Imagine only you and your dentist know you wear dentures!
Dentures are a removable way of replacing missing teeth, whether it is one tooth, or a complete set, top and bottom. They are not to everyone’s liking, and in a poorly kept mouth, or with poor design, can cause significant damage. This being said, in a well kept mouth, and with good design, they can provide a very cost effective way of replacing missing teeth compared to bridges or implants.
For partial dentures to function at their best, there must either be adequate teeth to attach to and support the denture, or without this, dentures are reliant on the patient’s muscular control and the ability to persevere. Additionally, the design of the denture is very important to minimize movement and to aid success, along with the artistry of the dentist and technician in creating the finished product.
Partial dentures, i.e. when there are still natural teeth present, do not have to be the traditional big chunks of plastic so commonly seen in the UK, that move around and often damage the gums. Upper partial dentures, do not generally need to cover the whole roof of the mouth which, so often, ruins the enjoyment of food for denture wearers.
They can be designed to be supported by, and clip around or onto teeth and crowns, staying away from gums to promote health. Clips do not have to be large visible metal structures and can either be unobtrusively placed, replaced with tooth coloured clips or avoided altogether by the use of special “precision” attachments.
In short, partial dentures can be of an appearance that no-one else would know you were wearing anything false.
Complete dentures often appear unnatural because the teeth are too light for the patient’s age, too small for their face and set up in an unnaturally perfect alignment ….the small, white piano key appearance. Another giveaway is that the teeth sometimes look artificial or dead through lack of natural translucency, lack of colour change, or the absence of small imperfections. Even if the teeth are set up correctly, often the gum can look artificial as natural gum is not uniform, and varies in shade.
Such poor appearance can sometimes make denture wearers feel unattractive. They lose confidence and sometimes cover their mouth with their hand while talking or smiling. To remedy this, we need lifelike teeth and gums, and individualized tooth positioning. Good dentures should provide support for the lips and provide you with a natural looking smile.
The images below show examples of treatments available at Atkinson Brignall Caring Dentistry
How well a complete denture stays in place will depend on many things: bony shape, amount of saliva, muscular control and quality of manufacture.
While most cases can be handled conventionally by a suitably experienced dentist, there are some people who will never get on with a traditional denture and in these cases, implants may be used to avoid covering the palate, provide rigid fixation, and stop any movement….. or indeed replace a denture altogether.
Eating can initially be difficult with a new denture, but providing the patient perseveres, eating only small mouthfuls of soft food to begin, it is possible to build back up to eating your normal diet.
Initially it is a good idea to wear the denture(s) both day and night, to help get used to them; it is best in the longer term, particularly for partial dentures to leave the denture out at night. While some patients prefer not to do this, it is much healthier for the mouth and there are likely to be far fewer problems with other teeth.
Can provide excellent aesthetics.
Some patients are unable to tolerate.
If badly designed or covering much gum around the teeth, meticulous oral care is needed to prevent disease.
Some degree of movement is inevitable in most cases.
They can never be regarded as a true substitute for teeth, but rather, a substitute for no teeth.