, Polident, or any similar product and remember to rinse before putting them in your mouth.
• Use a separate toothbrush to clean your own natural teeth and all of your gums if any of your dentures are partials.
Over time, your dentures will need to be cleaned professionally by your hygienist or by Dr. McCabe. He will use a cleaning machine called an ultrasonic, which is safe and very powerful. It can help remove hard buildup of plaque, tartar, and other substances.
Adjustment for Long Term Comfort
As people age, their mouths change; jawbones and gums gradually change shape. In most cases, the jawbones and gums tend to shrink over time after teeth have been extracted. As the bone and gums shrink, the dentures become loose fitting. This is why Dr. McCabe informs all denture patients about the possible long term benefits of implants to help hold the denture securely in place. Most people who wear dentures experience a period of break-in that can last as long as two months. During this time the tissues surrounding the denture must acclimate to the new, better fitting denture. Denture wearers must periodically visit Dr. Thomas McCabe to have the denture adjusted. This is because the bone and gums sometimes change shape or shrink.
Adjustments are critical to the health of the gums and jawbones because a loose-fitting denture, or one that has not been adjusted to counteract gum or jaw changes, could cause pressure points. Pressure points can cause mouth sores, infections, and discomfort. Regular dental visits are also an opportunity to repair or replace loose teeth or make small repairs to chips or cracks in the denture. Over the life span of the denture, the denture base may need to be “re-lined” because of wear and tear from rubbing against the gums.
Advancements in technology and using a top quality lab make our dentures very natural looking. Even for those self-conscious about having dentures, speech and appearance are both very natural for our first-time denture wearers. Even so, a denture wearer’s confidence increases with time, and any self-consciousness usually isn’t an issue for long.
Even dentures that fit well may still need a little help of staying in place. A quality denture adhesive is sometimes needed. Older dentures that are fitting poorly may damage the soft tissues and gums of the mouth, and may need to be replaced. If a patient is still unhappy with the stability of their denture, Dr. McCabe may suggest the use of implants to help keep the denture stable. LEARN MORE