What are Dental Prosthesis or Dentures?

Dr. Yara Ramos D.D.S.

Dr. Yara Ramos D.D.S.

Cosmetic Dentistry Specialist

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Dentures or dental prosthesis are removable replacements for missing teeth or any surrounding tissues. There are two types of dental prosthesis namely complete and partial. Complete dentures are applicable when you are missing all the teeth, and the partial treatment applies when you have some natural teeth remaining.

  • Complete Dentures

Complete dentures could either be immediate or conventional. The dental prosthesis comes after you have removed the teeth and the gum tissue is in the process of healing. You can replace a conventional dental prosthesis in the mouth eight to twelve weeks after removing the teeth. On the other hand, the dentist makes immediate dentures in advance and positions them as soon as he removes the teeth. Therefore, the wearer does not remain toothless during the healing process. The challenge is that gums and bones tend to shrink with time especially during the healing process after removing the teeth. It means that immediate dentures may require several adjustments before they fit properly during the healing period. Therefore, immediate dentures should serve as a temporary solution while waiting for the manufacture of conventional one.

  • Partial Dentures

A bridge or removable partial denture typically comprises of replacement teeth that are attached to a gum-colored or pink plastic base. In some instances, manufacturers use a metallic framework connection to hold the dentures in their right position in your mouth. Dentists use partial dentures when one or more natural teeth are still in your lower or upper jaw. The fixed bridge is used to replace one or multiple teeth by placing crowns on either side of the teeth’s space and then attaching artificial teeth to them. Thereafter, the dentist cements the ‘bridge’ in place. The partial denture fills in all the spaces that the missing teeth create and prevents the remaining teeth from losing their position. A precision dental prosthesis is detachable and comes with internal attachments and not clasps that are attached to the adjacent crowns. The look of this application is more natural.

  • Substitutes to Dentures

You can use dental implants to offer support to cemented bridges and this eliminates the need for dentures. The cost of this application is usually higher but the feeling of both the bridges and implants closely resemble that of natural teeth. Dental implants are the main alternative to dentures but not all people are candidates of implants. You need to seek for advice from your dentist before going for these applications.

  • Dental Prosthesis Insurance

Most dental insurance services cover a few or all denture costs. However, it is good to contact your company in advance to know what they will cover.

  • The Dental Prosthesis Treatment

The process of developing dentures will take a few weeks with several appointments. The prosthodontist should begin by determining that type of appliance that is best for your case. He will then make a sequence of impressions on the jaw and evaluate how your jaws relate to each other and the space that is in between them. The next step is to create wax forms, models and/or plastic patterns in the actual position and shape of the debenture that will be made. He will try in the model severally while assessing the denture for the right fit, shape, and color. Finally, he will cast the final denture and make any necessary adjustments.

  • Things to Know About the Use of Dental Prosthesis or Dentures

New dentures may have a loose or odd feeling until the cheek and tongue muscles get to learn to remain in place. You will become more comfortable to insert and remove them. You may also feel minor irritation or soreness. The flow of saliva may also increase when you wear debentures for the first time. However, the problems will keep on diminishing as your mouth adjusts.

One question you may be asking yourself is whether dentures will give you a different look. Dental prosthesis has a close resemblance to your natural teeth and may have very small noticeable differences. In fact, the treatment can enhance the overall fill and smile of your facial appearance. some wearers may find it uncomfortable to eat with new dentures for the first few weeks. You can begin with soft foods and cut them into small pieces till you get used to the new dental prosthesis. Also, use both sides of your mouth and chew very slowly. Feel free to add other foods as you adapt to the dentures till you get back to your normal diet. Take note of hard or hot foods and sharp-edged shells and bones. Avoid any foods that are extremely hard and sticky. You should also not chew gum and avoid the use of toothpicks while wearing dentures.

You may also have some difficulty in pronouncing some words when using dentures for the first time. Practice by loudly saying some difficult words till you get accustomed to speaking properly with them. in fact, some dentures may ‘click’ or even ‘slip’ when you talk, cough, laugh, or even smile. Gently bite down and swallow the dentures to return them to their rightful position. In case these problems persist, consult your prosthodontist or dentist.

Your dentist will guide you on how long you should wear the dental prosthesis and when to remove them. He may instruct you to wear them throughout during the initial few days including when going to bed. This may be uncomfortable but it will help you to identify any areas on the dentures that need some adjustments.  After this, you can be removing the dentures at night and wearing them back in the morning.

You also need to understand the situations under which you should use denture adhesives and not. These adhesives increase the satisfaction levels of a properly constructed denture, assist people with dry mouth, and offer increased security and stability. However, don’t use them to fix an improperly constructed denture, when you have not gone for denture evaluation for long, when you can’t sustain oral hygiene practices, or when you have any known allergy. You also need to use the correct procedure while applying denture adhesives. You can either go for powder or paste application.

Finally, dental adhesives are safe as long as you use them in the right manner. Always seek the services of highly qualified prosthesis professional to be on the safe side. In case you have any problem with your dentures, make sure you seek professional help within the shortest time possible.

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