If you’re missing any teeth, it’s important to have them replaced to prevent a host of oral health and aesthetic problems. Empty sockets will lead to bone loss, shifting teeth, and changes in the jaw and facial structure.
These problems can also lead to crooked teeth and overcrowding. If you’re interested in dentures for tooth replacement, contact us at Lakeside Dental today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Joseph Blalock. We proudly serve patients in Lenoir City, Tellico Village, and Loudon.
Dentures are a faster cheaper alternative to dental implants and look very natural. Dentures are an excellent alternative for patients who do not qualify as candidates for dental implants due to inadequate bone density or structure.
They help restore the appearance, function, and structure of the teeth and mouth. When you have missing teeth, speaking clearly and chewing become more difficult, the teeth will shift, and you will suffer from bone loss.
Wearing dentures assists with mastication, speech, and prevents shifting teeth. They also reduce the rate of bone loss and prevent facial sagging and other changes to the facial structure. Dentures are easy to clean because they are removable and modern dentures will not impact your diet significantly.
Dentures are specially molded and hand-crafted to fit inside your mouth and along your jaw perfectly. Over time, if changes to your jaw occur, they can be altered. Most importantly, wearing dentures greatly reduces your risk of serious oral health problems that can occur when you don’t replace missing teeth, such as a higher risk for gum disease and future tooth loss.
Partial dentures are removable dentures that replace a few missing teeth in the mouth by clipping onto metal clasps that are attached to the natural teeth. A plate made of plastic, metal, or a mixture of the two holds artificial teeth into place to fill the missing spaces in your gum line. The gums are typically made of an acrylic pink base that blends in with your mouth.
Full or complete dentures are dentures that replace the upper, lower, or both arches of teeth when a patient is missing most of or all of their teeth. The patient will first need to have their remaining teeth extracted and allow them to fully heal for 8-12 weeks before receiving their official dentures. A temporary denture will be worn in the meantime. Full dentures are only recommended for patients who have significant tooth loss.
After you have been examined during your consultation with Dr. Joseph Blalock and approved as a candidate for partial or full dentures, impressions will be taken of your teeth and mouth. A jaw record will also be taken to understand how your bite fits together.
A patient receiving full dentures will undergo extraction of the remaining teeth and need to wait for their gums to fully heal. This healing process takes about 8-12 weeks and a pair of immediate dentures will be placed to temporarily restore the appearance and function of the teeth.
An outside dental lab uses the impressions of your mouth to create dentures that look very realistic and are custom-fit to your mouth. You will then return to our office for a try-in where you will test how the dentures fit in a trial run.
It is common for adjustments to need to be made which is why this is a trial run. If the dentures feel too tight, loose, or uncomfortable, you will inform Dr. Blalock so the changes can be made. The next appointment will be the fitting of your official denture.
Dentures can take about 30 days to get used to but if problems persist, additional adjustments can be made. Follow-up appointments may be necessary to ensure that your dentures are functioning properly and feel comfortable.
After receiving your new dentures, keep in mind that it takes about 30 days to get used to them. Some level of discomfort as well as difficulty chewing and speaking is to be expected in the beginning. However, we have tips on how you can adjust to your dentures quickly.
In the beginning, you may feel sore spots as a result of the pressure on your gums which your mouth is not used to. Wearing a denture may feel weird and unnatural at first as a result of your body trying to protect itself from a foreign object it is detecting in the body.
You will experience increased saliva production, it will be difficult to pronounce certain sounds (especially “s” and “f” sounds), you will sound louder than normal, and it will be difficult to chew. Soreness can be alleviated by swishing around a lukewarm saline solution in the mouth a few times a day and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.
To get better at enunciating and speaking clearly, you need to practice speaking out loud. Try reading a tongue twister, singing, or reading a passage, focusing on the sounds that are most difficult for you.
You may sound louder than normal because the dentures alter the way sound travels from your mouth. However, you will sound louder to yourself than you do to others and will adjust to it with time. In the first few weeks, you should stick to soft foods before introducing chewy or hard foods.
Three common mistakes are critical to avoid after getting dentures - not wearing your dentures often enough, failing to remove them when you sleep, and neglecting to clean your dentures. These three mistakes can cause some serious problems with your oral health and dentures.
It’s important to wear your dentures regularly to get used to them and because wearing them every day will ensure the fit of your dentures is retained. When you fail to wear your dentures, the structure of your mouth may change and your dentures may no longer fit comfortably, requiring you to get an adjustment.
However, you shouldn’t wear them 24/7. Dentures are removable for a reason - you shouldn’t wear them while you sleep and you need to take them out to clean them. Leaving dentures in overnight will cause bacteria to form and is unhygienic.
Finally, make sure you clean your dentures regularly and properly. Rinse your dentures after eating. Every day, you should soak your dentures in a denture cleaner and then use a soft-bristle toothbrush to scrub around the artificial teeth and gums.
Also, scrub around your real gums and when you take your dentures out, they should be stored in moisture such as denture cleaning solution or water to retain their shape. Don’t expose your dentures to hot water which can alter their mold.
You should only wear your dentures during the day and should take them out at night, ensuring that you store your dentures properly, in a liquid solution to prevent them from drying out or cracking.
When you leave your dentures in all the time, you increase your risk of developing gum disease, bad breath, getting sick from bacteria, and reducing the lifespan of your dentures. Your dentures need to be stored in moisture to retain their shape and cleaned to prevent the growth of bacteria.
The most concerning effect of not taking out your dentures is that it accelerates bone loss by wearing away at the ridge of bone they are sitting on. This will cause your dentures to become loose and accelerate changes in your facial structure.
Even a hairline crack or fracture in your tooth that may be invisible to the naked eye could lead to further decay and damage? Get a consultation for peace of mind.
If you have a damaged or missing tooth, restorative care helps you avoid further complications like tooth infections or teeth shifting after tooth loss.
As experts in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Blalock and the team at Lakeside Dental will focus on function and aesthetics during your restorative care.
A damaged or decayed tooth can cause serious discomfort, but we can treat the root cause of your problem and provide you with relief.