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I have all/most of my teeth missing in my jaw. What are my options?
There are many treatment variables, both with fixed and removable teeth. Each option is dependent on the patient’s financial budget and what is possible in their mouth. Your Denture Expert will be happy to discuss more at the time of your consultation.
There are variations with each treatment modality, but these are the main ones we offer:
Denture supported by 2 implants
Denture supported by 4 implants
Denture supported by 4 implants and a bar
Fixed teeth supported by 4 implants
Fixed teeth supported by 6 implants
Fixed teeth supported by individual implants
As a general rule, the more implants you have placed, the more secure your false teeth will fit in. The number of implants which need to be used to replace your missing teeth depend on varying factors:
Your smile aesthetics
The final aesthetic outcome desired
The quantity of your jawbone
The quality of your jawbone
Anatomical features such as the extent of your sinuses and where your nerves are positioned (inferior alveolar and mental nerves in particular)
Whether you would like a stable denture (which is "rock-solid" but still removable) or if you would like fixed implant teeth (non-removable)
Your oral hygiene factors
Any pre-existing periodontal disease ("gum disease")
The bad teeth were removed and the extraction sites healed in a few days. Immediately after the procedure, the patient was given a temporary denture so that she did not leave our clinic without her smile. A further period of three months was observed to allow new bone to grow into the area where the teeth had been extracted. Four implants were placed which acted as the male components. A new denture was made to house 4 female components. The male and female components locked together to provide denture stability.
The upper front teeth have moved considerably and have very poor aesthetics. This is compromising the patient’s smile, confidence, speaking and eating abilities.
This picture shows where the teeth have been removed
This image shows the same patient’s upper palate and a nicely healed gum area
Four implants where tucked neatly under the gum in the upper jaw. The protruding gold components are attached to the underlying implants. The denture will fit over these gold components, thus providing maximum stability and comfort whilst eating.
The upper denture is attached to the gold components and is very stable. A conventional partial denture was also made in the lower arch.
Final result: happy patient at smile position
What is a denture?
A denture is a removable appliance used to replace a single missing tooth, large section of missing teeth, or it can be used to replace a false set, full arch of missing teeth. Dentures can be made in a variety of materials and colors, which the patient can choose. Strong plastic and metal work can be used for the framework. The teeth can be made to look natural.
What is a denture made of?
There are various sorts of dentures and a whole array of materials available. Many patients choose dentures which look natural. There are also dentures made of a specific type of metal called cobalt chromium.
This framework provides strength and rigidity for denture implants to minimise the risk of a denture snapping in half.
Why should I wear dentures?
If you have missing teeth, the denture will help you smile, increase your confidence levels and also eat better. Good-fitting dentures can even make you look younger.
Are dentures my only option?
A denture is removable; however, there are ways to fix the denture in with dental implants. Implants are placed in strategic locations in the jaw and the denture struts over these implants to secure it in place, so it doesn’t come out whilst you’re eating or when you are in that ever-important meeting.
When a patient has a missing tooth, dentures are not the only option. There are fixed choices which a patient can have, such as fixed bridges or individual dental implants.
Types of Dentures
There are various types of dentures and a whole array of materials available. Most patients choose dentures which look the natural but there are also dentures made in a specific type of metal called cobalt chromium. This framework provides strength and rigidity for the dentures and minimizes the risk of a denture snapping in half. If a patient has some strong remaining teeth in their mouth and did not want to go to an implant option, they can have the option of a telescopic crown denture. This is a denture which slots over the existing teeth, thereby providing stability. The dentures will not rock when you eat.
What should I do if my dentures hurt?
First of all, you need to leave your dentures out as much as you can and use a mouthwash such as a chlorhexidine-based mouthwash, salt-water rinses, if you have an ulcer. You can use a denture fixative or denture glue to stabilize the dentures. If this does not help, it’s best if you consult your denture expert to assess what the problem is.
Why can lower dentures be loose than upper dentures?
This is because in the lower jaw you have got the tongue, you have got various muscles acting against the denture which will want to lift the denture out. The tongue, for one, is one big muscle and when you talk or eat, the tongue moves and it can lift the denture out of place. The upper jaw, there’s more surface area for the denture to hold onto and there’s no moving muscles in the upper jaw which can dislodge the upper denture.
Should I use a denture fixative (denutre glue)?
A denture fixative is essentially a denture glue. You can use a denture fixative to secure the dentures in place. We usually recommend a denture fixative or denture glues for patients who have had immediate extractions and the denture inserted the same day.
Will bleaching damage my denture?
Bleaching will not damage the denture or weaken the material; however, you will lose the shin and luster of the denture if you do this over a prolonged period of time.
Can denture cleansing tablets alone dislodge trapped food particles? How do I clean my dentures?
By just dipping your dentures into solution will not dislodge trapped particles. You need to use a soft toothbrush to gently brush the surface of the dentures.
Will my dentures get stained? What can I do about this?
Every figure is subject to wear and tear. Dentures can get stained but it all depends on what type of foods a patient eats. If a patients eats a lot of curry and drinks a lot of red wine then the dentures are prone to staining. We recommend our patients clean their dentures very gently with a soft toothbrush at the end of the night just with some soapy water.
I’m finding it hard to chew with my new dentures. What can I do?
You can use a denture adhesive such as Poli-Grip to secure the dentures in place. If this is the case then please visit your dentist for a consultation. It maybe a case of putting some dental implants in to secure the dentures.
