Dentures and partial dentures are the traditional restorative dentistry 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 fits 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 we place an emphasis 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 you have lost several teeth and/or a patient isn’t capable of pursuing a fixed option, removable prostheses may be their best choice. Patients that have lost many teeth and don’t replace them with fixed (bridges, implants) or removable (denture) options only accelerate the disease process.
When you lose back teeth and don’t replace them, the bite forces now concentrate on fewer teeth. Oftentimes, the bite pressure moves towards the front of the mouth and places stress on those teeth. The results can be very destructive and include:
- Shifting of teeth adjacent to missing teeth. This adversely affects the bite and puts more stress on the jaw joints and muscles. It can also 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. This 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. Thus, your dentist typically recommends 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. Also because they’re self-conscious eating in front of others.
Implants have eradicated a lot of the challenges associated with dentures. Your dentist can strategically position them in areas underneath dentures. They will serve to lock those dentures into place. An implant-supported denture doesn’t shift around during chewing. It alleviates the challenges of the past and allows patients to chew a variety of foods more forcefully and confidently.
Dental implants can secure a denture or partial denture to restore full function and a natural look to your smile. We strategically place several implants in your mouth to attach the denture. This will provide you with a stable base for chewing and speaking. Using implants will also offer several key benefits for your overall health and wellness. Benefits can include reduced bone loss in the lower jaw. This can lead to a more aged look, as the jaw changes shape and shrinks where the lost teeth.
Dr. Schweifler can place implant dentures using a unique process we call All-on-four Dental Implants. Strategic advanced treatment planning using 3D scans is the foundation for the one-day procedure. We conduct any necessary tooth extractions, place implants in the jaw bone, and then place a temporary denture.
Your dentist will fix the implants to the bone with titanium screws and plates, which are small pieces of metal that we screw into the jawbone. The screws and plates hold the implant firmly in place while it heals, and will eventually fuse to your bone over time.
All-on-four dental implants provide an immediate new smile for patients missing a full arch or full set of teeth. The All on Four procedure is a one-stage procedure that replaces all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. 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 must allow some time to adjust to your new dentures. There might be 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 have some initial difficulty. Again, you may need some time to adjust 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 adjust to. They do not have many dietary restrictions either.
How often should I replace my dentures?
Dentures do not last a lifetime. You should replace them after about ten years or when they start to get uncomfortable to wear. Your mouth changes over time, and so should your dentures. All-on-four implant dentures can last longer before needing replacement. They can lessen the effects of issues that traditional dentures can’t, such as premature facial sagging and jawbone loss.
Can I get implant dentures after I wear regular dentures?
Yes, you can receive implant dentures if you wear removable dentures. Before treatment, we will ensure that you have enough bone and gum tissue to support implants and that you are in good oral health. You will find that implant-supported dentures provide increased bite function and fewer dietary restrictions than your current dentures.
Can I get implant dentures if I have bone loss?
Yes, you can receive implant dentures if you have experienced bone loss. We will often recommend bone grafting or sinus augmentation to prepare for implant treatment. These procedures add healthy bone tissue where it is needed to ensure that implants have the proper support.
What should I avoid after I get dentures?
Directly after you receive your new dentures, you should avoid hard and sticky foods that can pull at your new restoration. Begin eating slowly by cutting your food into smaller, more manageable pieces. You should also avoid hot drinks that can irritate your gums. Acidic drinks, sodas, and alcohol can also potentially damage your new dentures.