Posts for tag: Dentures
Today’s technologically advanced dentures aren’t your grandparents’ “false teeth.” Now made with superior materials and processes, you could almost forget you’re wearing them. But don’t let that cause you to leave them in for the night: While it may seem like a harmless thing to do, wearing dentures 24/7 may not be good for them or your health.
For one thing, around the clock denture wearing could worsen bone loss, already a concern with dentures and missing teeth. The forces generated when we chew on natural teeth stimulate new bone growth to replace older bone cells. When teeth go missing, though, so does this stimulus. Even the best dentures can’t restore this stimulation, so bone loss remains a risk.
And, dentures can accelerate bone loss because of the added pressure they bring to the bony gum ridges that support them. Wearing them all the time deprives the gums of any rest, further speeding up the pace of bone loss. Losing bone volume not only affects your overall oral health, it will gradually loosen your dentures’ fit and make them uncomfortable to wear.
Another problem: You may clean your dentures less frequently if you don’t take them out at night. Lack of cleaning can encourage bacterial growth and lead to disease. Studies show that people who don’t take their dentures out at night have more dental plaque accumulation, gum inflammation and higher blood counts of the protein interleukin 6, indicating the body is fighting infection.
And that’s not just a problem for your mouth. Continuous denture wearing could make you twice as likely to develop life-threatening pneumonia as someone who routinely takes their dentures out.
These and other concerns make nightly denture removal a good practice for your health’s sake. While they’re out, it’s also a good time to clean them: Manually brush them for best results (be sure you’re only using regular soap or denture cleanser—toothpaste is too abrasive for them). You can then store them in clean water or a solution designed for dentures.
Having said all that, though, there may be one reason why wearing dentures at night might be beneficial—it may help prevent obstructive sleep apnea. If you have this condition, talk to your dentist about whether wearing your dentures at night has more advantages than disadvantages. And, if bone loss created by wearing dentures is a concern, it could be resolved by having implants support your dentures. Again, discuss this with your dentist.
Taking care of your dentures will help increase their life and fit, and protect your health. And part of that may be taking them out to give your gums a rest while you’re resting.
If you would like more information on denture care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleeping in Dentures.”
Some patients who wear dentures face a kind of Catch-22: their denture fit may have loosened and become uncomfortable over time due to continued bone loss, yet the same bone loss prevents them from obtaining dental implants, a superior tooth replacement system to dentures.
But there may be a solution to this dilemma that combines the stability of implants with a removable denture. A set of smaller diameter implants — “mini-implants” — can support a removable denture with less bone than required by a conventional implant.
Like all living tissue, bone has a life cycle: after a period of growth, the older bone dissolves and is absorbed by the body, a process known as resorption. The forces generated when we bite or chew are transmitted by the teeth to the jawbones, which stimulates new bone formation to replace the resorbed bone. When the teeth are lost, however, the stimulation is lost too; without it, resorption will eventually outpace bone growth and repair, causing the bone mass to shrink.
Removable dentures also can’t supply the missing stimulation — bone loss continues as if the dentures weren’t there; and due to the compressive forces of a denture, bone loss accelerates. As the jawbone structure used to originally form the denture’s fit eventually shrinks, the denture becomes loose and difficult to wear. It’s possible to adjust to the new jaw contours by relining the dentures with new material or creating a new set of dentures that match the current bone mass. Without adequate bone, fixed crowns or bridges anchored by conventional implants may also be out of the picture.
On the other hand, mini-implants with their smaller diameter need less bone than the traditional implant. A few strategically placed within the jaw are strong and stable enough to support a removable denture. One other advantage: these mini-implants can be installed in one visit with local anesthesia and usually without the need for incisions or stitches.
If you would like more information on dentures supported by mini-implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The ‘Great’ Mini-Implant.”
Life becomes much harder after you've lost most or all of your teeth. Luckily, dentures restore your smile and your ability to eat easily. Our Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler, shares a few denture benefits you'll want to think about when you consider tooth restoration options.
Dentures give you back your smile
It's quite a shock to lose a significant amount of teeth. In fact, you may not even recognize your own reflection at first after your teeth have been extracted. Like it or not, society places a high value on the appearance of your teeth. When you replace your lost teeth with dentures, you just might find it's easier to navigate social and business situations. More importantly, dentures help you feel good about the way you look again. Although your grandparents' dentures may have looked very artificial, today's dentures are designed to look completely natural. Most people won't even know that you're wearing dentures unless you tell them.
Dentures help keep you healthy
Eating is a challenge when you don't have teeth. Although you can certainly swallow soft foods, eating a soft diet isn't always particularly appetizing or nutritious. Healthy diets rely on a mixture of whole grains, legumes, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. When you don't receive needed vitamins and nutrients from foods, your health may begin to suffer. Dentures restore your ability to eat the foods you need to stay healthy. You may not be able to eat very hard foods with dentures, but you'll find that dentures allow you to eat nearly anything you want.
Dentures help you communicate
When your teeth are gone, it's hard to pronounce words clearly. Holding conversations with other people can become very frustrating as you struggle to make yourself understood. Unfortunately, your speech problem can be more than just an inconvenience. Dentures restore your ability to speak clearly.
Restore your smile with dentures. Call our Lansing, MI, dentist, Dr. Scott-Hetchler, at (517) 487-6333 to schedule an appointment.
