For many people, trying to keep their teeth healthy is a losing battle. They struggle for years with the embarrassment and discomfort of teeth that are decayed, broken, or traumatized, and it takes a toll on their confidence. At Surprise Implants & Family Dentistry, we realize that there is nothing that can completely take the place of your natural teeth, but we feel that dentures make a very acceptable substitute. Modern dentures have the look and feel of natural teeth, and function comfortably as well. If you have lost several or all of your teeth, come talk to us about dentures.
Types of Dentures
Dr. Jenneth Powell DMD offers various types of dentures. Traditional full dentures replace all of the teeth in the upper or lower arch, or both. They have been the most commonly used type of dentures for years. An upper denture may be retained with natural suction (closed palate) or adhesive (open palate). Traditional partial dentures are used when there are a few healthy teeth left in the arch. Partials attach to healthy teeth by way of hidden clasps.
Implant-retained dentures or partials are made much like their traditional counterparts, but they attach to titanium implants surgically placed in the jawbone. Both dentures and partials attached to implants may be fixed or removable.
Traditional Full Dentures
Full dentures are removable appliances, consisting of prosthetic teeth attached to a gum colored base. A full denture replaces all of the teeth in an arch, restoring the patient’s ability to eat, speak, and smile confidently. The prosthetic teeth are made of ceramic that mimics the reflective properties of natural teeth, and the base is made of a pink acrylic material, so they look very natural. The doctor will custom design your denture to fit snugly against the gum and feel natural when you eat and speak.
Full dentures on the upper arch may have an open or closed palate. Closed-palate dentures feature a plastic piece that fits snugly against the roof of your mouth, holding the denture in place with your mouth’s natural suction. Open-palate uppers and all lower dentures require denture adhesive to be held in place. Some patients report that the closed-palate upper, by completely covering the roof of the mouth, causes a decline in their ability to taste food. With traditional dentures, as your jawbone changes shape over the years, you will need to visit Dr. Powell for an occasional re-lining of the dentures.
Traditional Partial Dentures
If you have some natural teeth remaining in an arch, Dr. Powell may recommend partial dentures. These appliances feature natural looking ceramic teeth fixed to a metal or acrylic base that clasps onto healthy natural teeth for support. Partial dentures are the most economical option for replacing missing teeth.
Partial dentures with metal bases attach to your healthy teeth with metal clasps. They can be somewhat uncomfortable, and patients report a good deal of pressure from the metal clasps on their healthy teeth. Acrylic-based partials have no metal and feature clasps that are colored to match gum tissue, so they look natural and fit more comfortably. They are also flexible and put much less pressure on healthy teeth.
The most popular option in recent years, implant-supported dentures provide a stable, self-supporting, long-term replacement for missing natural teeth. Dr. Powell surgically implants tiny posts made of titanium called dental implants into the jaw to replace the roots of missing teeth. After the jaw heals, the doctor attaches special connectors, called abutments, to the implants. The denture then snaps on to these abutments, providing ultimate stability and comfort. Implant dentures can be removed at night for cleaning, then snapped right back in the next morning. There is no need to cover the palate or use messy adhesives. If you prefer, your implant-retained denture may be fixed, meaning non-removable.
A great advantage to implant dentures is that implants actually stimulate the bone in your jaw, keeping it from shrinking and deteriorating over time. Since the jaw does not shrink, there is no need to come back for re-lining to keep dentures fitting comfortably. Because implants are surgically placed in the jawbone, good bone density is a prerequisite. Patients with poor bone density in the jaw may have to undergo a bone graft before they are eligible for implant dentures.
Another implant option, which works for patients with lesser bone density, is hybrid dentures. Fewer implants are required, and they are mostly placed in the front of the jaw, where the bone is densest. Hybrid dentures are fixed to implants, meaning they are only removable by a dentist. Because of this, many patients say these dentures feel, fit, and function like healthy, natural teeth.
Call Us for a Consultation
Don’t let the struggle with missing or unhealthy teeth beat you. Do something about it today. No matter which type you choose, dentures have the potential to change your life and keep you smiling. Call our Surprise, AZ dental office today at (623) 556-5510 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Powell and win back that smile!