When your smile is incomplete, it has an effect on many aspects of your life. Missing teeth cause a host of problems, from difficulty speaking and eating to low self-confidence to jawbone deterioration. Don’t give up on your smile. Advances in dental materials and technology have made full and partial dentures more lifelike and comfortable than ever. At our practice, we offer a variety of types of dentures in Virginia Beach to our patients.
Depending on how many teeth you’re missing, you may need a partial denture or a full denture.
What is a Partial Denture?
A partial denture, commonly referred to simply as a “partial,” consists of multiple artificial teeth on a gum-colored (pink) base. The artificial teeth are constructed to fit in well with your existing natural teeth, preserving the alignment of your bite. A partial is removable; this distinguishes it from a fixed bridge, which is permanently cemented into place.
A partial attaches to your existing natural teeth to hold it in place. The simplest form of attachment is with metal clasps. While this form does not require any alteration to your natural teeth, it’s also less aesthetic than other types of attachments, because the metal may be visible inside your mouth. To create a better-looking smile, a denture may have internal attachments that connect to crowns on the existing teeth. This requires alteration of the natural teeth surrounding the denture, to allow the placement of the crowns; however, the final result is more natural-looking.
What is a Full Denture?
A full denture is a complete row of teeth mounted on a gum-colored base. A full denture replaces either the top or the bottom teeth; people who are edentulous (who have no remaining natural teeth at all) require two full dentures to replace all of their teeth.
Because the bones and gums change shape after the loss of teeth, you’ll need to wait about eight to twelve weeks after the removal of your teeth to get your permanent denture. You can have a temporary denture during this period. Once healing is complete, then you can visit your dentist to get fitted for your permanent denture. At the first appointment, your dentist will create a series of impressions and images of your mouth. The laboratory will design your denture, then create a wax or plastic model for you to try on. This allows you and your dentist to be sure that the denture fits correctly before the final one is made. If adjustments are necessary, a new model will be made; this is repeated until the denture fits well. Then the permanent denture is created.
If your full denture fits well, then denture adhesive will not be necessary. However, you can choose to wear denture adhesive for extra security, if you wish.
Implant-Supported Dentures and Partials
Dental implants are small titanium posts anchored into the jawbone. If you prefer a secure full or partial denture and do not want clips or adhesive, then consider implant-supported dentures.
With implants, one or more titanium posts is implanted into your jawbone. The minimum number of posts needed to secure a full denture is four, although more are recommended to avoid excessive stress on each implant. After placement, it takes a few months for the implants to fuse with your bone, making them a secure part of the structure of your mouth. Then artificial teeth are attached to the posts. With implant-supported dentures, you won’t have to worry about slippage, and your prosthetic will feel safe and sound.
Dentist in Virginia Beach
If you need dentures in Virginia Beach, Dr. Mary Lewis can offer you her expertise in fitting dentures. She’s a cosmetic dentist with years of experience in creating beautiful smiles, whether they contain natural teeth or artificial ones. To book your complementary consultation with Dr. Lewis, please call our office.