Dentures and Partial Dentures
At our dental office in Randallstown, Maryland we offer both complete dentures and partial dentures. Our dentists have experience in providing high -quality dentures that not only restore your bite but also fit well and can give back lip-support to improve speech and esthetics. Both Dr. Steven Markow and Dr. David Daniel, DDS have taken extra training to learn more about the variety of denture options available these days to offer to our patients who are missing teeth.
There are several things you should know before you decide to get a denture. In addition, there are different types of dentures and options associated with dentures and partials. Below, we will describe some of those options.
When you choose to have a denture, it is because you have either lost all your teeth or are considering having your teeth pulled. In general, we encourage our patients to save their teeth when possible, however there are cases where there has been such extensive decay or chronic recurrent cavities or severe bone loss, that it doesn’t make sense to keep fighting the inevitable loss of teeth.
Conventional dentures can be a replacement or an immediate type of denture. If you are replacing a denture because of tissue loss over time or from chipping or wearing of an old denture, this is a replacement type of denture.
Immediate dentures are used when we extract the remaining teeth and place a new denture the same day for the very first time. These require a little more skill and experience since we don’t have an opportunity to “try them in” since the patient still has remaining teeth. As a result, these often require adjustments or a reline on the inside to improve the fit after several weeks of healing and tissue shrinkage. The bone often dissolves somewhat and the tissue will swell initially then shrink after a couple weeks. This can be a little more challenging for the patient to get used to as well, since you will not have the same chewing forces as your natural teeth. In addition, speech as well as taste can be affected due to the fact there are some taste buds on the palate, and the denture would cover the palate. After about 2-3 months of healing, a conventional denture can be made, or if there were only a few teeth removed, perhaps the immediate denture will even work well for several years.
Why people lose their teeth
As mentioned earlier, if you have teeth, we will do our best to help you keep as many of your teeth instead of opting to have them all taken out. This is not reversible when you lose your teeth. In rare cases there may be a lack of ability to maintain the oral health of the teeth due to a physical disability, or a chemical change affecting the teeth from medications, or radiation that that has destroyed the body’s ability to produce saliva and buffer acids. This can often lead to frustration from finding new cavities with each dental check-up. In these rare cases, we might suggest extractions and a denture.
Teeth can be lost due to bone loss, also known as periodontal disease, where there is not a lot of structural support. To preserve the remaining bone, we may suggest placing a few dental implants to both stabilize the remaining bone, thereby giving additional support for the denture. This is referred to as an Implant Supported Denture.
Typically, when two or more teeth are missing, a conservative approach to restoring an area is to provide a partial denture. Sometimes this is done for a single tooth replacement, especially as a temporary situation until a more natural feeling option of a fixed bridge or dental implant is done. A partial denture is a removable appliance that hooks onto the adjacent teeth and provides stability and esthetics and gives the chewing function back. The partial denture fills in the void by the missing tooth and helps to support the lips and stabilize the adjacent and opposing teeth in that area from shifting.
Here is an example of an ACTUAL PATIENT who we did a partial denture for:
Here is a video describing flexible options for partial dentures that have NO metal in them:
What are the alternatives to a full or partial denture?
These days a more common option, particularly for a missing single tooth is a dental implant. We can do one tooth or multiple teeth and even place a bridge over a span of several teeth using dental implants. While they may cost a little more that a partial denture, we have found that patients adapt to implants significantly quicker than to a partial denture since the implant will feel more like your own natural tooth.
We can do multiple implants to act as supports for an entire arch as well. There are two types of prosthesis we make using this concept. The first type is the implant supported denture, where the implants give support to a traditional denture that may have small attachments inside allowing it to pop in and out to make it easier to clean. This removable type of prosthetic is good because it can be repaired and the tissue evaluated for health at routine maintenance check-ups.
The second style of prosthesis is a fixed denture that is screwed on top of the implants. This is not a removable appliance. In general, this is more desirable from the patient’s perspective since it can be made with less bulk, since there is a metal substructure giving it strength and stability. Therefore, it is usually smaller and has less extra acrylic around it making it less bulky, particularly across the palate. This type of prosthesis does require more advanced cleansing protocol such as a Waterpik® to get under the connectors to avoid plaque getting in there.
As you can see, there are several types of options and we enjoy being able to help you select the best option for your particular situation.
Give us a call at our office in Randallstown, MD to find out what the best options for you are!