Posts for: September, 2015
Did you know that 35 million Americans have lost all their teeth due to accident, gum disease or tooth decay? Also, according to the American College of Prosthodontics, 90 percent of that 35 million people wear dentures. That's a lot of false teeth, and a lot of questions and concern about these prosthetics.
At Total Dental Care, Drs. Stephen E. Dickey and Kevin Conroy care about the looks and health of their denture patients and of those contemplating getting dentures. They have compiled a series of the most frequently asked questions about these oral appliances. The doctors want their Pekin patients fully informed going into the denture procedure, and to live healthy and comfortable with dentures.
FAQs about Dentures
What kind of dentures are there?
Dentures come in all shapes and sizes depending on patient need and preference. Basically, there are 2 kinds of dentures: partial and complete.
Partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth. Made of lifelike acrylic and mounted on a light metal frame, a "partial" rests on existing gum tissue and is attached to existing teeth with metal clasps.
Complete dentures replace an entire arch of teeth - top, bottom or both. As with partial dentures, complete dentures are customized according to dental impressions. They fit snugly over the bone and gums. Conventional dentures are held in place by suction. Implant-supported dentures - removable or fixed - are held in place by titanium implant devices.
Will my dentures fit correctly?
The staff at Total Dental Care in Pekin ensures dentures fit correctly. When fabricated, the dental technician carefully follows the doctor's instructions and the dental impressions in order to provide a precise fit. Over time, denture patients can experience some slippage due to bone and gum recession or other issues. Then, the dentists reline or recreate the appliances.
How do I keep my dentures clean?
Brush with a paste approved by the American Dental Association. The ADA seal assures the wearer of a quality product that will not scratch denture materials. Overnight soaks leave dentures sparkling and fresh, eliminating bacteria and odors. Always rinse dentures with warm water after eating.
Will my face look better with dentures?
Dentures restore youthful appearance, correcting bite height and eliminating the facial sag and wrinkling common to people missing several or all of their teeth.
How long do they last?
With good care, dentures last 7 to 10 years and beyond.
Since I am wearing false teeth, do I still have to see the dentist?
Please see Doctor Dickey or Conroy for your semi-annual check-up. He will assess your remaining teeth for decay and look for signs of gum disease, oral cancer and any sore spots or pressure points associated with your dentures.
If you have more questions, contact Total Dental Care. The staff loves patient teaching and will happily answer your queries. Call (309) 347-7055.
You probably can’t remember a time without your teeth — and can’t imagine life without them. But now it’s a reality: one by one your teeth have become casualties in a long-standing war with dental disease until now they’re all lost.
Total tooth loss (edentulism) can be difficult in more ways than the loss of function — it can be psychologically traumatic as you must now transition from natural teeth to dentures or other restorations. To add to the stress, you probably won’t be able to obtain your permanent restoration immediately because the extraction sites must heal.
To help you with this transition and provide a means for you to have teeth during the healing period, we may fit you with an appliance known as an immediate denture. With these temporary teeth replacements, you can maintain your smile appearance, chew food and speak unimpaired.
Initially, immediate dentures should fit well, but over time your gums will tend to shrink as they heal. This can loosen the dentures’ fit and make them uncomfortable to wear. If the healing process is still ongoing and you still need to wear the immediate dentures, they can be relined with more denture material to fine-tune the fit.
At some point, though, we must consider creating a new, permanent set of dentures. When your mouth is fully healed, we can make a more accurate impression that we can then use to construct your new set. There are also other options, such as using dental implants to support a denture or a fixed bridge. This option will only be possible, however, if you have sufficient bone available to fully support it, which we might also be able to augment with grafting.
Immediate dentures serve a worthwhile purpose, but only for a temporary period. We’ll be happy to discuss all your options with you to help you find the right permanent solution that fits both your mouth’s condition and your financial ability.
If you would like more information on transitioning to teeth replacement, 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 “Immediate Dentures.”
As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.
What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.
For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.
Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.
Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.
So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”