An important step in maintaining a healthy smile is to replace missing teeth. When teeth are missing the remaining ones can change position, drifting into the surrounding space. Teeth that are out of position can damage tissues in the mouth. In addition it may be difficult to clean thoroughly between crooked teeth. As a result you run the risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease which can lead to the loss of additional teeth.
A partial denture fills the space created by missing teeth and fills out your smile. A denture helps you to properly chew food, a difficult task when you are missing teeth. In addition a denture may improve speech and prevent a sagging face by providing support for sagging lips and cheeks.
There are effectively three types of partial dentures that we have available named for the primary material used to create them. They are known as Acrylic, Chrome Cobalt and Valplast dentures. All of them use standard plastic teeth as replacements for missing natural teeth. Consult with your dentist to find out which type is right for you.
The shade and shape of your natural teeth will be matched by your dentist to ensure the artificial teeth on your partial denture blend inconspicuously with your natural teeth.
Acrylic partial dentures
An acrylic partial denture is the most common and least expensive solution to the problem of missing teeth. The same material is used to make standard full dentures.
An advantage of this type of partial denture is that new teeth can often be added to it without having to construct a complete new one.
Constructed using the highest quality acrylic as a body your partial denture is designed to comfortably fill gaps left by missing teeth. Clasps around your natural teeth may be necessary to ensure the partial fits well. This type is more suited to upper teeth.
Chrome partial dentures
Using one of the dental industries most reliable alloys, chrome cobalt.
A chrome frame is constructed around your remaining teeth with the artificial teeth being closely matched to your existing shade and shape. Chrome partial dentures are comfortable to wear, very strong and generally last longer than an acrylic partial therefore providing long term value for money. Suitable for upper and lower teeth.
Valplast partial dentures
A non- metallic kind of partial is the Valplast denture. It is made from a biocompatible non-allergenic nylon material that provides the perfect degree of flexibility. The strong durable nyon fits securely and comfortably into place around the natural teeth and gums. The colour of the denture blends with the natural appearance of the gums making the denture almost invisible.
Advantages of a Valplast denture are flexibility, soft and comfortable, superior aesthetics, minimum tissue irritation and are virtually unbreakable.
Adjusting to a partial denture
It can take several visits to the dental practice to make a denture and have adjustments to make it fit properly. Since a partial denture is a foreign object in your mouth it may feel awkward for a few weeks while your mouth adapts to it.
At first you will need to eat soft foods that are cut into small pieces. You will eventually feel more comfortable eating a lot of foods but remember a partial is removable and the teeth are acrylic and you are limited in what you can eat. It is recommended to avoid hard and sticky foods.
Recreate a beautiful natural Smile
Every partial denture is unique, each is carefully planned and constructed to meet the criteria set out between patient and dentist.
Appearance, function, comfort, strength and adaptability with all be taken into consideration.
Richard Otley has had more than 25 years dental experience and he and his staff are happy to discuss all options available with you.
Full Upper/Lower Dentures
What are dentures?
Dentures are false teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.
There are both functional and aesthetic benefits. Dentures allow the wearer to enjoy all kinds of food where as missing teeth restrict the ability to chew. Dentures also support the lips and cheeks improving the appearance of a patient who has lost his/her teeth. Missing teeth can impair speech, effect self esteem and lead to gum and jaw infections
How full dentures work
With full dentures a gum-coloured acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the roof of your mouth while the lower is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue. The denture teeth are made of synthetic resins and plastics that will retain their white appearance for many years.
Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken in your mouth. Richard uses a number of top end dental laboratories throughout New Zealand. selected by him for services he has found them to excel at.
