in Webster TX
Dentures: Giving You A New Functional Smile
Having many missing teeth is not only a cosmetic problem but a problem for overall oral health. If you don’t have your teeth replaced with dental implants, the next best thing is to replace them with dentures. At Clear Lake Dental Care, we have extensive experience fitting dentures for our patients who have lost many, most, or even all of their teeth. Our expertise ensures your dentures will fit great and give you a great-looking smile. Dr. Das and Dr. Pham are two of the most experienced dentists in the state, and will do everything in their power to give you the smile you deserve,
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are nothing new, however, technology has made today’s options for replacement of all or the majority of your teeth better than ever. A denture is a replacement for missing teeth and some of their surrounding tissue. Dentures may be full, replacing all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw, or partial, replacing a series of teeth. You may have heard the terms “permanent” and “immediate” dentures. These are simply terms denoting the final or permanent denture and the temporary denture patients receive while fabricating the final dentures.
What Are The Benefits of Dentures?
One-quarter of all Americans over 65 have lost all of their natural teeth. After a person loses a few teeth due to a dental issue, it can be tempting to simply let the process continue. Patients often choose to avoid certain foods and save money they don’t want to spend on dentures. Dentures can provide a significant amount of benefits which include:
- Improving the ability to chew and bite properly
- Improving the patient’s self-confidence and self-image
- Allowing the patient to again eat healthy foods such as nuts and fruit
- Improving the wearer’s facial structure
- Improving the patient’s diction
- Keeping the patient’s other teeth in place with partial dentures
Am I a good candidate for dentures?
When a person has lost enough teeth or has such damage that many teeth need to be extracted, it’s unlikely that smaller appliances, such as individual implants or crowns or even shorter-length bridges, can adequately return function and aesthetics to the patient’s mouth. The only path moving forward is a denture.
The only question would be if you have enough remaining healthy teeth that can be saved and used to anchor a partial denture. If that’s not the case, then you’ll need full dentures for both your upper and lower arches.
Some patients hesitate to take this route; they’re used to life without teeth, eating a diet of only soft foods. This is a problem. Not only do you miss out on all kinds of great foods, everything from a juicy steak to a crisp apple, but it’s very difficult to get the necessary nutrients your body needs.
Dentures can allow you to enjoy a full diet once again. The fruits, vegetables, and nuts that you can eat once again are all necessary elements of a good diet. Plus, dentures will give you back your smile, and the confidence that goes with it.
See What Our Patients Are Saying!
“In Nov 2012, I began the process if implants with dentures. In July 2013, I received my final plates and after just a few adjustments I am very pleased with the process and the finished product. Since the end of July 2013, I have been able to eat anything I desired without pain or slippage of the dentures. I no longer need Fixodent or any other adhesive. I highly recommend Clear Lake Dental Care for your dental needs. The doctors and technicians are serious about your dental health and do their utmost to keep the pain level to a minimum. Everyone there are very friendly and really care about your needs and concerns. Also, you don’t have to wait for an appointment like most other facilities. I have been able to see the doctor or technician within 24 hours. Thank you Dr. DAs and to your staff and keep up the good work.”
— Richard Y.
To read more written patient testimonials or to view our patient testimonial videos, click here!
Dentures Before and After
Choosing The Right Type Of Dentures
When choosing the type of dentures a patient needs there is a direct correlation between the choice and the health of their remaining teeth. In many cases, patients allow decay and gum disease to reach a point where there is bone loss. This results in the extraction of the remaining teeth. After these extractions, the gums need to fully heal before the denture process begins. During your consultation, Drs. Das or Pham can discuss which type of denture, including a partial or full set, is the best choice. Full dentures are held in place through two forces. This includes suction created by the gums and pressure from the tongue and cheeks.
What Happens If I still have Healthy Teeth?
If the patient has some remaining teeth that are healthy enough, partial dentures are always the preferable solution. The remaining teeth provide great natural anchors for partial dentures to replace the missing teeth. Partial dentures are sometimes referred to as bridges and they can either be fixed or removable. A fixed partial denture is anchored to crowns placed on the remaining healthy teeth. Metal framework on the healthy teeth hold the dentures in place but allow them to also be removable.
Learn about permanent and removable dentures from Dr. Das of Clear Lake Dental Care
The Denture Placement Process At Clear Lake Dental Care
Getting a set of dentures from the Clear Lake Dental Care team isn’t an overnight deal. Particularly in the case of full dentures, getting the right fit is a process that can take about two to three months. First, impressions will be taken and then sent to our lab. There, they will fabricate your temporary denture. Next, before removing any teeth, we will have the denture ready so our patients never have to go without teeth. Then, we will remove any irreparably damaged teeth and fit the temporary denture. These temporary dentures will be worn throughout the healing phase.
Are there risks involved with getting dentures?
There are two main risks with wearing dentures: one is due to poor upkeep from the wearer, the other is due to the dentures themselves.
Your dentures and your mouth need to be kept clean. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and after wearing them for a full day, so is the surface of your dentures. If you don’t adequately clean your dentures, you can cause inflammation of your gums. One kind of bacteria will do that. Another kind of bacteria from your dentures can lead to respiratory infections.
The other risk with dentures is inherent in the process. Natural teeth and the act of chewing create a tremendous amount of bite force energy. This energy transfers down through the teeth into the jawbone beneath. It is this energy that signals our jawbone to shed old cells and create new bone cells. This is the key to keeping the jawbone healthy and strong.
