Approximately 35 million people in North America wear dentures in one form or another. Dentures are a removable set of false or artificial teeth fabricated to replace teeth that have been lost to disease or injury. Several types of dentures are currently available and each type must be fitted by a dentist to ensure proper fit. Over time dental patients with dentures may get used to their new set of teeth and eventually adjust to the differences between dentures and natural teeth.
Of the types of dentures in existence today, complete dentures replace all of a patient's natural teeth. Partial dentures (or overdentures) replace only some teeth and fill the space between natural, healthy teeth that remain. Conventional dentures require removal of all remaining teeth and then, after a few weeks or months of recovery, they are fitted to the patient's mouth. Immediate dentures, are so named because they are place in the mouth immediately following tooth removal.
A complete denture.
Dentures are very different as compared to natural teeth and may present the new denture wearer with unusual sensations and difficulties. According to the American Dental Association, people with new dentures often experience difficulty eating and talking as they adjust to the feel of false teeth. Some practice and adjustments such as cutting food into smaller pieces and talking more slowly may be necessary to adapt to wearing new dentures.
A partial denture is appropriate when healthy natural teeth are present which can be used to anchor the plate housing the replacement teeth. A partial denture prevents teeth from "drifting", prevents large gaps between natural teeth and improves the patient's bite, speech, and chewing ability.
Unlike bridges, partial dentures are removable and remain in the mouth permanently. Partials are made of artificial teeth fixed to plastic, which connects to a metal frame to firmly anchor them in the mouth. If additional teeth are lost after the partial is fitted, replacement teeth may be added to the partial denture.
The correct shape and alignment for a new partial is achieved by making an impression of the mouth. Depending on the type of partial and the number of missing teeth, the procedure to fit partial dentures may take two to four visits.
If you currently wear dentures or if you feel you are at a stage in life where dentures may be necessary, call (207) 947-4767 or schedule an appointment with Dr. Carreira to discuss your needs.