Dentures can truly give you something to smile about whether you have one or many missing teeth. If filling in your gaps is on the top of your priority list, dentures could be just what you need. However, understanding the types of dentures available from your Lansing, MI dentist plays an important role in determining which style is best for you. Learn more about dentures with Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler.
The Benefits of Dentures
Dentures fill in your smile, boost your confidence, and allow you to chew the foods you love. Before dentures, you may have found chewing or eating difficult. This, in turn, can cause digestive problems from food being improperly broken down by the teeth, thus improperly broken down by the stomach. Additionally, this problem with eating could cause you to eat only soft foods like applesauce or yogurt, which do not contain all of the nutrients required for a healthy diet.
Types of Dentures Available in Lansing, MI
- Full Dentures: Full dentures replace an entire arch of teeth. If you are missing all of your teeth, a set of full dentures replaces both the top and bottom arch.
- Partial Dentures: Patients who have some healthy teeth left behind may find partial dentures the most beneficial. The design of the denture leaves openings for these healthy teeth to slide through, holding the denture in place and giving the teeth the stimulation they require to remain healthy.
- Immediate Dentures: If a patient has remaining teeth that are not healthy, they may require extraction before wearing their denture. Patients wear an immediate denture directly after their extraction.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: Implant-supported dentures use dental implants to anchor the denture permanently in place. While your dentist can remove the denture to adjust it, it remains in your mouth at all times, held in place by the implants.
If you think dentures could benefit you, your dentist can help fill in your smile for good. For more information on dentures or which type is best for you, please contact Dr. Scott-Hetchler in Lansing, MI. Call (517) 487-6333 to schedule your appointment for a denture consultation today!
Whether the person sitting in the dentist's chair is a 20 year old college student, or an 82 year old great grandfather, cosmetic dentistry has made it possible for anyone to have a perfect smile, regardless of past dental problems. Yet even with abundant access to oral healthcare, many people let fear of the dentist, embarrassment, and myths about common dental practices and procedures get in the way of fixing their smile and replacing missing teeth.
The Truth About Dentures
One of the biggest myths about dentistry is that tooth loss - and by extension dentures - are problems that exclusively affect the elderly. Periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss, can (and often does) also affect younger adults. Poor oral hygiene habits, as well as genetics, can lead to gum disease and tooth loss well before retirement age. Trauma and accidents also cause tooth loss at any age.
In addition to the cosmetic considerations (missing teeth can not only cause embarrassment and self esteem problems, they can also cause the skin around the mouth to sag and become hollow), they can also lead to loss of healthy bone tissue in the jaw.
Benefits of Cosmetic Dentures
Dentures have come a long way since the time of America's first president and most famous founding father and dental patient, George Washington (yes he did have them, and no they were not made out of wood). There are several types of dentures, all of which are designed for a secure fit, and to match the cosmetic appearance of natural teeth.
Depending on the extent of tooth loss and the individual needs of each patient, Lansing dentist Dr. Holly A. Scott-Hetchler will recommend:
- Complete dentures
- Partial dentures
- Implant-supported denture
- Immediate dentures
- Soft liners
Many people state shame or embarrassment over missing teeth and other dental problems as a major factor in their overall self image and confidence, which can negatively impact everything from career success to social and personal relationships. Cosmetic dentures can help to improve a person's overall quality of life by restoring their natural smile.
To learn more about dentures and comprehensive dental care in Lansing, contact Holly A. Scott-Hetchler DDS, PC at (517) 487-6333 to schedule a consultation today!
Dentures, removable restorations for missing teeth and gum tissue, can take a number of different forms, but are usually of two different types: complete and partial. A complete denture replaces all the teeth in a given arch. A removable partial denture (RPD), on the other hand, replaces several missing teeth while using the remaining teeth as support.
A common type of RPD formed of plastic is known as a “flipper” because it’s lightweight enough to be “flipped out” or moved around with the tongue. They serve an important purpose as a temporary appliance for use between periodontal treatment, implant placement and similar treatments before obtaining a more permanent restoration. In fact, they’re often referred to as “transitional” RPDs because they’re not designed for permanent tooth replacement.
Because of their low cost relative to other restorations, however, they often become the permanent choice for many people. While a well-constructed, properly fitting RPD in a healthy mouth can be an affordable alternative for people on modest budgets, their long-term use may increase the risk of dental disease and accelerated bone loss. Decades of research verify that people who permanently wear RPDs encounter more tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease than non-wearers.
This is because the attachment points of a plastic RPD to remaining teeth increases bacterial growth, which can cause both tooth decay and gum disease. This doesn’t only endanger the survival of the remaining teeth, it can lead to bone loss that will affect the RPD’s fit.
While the better course is to consider RPDs as a stepping stone to dental implants or a fixed bridge, there’s an intermediary RPD constructed of cast vitallium or gold alloy that could be considered a permanent choice. These are even lighter weight than plastic and less obtrusive in their attachments in the mouth, which can reduce plaque stagnation and promote a better oral environment.
Regardless of your choice in dentures, it’s always important to maintain good consistent oral hygiene with daily brushing and flossing and semi-annual professional cleanings and checkups. Keeping a healthy mouth will help reduce your risk of dental disease and increase your satisfaction with your denture of choice.
If you would like more information on RPDs and other denture restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures.”