Images shown are stock photos, not actual patients.
Dentures are created to help patients with missing teeth. They are prosthetic devices that are worn directly on top of gum tissue, and help replace the missing teeth.
The History of Dentures
Dentures are not a new invention. In fact, there is evidence that dentures were in use as early as 500 B.C, when the people of northern Italy created the prosthetics out of animal teeth. Regardless of the absolute veracity of that statement, however, the fact remains that dentures have been widely used since at least the eighteenth century. In fact, the first president of the United States, George Washington, famously used dentures that were made out of ivory and gold, among other materials.
Today, there are two general types of dentures: complete or partial dentures.
Complete dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. There are two time frames in which dentures can be placed. The first results in what is known as “conventional” dentures. Conventional dentures are created after tooth removal. Once the mouth and gum tissue have had the chance to heal for somewhere between 8 to 12 weeks, the dentures can be positioned. The second type of complete dentures is known as “immediate.” Immediate dentures are dentures that have been created before the removal of any teeth, and therefore can be placed immediately after the removal process.
There are various advantages and disadvantages of conventional and immediate dentures. One benefit of conventional dentures, for example, is that the healing process after tooth removal results in the tissues and bones of the mouth reducing in size over time. When placed after the mouth is healed, dentures can be more precisely placed than immediate dentures, which can sometimes necessitate visits to adjust fit and bite. Unlike conventional dentures, however, immediate dentures allow the patient to avoid living without any kind of teeth during the healing process. In general, conventional dentures are the option of choice when it comes to denture implementation; however, immediate dentures can be realigned after the healing process to fit ideally.
Partial dentures are also meant to be taken in and out daily. They need to be cleaned daily – often soaked in a special solution to ensure the elimination of bacteria and other potentially harmful material – and are typically used when a patient has at least one, and sometimes a significant number of, salvageable teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Partial dentures are typically attached to a plastic base often used in conjunction with metal frames in order to ensure the dentures stay in their necessary position in the mouth.
Implant Retained Dentures
Implant retained dentures are used to keep dentures from shifting, and can be used in both the upper as well as lower jaw. These dentures are fitted using titanium or, in some instances, titanium alloy implants that are placed into the jaw itself. Depending on whether or not conventional or partial dentures are used, anywhere from two to four implants are placed in the lower jaw and four to eight implants are placed in the upper jaw. After these implants are securely placed in the jaw and are allowed time to attach to the jawbone, dentures can be fitted to them. If you would like to learn more about your options with full or partial dentures – call our office at 310-736-2277.