Dentures and partial dentures have been a long-standing tooth replacement option for patients missing several consecutive or a full arch of teeth. Traditionally, dentures have been removable appliances that require daily cleaning and the use of an adhesive to keep them in place and provide a stable bite.
Today’s dental patients enjoy a broader range of far superior options. An experienced restorative dentist in Greeley, CO, Dr. Thompson works with patients individually to replace missing teeth. We recommend the most suitable option for your oral health needs, aesthetic goals, and budget.
Modern dentistry recommends that we strive to keep our natural teeth healthy for as long as possible for the best quality of life. With the advent of new technology in the dental field and improved standards of oral health in recent years, we are retaining our natural teeth longer than ever before.
This means we must maintain consistent oral hygiene and schedule regular dental checkups throughout our lifetime. Dr. Clement Monroe and Dr. Kamron Monroe understand that our oral health needs change as we age and would like to discuss some special concerns for adults and senior patients.
Dentures: What are the Options?
Dentures can be either removable or fixed, using several dental implants to permanently secure them. When it comes to choosing the right type of denture for your needs, Dr. Thompson will evaluate all aspects of your oral health and take other important factors into consideration:
- Condition of your jawbone
- Condition of the gums
- Function and stability of the bite
Whenever considered a viable option, Dr. Thompson will recommend an implant-supported denture. This type of denture restores the most natural function and aesthetics and benefits your long-term oral health. The most important of these benefits is the support of bone health and structure in the jaw.
When a tooth or several teeth are lost, the bone where tooth roots used to become diminished, changing the fit of the bite and the shape of the lower jaw over time. The placement of dental implants helps to stabilize bone tissue and stimulate the natural production of tissue to reduce bone loss in the jaw.
Dr. Thompson also offers All-On-Four for the immediate placement of a full denture. This unique procedure was developed to enable a wider range of edentulous patients or those needing a partial or full mouth of new teeth to receive a completely new smile the same day as a result of advanced treatment planning. All-On-Four can be completed in our office for convenient, comfortable, and consistent care.
Removable Vs. Implant-Supported Dentures
These two options are the most common choices when you’re getting dentures. Removable is what you’ll usually think of when you picture dentures. However, we recommend implant-supported dentures whenever patients are eligible because of their unique benefits.
Removable dentures have a gum-colored base supporting acrylic teeth. They’ve been a popular option for decades to replace full arches of missing teeth. This type of denture relies on gum suction to stay in your mouth. Often, you have to use some form of adhesive to ensure that they stay in and fit properly.
One of the perks is the affordability of this option. Implant-supported dentures require a surgical procedure, but removable dentures don’t. You often use sedation and other things, too, during the implant placement surgery. You also receive your final restoration quicker with this option. The dental implant procedure is invasive, creating holes in the jawbone to place the dental implant posts into. You don’t have to visit the office as often because we don’t need to check up on surgery sites.
However, there are also many downsides to removable dentures. They require you to readjust or replace them in the future because your jawbone will continue to deteriorate and change. Deterioration changes the fit of the denture. You can no longer use your denture if it doesn’t fit properly. It also increases the chances you’ll have issues with the denture rubbing against your gums and causing sores. Your gums are also at risk if you wear the dentures too long, requiring you to take them out at night.
Because they require adhesive to stay in the mouth, dentures need extra upkeep and maintenance. You must take them out each evening and clean them thoroughly with a denture brush, removing the adhesive. Overnight, soak the dentures to ensure they don’t dry out and become brittle. This also sterilizes the dentures, cleaning them further and eliminating bacteria buildup.
Instead of using suction and adhesive to stay in your mouth, implant-supported dentures snugly fit onto as few as four dental implant posts. Unlike removable dentures, these are a permanent fixture in your mouth. You never have to take them out.
The top benefit of implant-supported dentures is their unmatched stability. You get back almost 100% of your bite function with implants. Unlike removable dentures, they can break down all of your favorite foods. They can’t slip or fall out of your mouth. Implants stop your jawbone from continuing to deteriorate so that you can avoid surprise costs in the future. Implants have a larger upfront cost but no costs with relining or replacing the restoration in the future.
Replacing your missing teeth with dental implant dentures gives you the most natural look and feel. Though there’s been much progress with modern dentures, implant-supported dentures are still the most natural option. Because you don’t have to remove them, they’re easier to clean. You don’t have to worry about any adhesive or soaks, and can simply brush your teeth as you would normally.
The biggest downsides to implant-supported dentures are the cost and the length of time it takes to get your final restoration. However, you don’t incur further costs in the future. Dental implants take 3-6 months to fully heal and integrate with your jawbone. While this does take longer, it also ensures you have a stable restoration that’ll last for years to come.
Modern dentures are more natural-looking and comfortable than they’ve ever been. Read the answers to these commonly asked questions to learn more.
Can a dentist upgrade my existing dentures?
Not really. Traditional dentures can be adjusted or relined, but it is impossible to “upgrade” them. However, we can create modern dentures that fit better than your old ones. Your mouth changes over time, so you may want to get new ones if you’ve had your dentures for a long time.
Can dentures cause gum problems?
Yes. Ill-fitting dentures can cause gum irritation and disease if they do not fit properly. Old dentures can harbor bacteria that are tough to remove.
Why do my dentures not fit anymore?
As mentioned before, your mouth changes over time. Your jawbone deteriorates, and your gums recede due to normal aging. If you’ve had your denture for a while and it is causing issues, schedule a visit with our dentist for a consultation and recommendations.
Schedule A Denture Consultation in Greeley
If you have missing teeth or a slipping denture, schedule a consultation with Dr. Thompson. He will discuss your needs and appropriate tooth replacement options after an exam. Contact our Greeley dentist office at 970.205.9614 or request an appointment online.