When you are missing a bunch or all of your teeth, your jawbone no longer receives that energy, and it begins to deteriorate. That’s why people who are missing all of their teeth and are not wearing dentures can appear as if their bottom jaw is collapsing backward.
Dentures don’t stop this progression, although they keep your facial structure intact. That’s why dentures need to be refit periodically, because of your loss of jawbone mass.
That’s why we’re big fans of implant-supported dentures at Clear Lake Dental. The strategic placement of dental implants anchors the dentures, and they allow energy to move downward into the jawbone.
What Happens once the Gums Heal?
Once your gums have healed, we take a variety of measurements of the upper and lower jaws, and the relationship between them. We then take full impressions to make test dentures. These are the exact shape and position of what will be your permanent dentures. We use these test dentures to check the shape, fit, function, thickness, and color. When you and our team agree that the fit and structure of the dentures is right, we take another set of final impressions. We send these to the lab, along with the test dentures, for the fabrication of your dentures. Finally, when your dentures are finished, we test them for fit and begin a process of adjustments. Patients can begin wearing the new dentures, but we will continue to fine-tune the fit until it’s just right.
Dr. Das talks about Clear Lake Dental Care solutions for denture problems
Will dentures alter my appearance?
Dentures will alter your appearance; most people would agree they improve it. How? When you’ve been missing many teeth for a long period of time your jawbone will likely have begun to deteriorate. The process is called resorption, and it is described in detail above. Resorption is why many people who’ve been missing all of their teeth for a period of time can appear as if their jawbone is collapsing backward. This gives the entire mouth area a sunken appearance.
Dentures return your facial structure to where it formerly was before your bone loss. The dentures fit by Dr. Das and Dr. Pham are designed at the correct height, and this will return proper proportion to your face. This will return your appearance and facial structure to the way they appeared before you lost your teeth.
Adjusting to New dentures
You won’t pop in your new dentures and feel great about them. They will take some getting used to, without a doubt. At first, your dentures will probably feel loose, and the dentures can irritate your gums but your tongue, cheeks, and gums quickly adjust. As this happens, the fit becomes better and better. Speaking and eating will be a bit of a learning process. The best way to re-learn how to speak with your dentures is to simply read aloud. As for eating, you’ll start with very small pieces of soft foods. But you’ll get the hang of eating with them and can soon progress to a normal diet. You’ll love that you can once again eat just about anything!
Is it painful to get and wear dentures?
New dentures will involve some pain and discomfort for at least a few days to a couple of weeks. This is because your gums are adjusting to the dentures. If you had teeth extracted, there will be additional pain and some swelling in the extraction sites. This is one reason dentures need to be removed at night — to allow your gum tissues to rest and recover after wearing dentures during the day. When dentures are new, the gums have more adjustment. This period can take up to a few weeks. However, thanks to the precision denture fitting expertise of Dr. Das and Dr. Pham, your gums should rapidly adjust and your dentures will soon be very comfortable.
To relieve initial pain, you can apply topical gel or cream for oral pain relief; you can remove your dentures and rinse with salt water for 30 seconds; you can apply aloe vera gel to your dentures before placing them in your mouth once or twice daily; you can massage your gums to encourage blood flow, and you can take ibuprofen.
Caring for Your Dentures
Full dentures are not meant to be worn 24 hours a day. They need to be taken out at night to allow your gum tissues to rest. Additionally, your gums need normal stimulation by your tongue and cleansing by your saliva. Patients will need to brush their dentures with special denture toothpaste. This is because normal toothpaste contains various abrasive substances that can create minute scratches that allow food and plaque to build up. After brushing, your dentures will then spend the night in a denture cleaning solution or water so that they stay moist.
Can you whiten dentures?
Dentures can stain with coffee, red wine, berries, and even chocolate. How much they stain can depend in part on the quality of the material used for creating the false teeth. Dentures are made of acrylic to set color or shade. This cannot be changed. Teeth whitening kits are meant for tooth enamel; they can actually weaken the acrylic denture teeth, so they cannot be used.
Any staining on your dentures is likely to be superficial, a build-up of biofilm, plaque, and calculus that can coat your denture teeth and make them look stained. Usually, these stains can be removed by brushing your dentures and soaking them nightly in denture cleaner. It’s not a good idea to try various home denture whitening methods you may read about on the Internet.
If denture cleaners don’t work, we can always professionally clean your dentures and make them look new. It only takes us a few minutes at Clear Lake to do this.
How Long do dentures last?
Complete dentures last from five to seven years, but sometimes much longer. How well the patient takes care of the denture also plays a factor in how long they last. They will eventually need to be relined, rebased, or remade because of changes that occur in the gum tissue and jawbone.
While dentures are a good option to replace missing teeth, they may not be the best solution for everyone. Some people never quite get accustomed to the fit of dentures or can’t tolerate the feeling of something covering the roof of their mouth. Dental implants are a more permanent solution to replace missing teeth. An implant is a titanium post that acts as an anchor to support a single replacement tooth or multiple teeth. For some patients, a great option is to place 2 to 4 dental implants to use in conjunction with a denture. This provides more stability for the denture and increases chewing function.
Does dental insurance cover dentures?
Dental plans cover dentures, as they are considered a medically necessary step for the patient. There is wide variation between plans and providers, but the general coverage is 50 percent of your cost. Medicare does not cover dental services, but many Medicare Advantage plans do include dental coverage, including coverage for dentures.
At Clear Lake Dental, we work with your insurance company to attain the highest reimbursement we can, but if you have questions about denture coverage it’s a good idea to contact your insurance provider directly.