Dentures Tampa FL

At Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, FL it is our objective to preserve your natural teeth if at all possible. Sometimes we must resort to dentures and implant supported bridgework.
 
You may have a pre-existing denture or partial denture you want replaced with something better fitting and better looking. If there is massive decay and advanced periodontal disease present, than these too are your most predictable and effective options.

What are the signs that I need dentures?

Everyone’s personal oral health is unique to them. The most effective way to ensure that health stays good is to see Dr. Rasmussen and her team every six months. This allows us to professionally clean your teeth, removing built-up tartar and plaque, and to look for early signs of gum disease and tooth decay. When caught early, these are both easily 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.

  • Severe toothaches
  • When you have ongoing tooth pain or high sensitivity, this is usually a sign decay has made its way into the pulp of the tooth and is impacting the nerves. A root canal may be able to save the tooth, but doing nothing will lead to the need for extraction.

  • Red, irritated, swollen gums
  • Gingivitis is the term for gum irritation. This happens when plaque and then tartar make their way under your gumline. Gingivitis is basically the early form of periodontitis, gum disease. It is easily treated and reversed when the gums are beginning to become irritated, but if left alone, the bacteria will begin to attack the connective tissues holding your teeth in place.

  • Loose teeth
  • Loose teeth are a sign there is now significant damage to your gums and their ability to hold and support your teeth is diminishing. Also, teeth that are shifting, moving into gaps where you are missing a tooth or teeth are another sign of gum disease.

  • Difficulty chewing and digesting foods
  • When you’re missing teeth or your teeth are very sensitive, it can be painful to chew hard or chewy foods. This is a sign of gum disease. Also, you’re likely to not chew as much as you should (to avoid the pain) and this leads to larger bites of food, which are harder to digest.

  • Missing teeth
  • If you’re already missing a tooth or several teeth, you now may need a denture immediately because you cannot leave the gap or gaps in your teeth unaddressed. If you do, the teeth on each side of the gap will begin to slide over into the gap, affecting your bite and the overall alignment of your teeth.

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Traditional Dentures

Dentures are held in the mouth by nothing more than passive retention. This means that impressions are taken of the mouth (without teeth) and dentures are fabricated precisely to the underlying tissue.

Typically, people who have dentures have to rely on denture adhesive to keep the denture in place.

This is especially the case on the lower denture because the ridge of bone on the lower is a lot less substantial than that of the upper arch, so the denture “flops” around more. The upper denture is usually the more stable denture as it utilizes the surface area of the upper palate for added retention.

Over Dentures

An Over Denture is a denture that is attached to dental implants. This option definitely helps to stabilize or retain the denture in the mouth. The denture will actually “click” into place.

As far as dentures go, this is a much more stable and secure option. It is our opinion that all lower dentures should be an over denture, so that we can restore our patients’ confidence to chew, speak and smile again.

Implant Bridges / Dentures

This is the most ideal situation as it is fixed in the mouth. You do not remove this! Implants will replace the missing teeth (typically 4-6 implants can replace up to 14 teeth) and your bridge is actually attached to them. The advantage to implant bridges is that they are the most stable 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 permanently anchor the denture. 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 over 95 percent. A titanium implant base that is shaped like a screw is placed down into the hole formerly occupied by the tooth root. Your jawbone then grows around the titanium implant, making it a part of the jaw. A post is then attached to the implant, and the implant-supported denture is attached to the post. A minimum of 2 implants are needed to support a bridge.

 
 
 
Dentures Tampa, FL

The Process

The process of receiving dentures isn’t immediate: it takes a few weeks and several appointments. Once Dr. Rasmussen 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:

  1. 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.
  2. We create models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns as, basically, demonstration dentures. You will try these for fit and function. Using these, Dr. Rasmussen checks the color, shape, thickness, fit, and overall performance of your dentures.
  3. Once Dr. Rasmussen and you 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.
  4. When the dentures are finished we test them for fit and make further adjustments. From there, Dr. Rasmussen will probably make a few more minute adjustments as you get used to wearing your new dentures.

How long do the different types of dentures last?

Complete traditional dentures usually last from five to seven years. At some point, full dentures usually need to be relined, rebased, or remade. This is because your underlying gum tissues and jawbone change over time. Dr. Rasmussen will have the denture base refit, or a new base may be created using the existing false teeth.

The lifespan of overdentures and fixed implant-supported dentures is highly variable depending on location in the mouth and care of the appliance. Dr. Rasmussen will discuss the kind of longevity you can expect during your consultation, as this has many variables. The nice thing about replacing these prosthetics is that the implant anchors are already in place, so only the denture needs replacing.

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How do I clean my dentures?

With the exception of fixed implant-supported bridges, dentures are not meant to be worn 24 hours a day. Removing them allows your gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and your saliva.

You brush dentures, but not with toothpaste, as it is too abrasive and can create microscopic scratches that allow food and plaque to build up. Brushing removes stains and any food or plaque build-up. When brushing is complete, your dentures need to stay moist so they need to be put in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water.

How will dentures affect eating and speaking?

New dentures do take getting used to. At first they will feel loose, possibly feeling as if they could fall out. But your muscles in the cheeks and tongue soon adjust, as do your gums. Sometimes your gums can become irritated as they adjust.

Eating and speaking will take some practice. In the beginning, you’ll need to eat soft foods cut into small pieces. As you get the hang of eating with your dentures you can return to a normal diet, but you should avoid extremely sticky and hard foods. Speech will also be an adjustment; the best way to practice is to simply read aloud.

Of course, these are all issues with full dentures, not implants. There is little adjustment needed with implant-supported dentures, although avoiding sticky foods is a must.

How should dentures fit?

Dr. Rasmussen has extensive experience fitting traditional dentures, and this gives her patients the best fit possible. Modern techniques also create better-fitting dentures than those created even just a decade ago. Still, new traditional dentures do take getting used to. At first they will feel loose, possibly feeling as if they could fall out. But your muscles in the cheeks and tongue soon adjust, as do your gums. Sometimes your gums can become irritated as they adjust. In the early days, your saliva flow will likely increase, but this will also diminish as your mouth adjusts.

Call us to discuss your denture options in Tampa, Flordia!

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