Consider Dentures to replace missing teeth

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. If there is massive decay and advanced periodontal disease present, then these too are your most predictable and effective options.

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 Dr. Rasmussen and her team every 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.

  • Severe Toothaches – When you have ongoing tooth pain or high sensitivity, this is a sign that decay has made its way into the pulp of the tooth and is impacting the nerves. A root canal may save the tooth, but doing nothing will lead to the need for extraction.
  • Red, Irritated, Swollen gums – Gingivitis is the term for gum irritation. It happens when plaque and then tartar make their way under your gum line. Gingivitis is the early form of periodontitis, gum disease. It is easily treated and reversed when the gums begin to become irritated, but if left alone, the bacteria will start to attack the connective tissues holding your teeth in place.
  • Loose Teeth – Loose teeth imply significant damage to your gums and their ability to hold and support your teeth is diminishing. Also, teeth shifting and moving into gaps where you are missing 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. That is a sign of gum disease. Also, you’re likely not to chew as much as you should (to avoid the pain), leading 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, teeth on each side of the gap will begin to slide into the opening, affecting your bite and the overall alignment of your teeth.

What types of dentures are available?

Traditional Dentures

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. 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” 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 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. Our opinion is 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

That is the 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 attached to them. The advantage of 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 screw is placed down into the hole where the previous tooth root was. 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 two implants is needed to support a bridge.

The Dentures Procedure

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:

  • 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, Dr. Rasmussen checks the color, shape, thickness, fit, and overall performance of your dentures.
  • Once you and Dr. Rasmussen 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 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.