A person who is missing their teeth requires a prosthesis to replace the teeth and supporting gums and bone. In some cases the answer is removable dentures, or “false teeth”.
Any prosthesis require a great deal of skill, experience, and time to make well. A well-made denture should:
How long does it take to make a denture?
Every case is different, but an average would be four visits over three weeks, plus any minor adjustments required after initial wear. A partial denture may be simpler.
How long should a denture typically last?
This is a difficult question—some people have a fifteen-year-old denture that still fits like new, while other people need at least a reline every two years. The average would be at least a reline every five years. Factors such as osteoporosis and diabetes that increase bone loss under the denture will have you needing a reline or replacement sooner. Good quality dentures will usually need replacement because of changes to the bone and gums before the denture itself wears out.
So dentures vary in quality?
Yes. Be especially careful of advertised “specials” and “deals”. Good quality laboratory work and materials cost money. Like so many things in this world, you tend to get what you pay for. A comfortable, attractive, well-made denture that lasts and doesn’t break (usually at the worst possible time) is a good investment.
Are there other alternatives to a denture?
Many people have the option of placing implants, small screw-shaped artificial roots, into the bone and having crowns made on top of these. Occasionally a person will have problems tolerating even the best-made denture, and we may prescribe two or more implants to “snap” the denture onto in the mouth. In other cases, implants with a metal bar to snap on to are indicated.
Who makes dentures?
We do! Each Affinity office has at least one dentist who has the training, experience, and interest to make complete dentures. As mentioned above, every case is different. At your initial examination, we will take some records and possibly an x-ray of your jaws, and discuss the type of treatment that is best for you. Please feel free to bring your spouse along, as well as any questions, old dentures, or photographs of your desired look. Denture cases require patience, but the results are very rewarding. Call us today—we look forward to helping you with your oral health needs.