A series of four dental appointments are needed over a few weeks to make most full dentures.Initially Richard discusses with you what your key objectives are if you are replacing your old set and will also wish you to let him know any particular aesthetic desires you have for your new dentures.He then takes impressions of your mouth. At the second visit he will record where he believes your bite should be for both appearance and also for the healthy functioning of your jaw joints. The third appointment will have your dentures "set-up" with the permanent teeth within a wax matrix to closely resemble the finished product, although the final precision fit is only achieved at the final fitting. If any changes are needed for either function or appearance at this appointment the wax matrix allows the technician to achieve this with minimal fuss and the changes can be viewed at a later appointment.If all is good at this third visit then the final insertion appointment will be made and you can look forward to taking your new teeth away at that time. It is normal for new dentures to need the odd adjustment after insertion and this service is all covered in the initial fee.
Your dentist will determine which type of dentures described below is best for you:
Standard full dentures are placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth have been removed and tissues have healed. Healing can take several months during which time you are without teeth. We suggest you wait three months after your teeth have been removed before having your dentures made when you choose this delayed option.
Immediate full dentures are inserted immediately after any remaining teeth have been removed. (Your dentist takes measurements and makes models of your jaw during a prior visit).Richard would normally be asked to provide this solution in about 80% of the cases he deals with.Occasionally he will advise to wait and have the delayed option if there are particular requirements with the surgery which will mean even with the best intentions the technician will struggle to achieve an acceptable fit or appearance.
While immediate dentures offer the benefit of not being without teeth they need to be relined several months after being inserted (at an extra cost.) This necessity of course is avoided with delayed dentures. Occasionally if there has been major reshaping an entire new denture may be needed. The reason is that the bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals causing the denture to become loose.
How long does it take to get used to dentures?
Follow-up appointments are needed to make any adjustments. This is important to ensure proper fit when speaking and eating as well as when at rest. New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first weeks or even months. Eating and speaking with dentures might take a little practice. A bulky or loose feeling is not uncommon while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learns to hold your dentures in place, Excessive saliva flow, a feeling that the tongue does not have adequate room and minor irritation or soreness are also not unusual. Fortunately most people adjust well to dentures with the help of their dentist. Richard has made dentures for literally thousands of people and his recomendation is that the first six weeks tend to be the most trying time in terms of the learning curve that all denture wearers must go through.
How long do dentures last?
There is no absolute lifespan for dentures. Some last up to 30 years though after this time they are usually badly worn,fit poorly and don't often look very appealing! However many patients are happy with the dentures they have long been familiar with and have adjusted as the denture has slowly changed.. Generally over a period of time, due to normal wear and as you age your mouth naturally changes. These changes cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. Your dentist can advise you if your dentures need to be replaced or relined.Richard thinks it is always advisable to have your dentures reviewed approximately every five years or whenever you are having a repetitive issue with them.
Dentures in history
Dentures have been used in some form since at least the 15th Century though they have greatly improved in design since then.
Early dentures were made of bone, ivory or human teeth. At one stage they were carved out of blocks of hippopotamus tooth. They were attached to people’s teeth with metal or silk string and were quite uncomfortable. The first porcelain teeth were constructed in the 1770’s and plastics became the material of choice in the 20th century. For the past hundred years it has been possible to mould dentures onto a plaster cast of the mouth.Modern materials are mostly specialist derivatives from the high strength resin market specifically developed for dentures. The teeth are also now most often high strength plastic materials as opposed to porcelain which on occasion could be noisy when chewed with.
When complete extractions of your remaining teeth become unavoidable your dentist may propose the Immediate Denture technique as a solution to replace them. This involves taking an impression of your teeth when your teeth are still present. At the same time as your teeth are extracted we have the denture ready to be inserted. In this way you never have to walk around without teeth.
In the past the common procedure was to extract the teeth, wait three months for initial healing and then construct dentures. But today people rarely have the option to go without teeth so long while their mouth heals.
With Immediate Dentures you don’t need to go without teeth.
Advantages of Immediate Dentures:
This process will help to avoid the embarrassment of being seen in public without teeth. You will have new teeth to smile with.
Faster return to chewing and speaking properly.
