At Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, our objective is to preserve your natural teeth if possible. Sometimes we must resort to dentures and implant-supported bridgework to replace missing teeth. Artificial teeth, such as dentures, are common. You may have a pre-existing denture or partial denture you want to be replaced with something better fitting and better looking.
Reasons For Dentures
Everyone’s oral health is unique to them. The most effective way to ensure that their health stays good is to see Drs. Rasmussen and del Cueto and their team every three to six months. That allows us to professionally clean your teeth, removing built-up tartar and plaque, and look for early signs of gum disease and tooth decay. When caught early, these are both quickly addressed. But if your dental health has been sliding, there will be some early warning signs that it may be time to discuss dentures with Dr. Rasmussen or Dr. del Cueto.
What types of dentures are available?
Dentures are held in the mouth with only passive retention. Impressions are taken of the mouth once teeth have been lost or removed, and dentures are made to fit. A complete denture replaces all teeth in an arch (upper or lower). A partial denture “partial” is made of metal or acrylic and replaces one or many teeth so long as you have healthy, strong teeth remaining in areas to help support the prosthetic.
Typically, people who have dentures must rely on denture adhesive to keep the denture in place. That is especially the case on the lower denture because the ridge of bone on the lower is much less substantial than the upper arch, so the denture “flops” more. The upper denture is usually the more stable denture as it utilizes the surface area of the upper palate for added retention as it acts like a suction cup.
An over-denture is a denture that is attached to dental implants however is still removable. This option helps to stabilize or retain the denture in the mouth. The denture will actually “click” into place like a snap-button jacket.
As far as dentures go, this is a much more stable and secure option, especially for your lower arch. Our opinion is that all lower dentures should be at a minimum, an over-denture so that we can restore our patients’ confidence to chew, speak and smile again without the fear of a floppy denture.
Fixed Implant Dentures
Implant Dentures and Bridges are the ideal treatments as they are fixed (not removable) in the mouth and mimic the sensation of natural teeth. You do not remove these! Implants will replace the missing teeth (typically, 4-6 implants can replace up to 14 teeth), and your denture is attached to them. The advantage of implant dentures (also called implant bridges) is that they are the most durable and aesthetic option for missing teeth.
Are These Dentures Safe?
At Gentle Dentistry, we love implanted-supported dentures. You can call these bridges. What’s important is that one or more dental implants are used to anchor the denture permanently. These devices are permanently attached to your implants, so they are ultimately strong and anchored. There is no slipping and no need for adhesives and the like.
Implants are the safest, most successful dental prosthetic, with a success rate of over 95 percent. A titanium implant base shaped like a tooth root is placed into the respective jaw. Your jawbone then grows to surround the titanium implant to make it one with the jawbone. A post is then attached to the implant’s abutment, and the implant-supported denture is attached to the post. A minimum of four to six implants is needed to support a long-span bridge.
The Dentures Procedure
The process of receiving dentures isn’t immediate: it can range from several weeks for traditional dentures to four-six months for fixed implant-supported dentures. All types of dentures require several appointments to achieve optimum results. Once Dr. Rasmussen or Dr. del Cueto determines the type of denture — traditional, overdentures, or fixed implant bridges/dentures — there is a general process, although it can vary depending on your situation:
- We make a series of impressions of your jaw and bite. We take measurements of the space between your upper and lower jaws and detail how they work together.
- We create models, wax forms, or plastic patterns as, basically, demonstration dentures. You will try these for fit and function, then using these, Drs. Rasmussen and del Cueto check the color, shape, thickness, fit, and overall performance of your dentures.
- Once you and Drs. Rasmussen or del Cueto agree that the fit and structure are right, final impressions are made for your final dentures. These are then sent to the dental lab to guide the fabrication of your dentures.
- When the dentures are finished, we test them for fit and make further adjustments. From there, Dr. Rasmussen or Dr. del Cueto will probably make a few more minute adjustments as you get used to wearing your new dentures.
Call us to discuss your denture options in Tampa, Florida!
Schedule A Consultation
To learn more about dentures, please contact our office today at (813) 734-7102 to schedule an appointment.