What to avoid with dentures
We usually recommend patients to start chewing soft food and then going on to harder foods and seeing what the patient gets used to, but there’s no restriction necessarily what you can eat with your dentures, just advisable not to eat hard stuffs or toffees with dentures otherwise it can dislodge.
Tips for eating with dentures
We usually recommend our patients to eat soft foods when they have the new dentures placed. After a few weeks the patients can eat stronger foods.
Will my dentures affect my sense of taste?
There are different types of dentures available. Therefore, we can make dentures which do not cover the whole of your palate. We usually cut out a small hole so that the patient can taste their food if it’s on the palate. The denture does not cover the tongue area; therefore, the taste is not affected that much.
Will dentures make me feel different?
Dentures can increase your confidence levels and make you smile more.
Will new dentures affect my speech?
Having a new denture is a completely new appliance in one’s mouth. The patient may find their new speech slightly slurred but this only happens in 5% of our cases. Most patients get used to the dentures straight away and it does not affect their speech.
Will I be able to eat all of my favorite foods with my new dentures?
You can eat most foods with tight-fitting dentures. Sometimes with dentures alone there may be a slight rock in the middle. A couple of implants will stabilize the denture and you can be able to chew an apple.
Will I look different with dentures?
Dentures can be made to look as natural as possible so your friends and family won’t know that you’re wearing dentures. They can also change the external features of your face for the better.
Should I wear my dentures at night?
It depends on how comfortable you feel wearing them and how secure they are. We don’t usually recommend a patient to wear dentures if they’re loose because there’s a risk of swallowing them. Dental implants help to stabilize the dentures and fix them in place. Therefore, the patients do not need to take them out at night. However, they do need to clean them just as you would with your normal teeth just prior to going to bed.
How long should I wear my dentures?
Dentures can be worn during the course of a day when you brush your teeth and use mouthwash. You can even wear them at nighttime, but it’s probably recommended to let your gums breathe for about an hour during the day.
How do I make my dentures more comfortable?
You can use in-store liners to put underneath your dentures to act as a cushion. This may only work if there isn't a hugh discrepency with the fit of the dentures.
Will my new dentures be uncomfortable?
Your new dentures is a lifestyle change and is a new appliance in your mouth. We make the dentures so they’re smooth and comfortable fitting in your mouth. If your dentures are uncomfortable, you need to contact the clinic so we can make necessary adjustments to them. Most patients get used to dentures within 1-2 week of wearing them.
How long will it take for me to get used to my dentures?
Our patients get used to the dentures very quickly because we spend time at the consultation to ascertain what they want and we draw up a treatment plan according to the needs and what we think they should get used. Most patients get used to dentures within a week of wearing them. Some patients it may be slightly longer if we’ve recommended them to have implants.
Can I do my own denture repairs?
No. It is recommended to see your dentist, your dental professional, so that repair can be done to a high standard.
Can I repair my denture or re-glue teeth that fall out?
It is not recommended that you used over-the-counter glue or Super Glue to reattach your teeth to your denture. These glues are not specific to denture materials; therefore the teeth can come out, and you can possibly swallow it.
How long after fitting can I keep going back to have my new dentures adjusted free-of-charge?
Generally speaking, we usually call the patient back a single time for a re-appointment, and this is enough to have the new dentures adjusted. If the patient has to come back another couple of times to have it adjusted, there is no extra charge.
Why does my denture need to be realigned?
The jawbone shrinks because a denture is constantly rubbing against the jawbone. Therefore, the denture needs to be realigned.
How often should I visit the dentist now that I have dentures?
It all depends if you have teeth remaining or if you don’t have teeth remaining. If you have teeth remaining, the dentist will set recall periods when you should return. At our clinic we usually do 6-monthly or 12-monthly recall periods.
If you have a full set of dentures, then we would probably suggest you to come in and have your soft tissues checked for oral cancer check on a yearly basis. If you are worried about anything, you can book an appointment as soon as possible.
When should I replace my denture?
The denture should be replaced when it has worn down or if it repeatedly breaks. If it repeatedly breaks, there’s a reason why that situation occurs, mainly because a patient’s got a very strong bite or forces aren’t equally distributed over a denture.
How long dentures last?
Dentures can last anything between 5 to 15 years, depending on the quality and the materials that the patient chooses. Yes, the patient is subject to wear and tear, but this can be easily repaired by the dentist and the technician.
What if I’m not happy with my new teeth at the end of the process?
This situation occurs very rarely, as we follow a set protocol to make sure that we do not miss out on any stage. Just prior to fitting your final setting, we do something called a “wax trying stage,” whereby the patients can see what their final product will look like. This is basically a prototype. This prototype can be changed, and various additions can be made according to what the patient wants. Once a patient is happy with this prototype, then the denture is processed into the final procedure.
How long will it take to make me some new dentures?
To make a denture it can take several visits. Firstly we need to provide an assessment and provide your consultation to make sure you are aware of the costs and what the stages are.
Dentures take several visits to make. The first 2 stages will involve taking impressions and measurements of your mouth. The third visit is usually a “trying” stage, and the fourth visit is the “fit” stage. So it usually takes anything from 4 to 6 visits to make a denture.
Is it really worth having a partial denture?
It all depends on the location of partial denture on the patient’s mouth. If the missing teeth are towards the back of the mouth, and there’s only 1 or 2 missing teeth, then we usually recommend for the patient not to do any treatment with a denture.
If the patient’s missing teeth are at the front of the mouth, then it is worth having a partial denture in the meantime until the patient is ready to have dental implants.