Protects the tissues and extraction sites in the mouth with less discomfort and provides a mould for the dentures to adapt to.
Immediate dentures act as a bandage reducing bleeding and swelling reducing the risk of infection.
Immediate Dentures do have limitations which you should be aware of. For some people they may not be advisable due to health problems or specific oral problems.
The original good fit and occlusion will be lost as healing takes place. This is normal.
Because of changes in the tissues after removal of the teeth immediate dentures usually need to be refitted within three to twelve months. This involves additional visits and expense. In certain individuals complete new dentures may have to be made.
The dentures can not be ‘tried in’ before they are finished so you can not see what they will look like in your mouth beforehand. The dental technician has to estimate the ridge shape and sometimes aesthetic compromises have to be made in favour of structural integrity or limited space. This should not be a significant problem however as the result should be more than satisfactory.
It is important to follow the post-operative instructions of your dentist very carefully.
For your own comfort and to help recovery it is recommended that you take a couple of days or more off work.
With any dentures expect it to take at least six weeks to become accustomed to wearing them. The muscles of your cheek and tongue have to be trained to keep dentures in place. Many people find lower dentures in particular to be a challenge.
Your gums and bone will recede to a much smaller size because of the tooth sockets closing. This remodeling will continue for the rest of your life but most of the change occurs in the first few months to a year after extractions.
This will cause your immediate dentures not to fit as well and begin to feel loose in your mouth. Denture adhesives, temporary linings or tissue conditioners may be required to ensure a positive fit.
At a minimum of three months and usually before twelve months after extractions and insertion of Immediate dentures, most people need their dentures relined to ensure a comfortable and an exact fit.
This is done by placing a new acrylic base into the denture duplicating the new form of the oral structures in the mouth. A reline can bring back suction, comfort, stability and discourage food from going under the denture.
Denture relines are an additional service requiring payment when it is carried out additional to the original fee paid for having the initial immediate dentures made. This is only avoidable by taking the delayed denture option.
Although there are limitations to an immediate denture, the final outcome is usually positive. The most important factor is your attitude toward mastering the denture and the realization that the process is gradual. Your mouth will be changing daily but your denture does not. Please be patient in the healing stage. Your ‘final’ fit will not occur until the majority of the changes in your mouth are complete and the dentures are relined.It may be necessary for your dentist to temporarily reline your dentures or for you to use denture adhesives while waiting to get to three months if your bone loss and the subsequent loosening of your immediate dentures is too rapid.
Your dentist is happy to answer any questions you may have. Please ask.
Please note: All denture work must be paid for in full by completion of dental treatment.
Implant Supported Dentures
Advances in dental technology
Implant supported dentures are now available. They are the most durable and permanent type of denture. They are also the most expensive as titanium implants are placed into the underlying bone.Richard uses a surgeon in Tauranga to place the" Fixtures" and provide any other necessary surgery at which stage he builds up on top of these to create new teeth. When supported in this way dentures do not move about or get food under them and don’t press down and hurt the gums.In fact depending on what materials your new implant retained teeth are made of and wether they are fixed or removable it would not even be fare to compare them with dentures as they are in fact more like having your own teeth.
Patients say they improve their quality of life. They are a feasible option for people who have difficulty wearing dentures.Richard has experience in completely replacing entire jaws with implant supported teeth....either fixed [By far the best!!] or with removeable denture like prosthesis which clip into the implants [great for retention and comfort and cheaper but the clips tend to require regular replacement].
Implants also prevent bone loss which normally occurs when teeth are extracted.In Richards view the Implant Retained Fixed Bridge solution in PFM materials are the ultimate solution where the teeth have been lost. The teeth look fantastic, don't move at all and patients love them. They are not a solution for everyone however as the precision componentry, surgical involvement and shear level of complexity make them an expensive treatment. There is also a daily hygiene regime which is mandatory for keeping you implants healthy so you will still need to "clean" your teeth! For a single jaw solution costs may range from 10 to 25K.