Dentures & Partials
Dentures and partials are a great option to replace your missing teeth and improve your quality of life. With practice, eating and speaking will be easier. You can smile freely without feeling embarrassed.
Your dentist can help fabricate your new dental device to look like your natural teeth. Full dentures may even give you a better smile. They also support the cheeks and lips so the face muscles do not sag and make you look older.
Your New Smile
You are the key to your new smile’s success, and these four tips will help:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get used to your new denture or partial
- Eat a balanced diet for good health
- Practice eating and speaking
- See your dentist regularly
A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, but it also prevents other teeth from shifting.
A complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for Dentures:
Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.
Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch.
Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.
What Does Getting Dentures Involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty. However, this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
A partial denture is a removable, yet natural-looking dental appliance that helps restore the form and function of your jaw by replacing one or several missing teeth. Partial dentures are made from a variety of materials to suit your unique needs. Your dentist will discuss the different types of partials and recommend the one that will be best for you.
Some partials are a combination of metal and acrylic – which gives them the strength to handle your needs for chewing and speaking, while also looking natural. Others are entirely made from acrylic or advanced, flexible plastic material.
It is sometimes the case that a partial will be made for you to put in immediately after the extraction of a tooth. This is highly convenient if you need to have a front tooth removed, as you will not have to go any time at all with an empty space from the missing tooth.
What Does Getting a Partial Involve?
The process of getting a partial made involves at least 2 appointments, spaced out over a few weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) are taken and used to create your custom appliance. A “try-in” appointment may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed partial, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty. However, this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new partial.
You will be given care instructions for your new appliance. Proper cleaning, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your partial.
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist – a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for Dental Implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What Does Getting Dental Implants Involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants, the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
After several weeks of healing, the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini Dental Implants (MDIs) have changed the face of implant placement. Unlike full implant placement where multiple dental visits are required, MDIs eliminate the need for surgery. The development of long term MDIs now allows the dentist to place anchors in the jaw during one noninvasive treatment. The most common use for MDIs is the stabilization of dentures and overdentures. MDIs firmly anchor the dental prosthesis, which means there is no longer any need to suffer from ill-fitting, loose dentures.
MDIs are designed to eliminate bone grafting and expedite treatment. Full implants require significant bone grafting and a recovery period. The latent period allowed the anchor of the implant to properly embed itself into the jawbone. The smaller size of MDIs means that no recovery period is necessary, and the denture can be fitted the same day.
What is the Configuration of Mini Dental Implants?
An MDI is a tiny dental implant (similar to a screw) that is designed to act in place of a natural tooth root. MDIs are generally constructed from titanium and are either sprayed with calcium phosphate or contain it along the length of the screw portion. The design and structure of MDIs promote quick healing and long lasting results. The head portion of the implant looks very much like a ball. This ball fits firmly into the retaining mechanism and together these structures hold the dentures at a designated level. The dentures sit comfortably on the gum tissue and are able to withstand significant amounts of pressure and natural force.
What are the Advantages of MDI Placement?
MDIs are a true innovation for people who are reluctant to have invasive dental surgery and for denture wearers. One significant advantage MDIs have over full implants is that they offer a viable treatment choice for patients who have experienced extensive bone loss. Depending on the quality and density of jawbone available at the implant site, four of these mini implants may be implanted at one time. Unlike full implants, MDIs don’t require invasive surgery, which makes MDIs a gentler option. MDIs also minimize cost. Full-sized implants can be expensive to place, especially if many visits are required. The most common use for MDIs is to stabilize a lower denture; however, they can be placed anywhere in the mouth.
Here are some of the other advantages associated with MDIs:
- Better smelling breath.
- Clearer speech.
- Easier chewing and biting.
- Easier cleaning.
- Firmer denture fit.
- High success rate. Less discomfort.
- No cutting or sutures.
- No need for adhesives or messy bonding agents.
- No rotting food beneath the denture.
- No slipping, wobbling or discomfort.
- Permanent results.
- Quick treatment time.
- Reduced costs.
How are Mini Dental Implants Placed?
The whole mini dental implant placement procedure takes approximately one hour. Generally, in the case of lower jaw implants, four MDIs will be placed about 5mm apart. Prior to inserting MDIs, the dentist will use many diagnostic and planning tools to find the optimal place to implant them.
Here is a brief overview of the MDI placement procedure:
- A mild anesthetic is administered.
- A small hole is drilled in the jawbone to situate each MDI.
- Each implant is screwed into place and tightened with a winged wrench.
- Finally, a ratchet wrench is used to fully stabilize the MDIs.
- The denture is measured against the mini implants and marks are made to indicate where the MDIs will fit.
- The denture is sent to the laboratory to have holes drilled to accommodate the MDIs.
- Once the denture has been fully modified, it can be affixed to the MDIs. The rubber O-ring on each MDI snaps into the designated spot on the denture, and the denture then rests snugly on the gum tissue. MDIs hold the denture comfortably in a tight-fitting way for a lifetime.
In almost all cases, no stitching is required and no real discomfort is felt after the procedure. After the denture placement procedure is complete, light eating can be resumed. The denture can be removed and cleaned at will. MDIs enhance the natural beauty of the smile and restore full functionality to the teeth.
If you have any questions or concerns about mini dental implants, please ask your dentist.