The problem with dentures is their inability to support our jaws as precisely as our teeth do. Our muscles pull our lower jay up, towards our upper jaw, but they have no way of knowing when to stop. It is the contact between our upper and lower teeth that stops our lower jaw from going any higher, and it defines the length of our face.
When the distance between the jaws is supported by dentures, it continues to shrink. That is partly because dentures rest on tissue which is supported by bone which continues to melt away. As the bone under the dentures “melts”, they sink down, and the distance between them shrinks. At the same time, the plastic teeth are always wearing down, which makes the dentures shorter. As they do, the bite sinks together even more.
As the teeth wear down, the chin and the nose slowly come closer together. Not only are the shortened jaw muscles robbed of their strength, but the shortening of our face artificially creates an appearance of old age.
It is not always necessary to make new dentures to overcome this problem—dentures can be maintained. They can be relined in just one visit with the same material they are made from, right in our dental office. If the teeth become worn, they can be replaced. Dentures need more maintenance than any other dentistry you can receive.
To find out if you can restore your natural facial form, click on Make an Appointment for a complimentary evaluation.
As the technique of making custom-fitted dentures becomes a lost art, patients who wear dentures struggle to chew in comfort and smile with confidence. To these patients, well-fitting dentures represent more than the replacement of lost teeth—they afford dignity. We customize the appearance of your dentures to your own features, so teeth never look too big or too white.
In addition to our thirty-plus years of experience, we have another secret for satisfying the needs of our patients—we listen to them. We have found that many of the patients who have come to us for help with their dentures have a history of being ignored by the dentist when trying to explain the problem they are having. We know that you often have just the insight necessary to find a solution to your denture dilemma – if someone will just listen to you.
The secret of proper denture design lies in recruiting the muscles and tongue to keep dentures in place, rather than dislodging them. Proper chewing with dentures depends on the proper support and a precise relationship between chewing surfaces of teeth.
The amount and shape of the bone in your mouth will determine how successfully you can wear dentures. If your remaining bone structure makes it difficult for you to keep your dentures in place, you may need to consider dental implants. Implants are not a substitute for proper fit and design, but they can help hold dentures from “floating” around.
There are basically two types of implants. Mini-implants help anchor dentures, so they don’t “float” off of the ridge when speaking or eating. Standard implants can actually support dentures, and often allow the palate to be taken out of an upper full denture since suction is no longer necessary to retain it. To learn more about this exciting alternative for denture wearers, click on The Miracle of Implants.
Partial dentures are removable appliances which replace some but not all of the natural teeth in an arch. Even though they do replace teeth, their most important function is to protect and preserve the remaining teeth so that full dentures do not become necessary.
For this reason, designing the way in which the partial denture rests on the teeth and grips them is of utmost importance. The clips which grip the teeth are called “clasps”. Often, they can be hidden, so they don’t spoil the smile. When it isn’t possible to hide the clasps, they can be disguised by making them tooth-colored. Both upper and lower partial dentures can be designed for maximum comfort.
Too often, we find that people who wear full and partial dentures have been treated differently than other patients. We listen to your needs, and offer a number of options including implant supported dentures and custom design strategies to afford you the dignity to which you are entitled.