One of a person's most valuable assets is their smile. However, bright, attractive teeth not only make your smile look good, but they play important role in the support and function of the entire face. When multiple teeth or all teeth are lost due to periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, full or partial dentures can bring a smile back to a great, natural look. Also, dentures help retain a more youthful appearance and function to lips, cheeks and facial muscles. Dentures that fit well help the individual eat and speak normally.
Kinds of dentures
The dentist evaluates the patient's mouth to determine if dentures are a viable option and also what kind of dentures are appropriate. The American Dental Association (ADA) states there are 3 kinds of dentures:
- conventional, a complete denture which fits snugly over the gum tissue and jaw bone
- immediate, a denture which is placed directly after tooth extraction
- over denture, a denture which is anchored by remaining natural teeth or by dental implants
The denture procedure
The dentist takes an impression of the patient's jaw and sends it to a dental lab where a skilled technician creates a resin and metal denture, according to the doctor's instructions and the model of the individual's mouth. Immediate dentures are often replaced or relined after the patient's mouth heals completely after tooth extraction. Some denture options are specially crafted to stimulate the jaw, helping prevent bone loss.
The dentist checks the new denture for correct fit and assures that the top and bottom teeth bite together properly. The patient can expect a period of adjustment while the ligaments and muscles of the face "learn" how to chew and speak clearly with the new appliances. This break-in period is relatively short, and patients return to the dentist for follow-up on any issues with fit or sore spots.
Dental hygiene continues to be important as patients must brush or soak their dentures with denture cleanser and also brush lips, gums, tongue and other oral structures to prevent infection, stimulate circulation, eliminate bad breath and reduce plaque. Check-ups should be as the dentist recommends.
Dentures support the face
When individuals lose teeth, they lose facial structure as well. The alveolar bone, or part of the jaw bone which accommodates the tooth sockets, recedes after tooth loss. As time goes on, the face sags and the area around the mouth wrinkles and has a sunken appearance.
Quality, well-fitting dentures alleviate these issues. Patients find that they have great-looking smiles and that their facial features are more youthful because of the support dentures provide.
Gordon Family Dental PC
David Gordon DMD is the Lehi, Utah dentist with the experience to answer your questions about dentures and how they can support the look and function of your face and smile. Dr. Gordon and his staff work to maintain the highest level of expertise to provide you with excellent dental services in a relaxed and caring atmosphere. Call his office today: 801-766-6344.