If you have missing teeth, it is in your best interest to find a tooth replacement solution as quickly as possible. Thankfully, full or partial dentures offer an affordable, natural-looking option. What are full vs. partial dentures, are they covered by insurance, and do you need to brush them daily? Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about dentures.
What are full dentures?
Full dentures are removable dental prosthetics used to replace missing teeth. They are referred to as full because they replace the entire upper or lower row of your missing teeth. They consist of a plate made of acrylic or plastic as well as a complete row of artificial teeth.
What are partial dentures?
Partial dentures are used for strings of missing teeth or a single missing tooth. Like full dentures, they consist of a plate (made of metal or acrylic) as well as artificial teeth.
Does insurance cover their cost?
Absolutely! Most insurance plans will cover a portion of your treatment. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage, just ask us!
How are dentures made?
Our job as dentists is to communicate many important pieces of information with the laboratory who crafts your dentures. These are the basic steps that are taken in their creation:
- First, we’ll make an impression of your mouth, which is a plaster model the dental lab will reference when crafting your dentures.
- Next, we will create some registration blocks from wax to allow the lab to record where the artificial teeth are placed.
- We will place the blocks in your mouth, and can make adjustments and record things such as bite so we can match your missing teeth as close as possible.
- We’ll give the blocks to a lab technician who then crafts the dentures.
- We will receive a waxed up denture to check for fit and make adjustments as needed.
- From here, the lab will use the marked up mold to create the final pieces.
- We receive the finished dentures for a final fitting and make adjustments if needed.
There are many intricate steps not mentioned here. However, this gives you a general idea of how your dentures are crafted.
Will eating with new dentures be difficult?
It can take time to get used to your dentures. A good rule of thumb is to take smaller bites at first. Some people also prefer to eat softer foods for the first week or more. While it can take a few months to become accustomed to the new feeling, it will soon become second nature to chew and eat as usual.
Will they make me look and speak differently?
As with eating, you will experience a period of adjustment when speaking with your new dentures. However, it just takes practice to learn to pronounce words comfortably and avoid feeling you are talking with a lisp.
Do you brush them regularly?
Yes, as with your own teeth you need to care for your dentures. Brush them at least once a day by removing them and gently brushing them with a soft-bristled brush (no toothpaste!). You also need to soak them using a non-abrasive cleanser so you can remove food debris and plaque. Don’t forget regular checkups with your Lakewood dentist!
Are they worn 24 hours a day?
No. Your dentures should be taken out at night and soaked to keep them clean. Otherwise, they can build dangerous bacteria and fungus that can make you sick.
Are there alternatives to dentures?
Yes, you can choose between the following:
- Dental bridges: Dental bridges are artificial teeth affixed to existing teeth on either side of the gap. If you only require a partial denture, this is an excellent option as it is more permanent. As long as you have healthy teeth on either side of the gap, your dental bridge can be inserted using your teeth as anchors.
- Dental implants: This is a permanent solution that allows you to enjoy all the benefits of your natural teeth. Dental implants require a surgical procedure in which titanium posts are inserted into your jawbone. The posts fuse to your bone and then artificial teeth are inserted onto the poles.
Curious about the difference between dental bridges and implants? Check out this article here.
Interested in learning more about dentures? Schedule your next appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Turner here and she’ll get to know you and evaluate your unique needs.
To learn more about our restorative dentistry services, visit this page here.