Tooth loss can occur at all stages of life. We expect it as children but when it happens in adulthood it can be a frustrating or embarrassing experience. Having missing teeth is uncomfortable and may affect self-confidence, the ability to chew food properly, and/or impair your speech. Additionally, the loss of adult teeth can affect your facial appearance – even when you’re not smiling. Adult tooth loss occurs for a variety of reasons, for example:
- Accident and injury
- Gum disease and tooth decay
- Genetic or hereditary factors
Fortunately, dentures by Dr. Barras provide an easy and affordable option to regain a full smile quickly and comfortably.
Dentures by Dr. Barras
Dentures are custom-made, removable devices designed to replace missing teeth for a natural appearance. Full dentures are the primary choice for adults who have lost all of their teeth on the top or bottom dental arch of their mouth. For patients who have lost most of their natural teeth but still maintain a few, the remaining teeth are removed to accommodate the dentures. If teeth need to be removed the surrounding gum tissue must be fully-healed before dentures can be applied. The length of time required for healing varies for each patient and the amount of preparation necessary, but typically healing lasts anywhere from several weeks to a few months.
Dentures are made to fit your unique facial structure. During your visit with Dr. Barras measurements will be taken and used to create a custom set of dentures. Once measurements have been made, the dentures are created off-site.
Partial Dentures (Partials)
For patients who still have many of their original teeth, only needing to fill gaps where tooth loss has occurred, partial dentures provide the solution. Partial dentures (also known as partials) are a simple way to address smaller gaps of missing teeth – without replacing all of the teeth spanning the entire dental arch. Partial dentures fill in gaps from missing teeth with natural-looking artificial teeth and unlike bridges partials are completely and easily removable.
Partial dentures use a combination of framework and artificial teeth to replace missing teeth for a natural appearance. The framework is anchored in place by your natural teeth; in some cases crowns may be necessary in order to create a secure base for your partials. During your appointment with Dr. Barras he will determine whether or not partials are the right solution for your needs, or if full dentures would be more appropriate.
Are Dentures Comfortable?
At first, your new dentures may take some getting used to. Adjustment times vary for every patient but typically patients report feeling comfortable with their new dentures in a few weeks, and in some cases up to several months. The combination of artificial teeth and mounting hardware may at first feel foreign to your mouth or bulky, and may for a short time affect your speech as you grow accustomed to them. Additionally, you may feel slight soreness, and your tongue may feel crowded. These temporary effects are quickly overcome once the muscles in your cheeks, tongue, and mouth become accustomed to your new dentures.
Are Dentures Permanent?
Dentures are a long-term solution, but over time require occasional adjustments and check-ups to ensure they continue to function properly due to normal wear. This may involve the creation of a new base or mount for the dentures (while maintaining the same artificial teeth), realignment of the dentures due to shifts in your mouth and facial structure, or the complete remaking of the dentures. Dr. Barras recommends regular check-ups to ensure your dentures fit and feel great.
Tips on Caring for Your Dentures
- Remove your dentures before brushing your teeth and before you go to sleep.
- When handling your dentures, do so over a towel or soft cloth – dentures may break if dropped on a hard surface.
- Clean your dentures by rinsing them thoroughly, or brushing gently to remove any leftover food debris and plaque.
- Once you have removed and cleaned your dentures, place them in an ADA-approved denture-cleaning solution, or a cup of clean water so they do not dry out completely (do not use hot water, it may cause the shape of the dentures to change).
- Maintain a proper oral-hygiene regimen brushing your teeth, cheeks, mouth, tongue, and gums regularly with a soft-bristled tooth brush.
- If your dentures break, crack, fracture, or otherwise become damaged, contact Dr. Barras – do not attempt to repair them yourself!
- If you experience discomfort, develop sore spots, or your dentures become loose contact Dr. Barras for an appointment.