Missing teeth are more than just an appearance issue; they can seriously affect your dental health as well. Over time, you may experience bone loss, gum loss, and the loss of your other teeth if missing teeth are not replaced in some way. You may also be unable to speak clearly or chew food properly. When you’ve lost a large number of your original teeth, or if you need to have your teeth removed due to serious decay, facial trauma, or other issues, dentures can help protect you from experiencing these serious issues later on.
Full dentures are custom-made dental prosthetics that are meant to be a replacement for your top or bottom teeth. In many cases, these dentures may be fit into place with traditional or mini dental implants, which can help keep your dentures in place, giving them a much more natural look and feel. This usually also results in a more comfortable fit, ensuring that you can continue to eat and speak properly.
If you are only missing a few teeth, or if you are only having a few teeth removed, you may only need a partial denture. Partial dentures are replacement teeth attached to a metal framework that will attach to your remaining teeth (usually by fitting a crown over two or more anchor teeth to ensure stability). These are sometimes referred to as a “bridge” because they “bridge the gap” between your natural teeth. These help to fill the gap in between your remaining teeth, preventing them from drifting out of place, and providing you with a more natural looking and feeling bite. Partial dentures can be removable or permanent depending on your preference and your dentist’s recommendation.
Conventional dentures are made after the removal of your natural teeth, and will not be placed until your gum tissue has begun to heal. Usually during the time in between the removal of your teeth and the installment of your permanent dentures, you will be given a temporary set to wear that will enable to you speak and chew normally. It takes approximately six weeks for a complete set of conventional dentures to be made, and you will likely need several adjustments before they fit correctly.
Immediate dentures are made before your dentist removes your teeth and can be placed as soon as the teeth are removed. This means you do not have to be without teeth as your gums heal, however, they do have a disadvantage. Bones and gums tend to shrink during the period immediately following tooth removal, meaning that immediate dentures may require more adjustments than conventional dentures. In fact, many dentists recommend using them only as a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made for you.
If you are missing several teeth, you may be a good candidate for either full or partial dentures. Most dental insurance companies will cover either part or all of the cost of your dentures, whether you are receiving conventional, immediate, full, or partial dentures. Call Dr. Roger L. Gillespie, DDS today at 310-325-4155 today for a consultation appointment and let him help you restore your smile to a more natural-looking and feeling state.