Dentures and partial dentures are the traditional treatment options for replacing several consecutive lost teeth, or a full arch of teeth. Dr. Ken Schweifler places dentures and partial dentures to restore function and aesthetics to your smile. We often recommend the incorporation of affordable dental implants for a result that is stable, permanent and supportive of long term oral health and wellness.
Today’s dentures offer patients the opportunity to restore a smile that is customized to their natural appearance. Advances in materials, techniques and oral hygiene support have improved outcomes dramatically for patients receiving dentures. Dr. Schweifler can create a cosmetic denture that can give you back the ability to smile, speak and enjoy eating again after tooth extraction or loss. The first step is a consultation to evaluate your needs and discuss your cosmetic goals with Dr. Schweifler.
A new smile with dentures in Los Altos, CA
As one of Dr. Schweifler’s mentors often says, “Dentures are not a replacement for teeth. They’re a replacement for NO TEETH.” The point is that emphasis should be placed on preserving one’s dentition and avoiding the loss of teeth and the need for dentures. No teeth replacement option is as comfortable and functional as the natural dentition.
If several teeth have been lost and/or a patient isn’t capable of pursuing a fixed option, removable prostheses may be their best choice. Patients that have lost multiple teeth and don’t replace them with fixed (bridges, implants) or removable (denture) options only accelerate the disease process. When back teeth are lost and not replaced, the bite forces are now concentrated on fewer teeth, and oftentimes, the teeth towards the front of the mouth that aren’t designed to take that level of stress. The results can be very destructive and include:
- shifting of teeth adjacent to missing teeth which adversely affects the bite and puts more stress on the jaw joints and muscles, and can accelerate periodontal disease;
- the fracturing of teeth adjacent to missing teeth, putting those teeth at risk for loss;
- continued, irreversible bone loss in areas where teeth are missing, which can contribute to bone loss to those areas shared with remaining teeth. Over time, the shape of the lower jaw can change and appear more shrunken.
Denture wearers often complain that their dentures don’t fit comfortably, they shift during eating or speaking, leading to frustration and embarrassment. Without teeth, the supportive jawbone gradually shrinks over time and compromises the fit of dentures, not to mention a person’s appearance. When the denture no longer fits snugly to the underlying jawbone, more bone destruction can occur and thus it’s typically recommended that denture wearers have new dentures made every few years to reduce the rate of bone loss over a lifetime.
Implant Dentures: What are the benefits?
Dentures only have about one-sixth of the chewing power of teeth when fitting properly. Ill-fitting dentures offer patients even less chewing power and thus can lead to poor nutrition. Many denture wearers start limiting the kinds of food they eat because of the struggle to chew more tenacious foods or because they’re self-conscious eating in front of others.
Implants have eradicated a lot of the challenges associated with dentures. They can be strategically positioned in areas underneath dentures and serve to lock those dentures into place. An implant-supported denture doesn’t shift around during chewing, alleviating the challenges of the past and allowing patients to chew a variety of foods more forcefully and confidently.
Dental implants can be used to secure a denture or partial denture for restoring full function and natural aesthetics to your smile. Several implants are strategically placed to attach the denture and provide a stable foundation for chewing and speaking. Using implants will also offer several key benefits for your overall health and wellness including reduced bone loss in the lower jaw which can lead to a more aged appearance as the jaw changes shape and shrinks where teeth were lost.
Implant dentures can be placed using a unique process known as All-on-four Dental Implants. Strategic advanced treatment planning using 3-D scans is the foundation for a one-day procedure where any necessary tooth extractions are performed, implants are placed in the jaw bone and a temporary denture is placed. All-on-four dental implants provides an immediate new smile for patients missing a full arch or full set of teeth. In some cases, there may be a need for previous treatments to augment bone structure such as a sinus lift or bone grafting.
Will dentures change the way that I speak?
If this is your first time wearing dentures, you will need to allow some time to get used to your new dentures. There might be some slight changes to your speech at first, but you should regain your regular speech patterns after a few days.
Will dentures change the way that I eat?
As you adjust to your dentures, you may find that you have some initial difficulty. Again, you may need some time to get used to your new restoration, but you should find that it is easier to eat as you adapt to the dentures. Implant-supported dentures, or All-on-four dental implants are easier to get used to, and do not have many dietary restrictions.
How often should I replace my dentures?
Dentures do not last a lifetime. They should be replaced after about 10 years, or when they start to get uncomfortable to wear. Your mouth changes over time, so should your dentures. All-on-four implant dentures can last longer before needing replacement, and can lessen the effects of issues that traditional dentures can’t, such as premature facial sagging and jawbone loss.