Millions of Americans suffer from lost teeth. Not only can this lead to a host of dental health problems, including an increased risk of periodontal disease, but it also impedes your ability to eat and chew as normal. Worst of all, it can rob you of your confident smile. Dentures represent a common way to replace lost teeth and restore your vibrant smile. Learn more about getting dentures in Mesa, AZ from Snow Family Dentistry.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are artificial teeth and gums, made to fit the contours of your mouth and to replace any teeth or gum tissue that you have lost. Dentures are custom-made by your dentist and may be secured in your mouth with bonding or with clasps.
Dentures represent a more comprehensive solution than a single crown or bridge. In fact, dentures may be used to replace an entire arch of your teeth or even all the teeth in your mouth. Dentures are also noteworthy for being removable, allowing you to clean and maintain them as needed. This sets them apart from implants, which are a more permanent solution.
Why Would I Need Dentures? Am I a Candidate?
You may be a good candidate to get dentures if you are missing multiple teeth, or if you are missing all of the teeth on your upper or lower jaw. Generally, dentures are best for patients who retain plenty of healthy gum tissue and underlying jawbone.
Denture technology has advanced considerably in recent years, and today’s dentures are both more aesthetically pleasing and more secure than ever before. Dentures can be a good option for anyone looking to replace teeth that have become badly damaged or lost completely.
The Benefits of Dentures
At Snow Family Dentistry, we are always happy to see patients re-establish a cheerful, healthy smile and a robust sense of self-confidence. Some patients achieve this through bridges or through implants, but for others, dentures are the optimal solution.
Dentures provide many benefits, including the following:
- Dentures can offer a completely natural-looking smile, restoring any lost or damaged teeth.
- Dentures help support facial muscles, avoiding the hollowed cheeks that sometimes accompany tooth loss.
- Dentures give you the ability to speak as normal, and to eat foods you would otherwise be unable to enjoy.
- Dentures can be conveniently removed so you can clean them thoroughly.
- Dentures can be securely placed on the jaw, allowing you to feel totally confident as you wear your dentures.
Types of Dentures to Consider – Your Options
For those who are thinking about dentures, there are two main types to consider: Complete dentures and partial. Complete dentures are generally recommended for patients who need all of their teeth replaced, while partial dentures are a better fit for those who only need some of their teeth replaced. During your consultation, Dr. Snow will fill you in on everything you need to know about choosing the right denture type.
Complete dentures come in two varieties: conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures replace all of the teeth in your mouth and are generally placed following the extraction of any remaining teeth. Following the extraction, you will need to give the gum tissue eight to 12 weeks to heal before the dentures can be placed.
By contrast, immediate dentures may be placed as soon as the teeth are extracted. The advantage is that you do not have to go without teeth and can have your smile fully replaced in a single visit. With that said, the gum tissue tends to shrink with time, which means that those who get immediate dentures may require additional visits to adjust their dentures.
Partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a pink or clear-colored base. Sometimes, there is a metal framework attached to the denture, which helps hold it in place once it is inside the mouth. Partial dentures are used when some of the natural teeth remain intact; not only does the partial denture restore the aesthetics and functionality of your teeth, but it prevents any natural teeth from becoming crooked or further decayed.
Often, partial dentures can be clasped to surrounding teeth or crowns, which results in a more natural look and more of a snug, secure fit within the mouth.
Meet Dr. Snow
Dr. Dallin Snow was born and raised in Mesa, AZ. He has been practicing dentistry in the area since 2014. In that time, he has developed a reputation for treating patients with kindness and compassion, and for always answering questions and explaining treatments. Dr. Snow is married to Lindsey, and together they have four children. If you have questions about dentures, Dr. Snow would love to meet with you and provide any information you need.
Are Dentures Uncomfortable?
One of the most common questions we get about dentures is if they cause discomfort. Thankfully, denture technology has advanced to the point that these appliances can fit snugly and securely, and without causing any discomfort in the mouth. Most patients say that once their dentures are in place, they both look and feel just like natural teeth.
How Long Will It Take My Mouth to Get Used to Dentures?
The one time when your dentures may cause some minor discomfort is when they are first put into place. This is because the gum tissue needs some time to get accustomed to contact with the base of the dentures; until this happens, there may be some mild irritation. The duration of this irritation can vary from patient to patient, but we generally tell folks who come to Snow Family Dentistry to allow about 30 days for their gums to get used to the dentures.
Will They Look Like Real Teeth?
At Snow Family Dentistry, our goal with denture patients is to help them enjoy beautiful, vibrant smiles, and to be completely confident that their artificial teeth look “real.” Most of our patients say they are very satisfied with how closely their custom-made dentures resemble the look of their natural teeth.
Are Dentures Covered by My Insurance?
Understandably, many patients have questions about the cost of getting dentures. Fortunately, those who have dental insurance should get some assistance, as dentures are considered to be medically necessary for remedying tooth loss. In fact, most insurance companies regard dentures as a major procedure, which means they may cover a significant portion of the cost. Your insurance company may cover as much as 50 percent of your total cost, though this amount may vary depending on the nature of your insurance policy.
During your initial consultation, we are happy to talk with you further about insurance coverage and other financing considerations.
Pros and Cons of Getting Dentures
It is critical not to let significant dental problems, including lost teeth, go unaddressed. Getting dentures is an effective way to avoid further complications, which can include crowding or spacing issues with any remaining teeth, as well as a heightened risk of periodontal disease.
A potential downside is that dentures may not be a permanent solution; dentures often wear down over time and may need to be replaced. Additionally, the process of getting dentures can sometimes be lengthy, requiring multiple visits to the dentist.
Dentures vs. Dental Implants
In thinking about getting dentures, it is helpful to compare them with similar treatments, including dental implants.
A dental implant is essentially an artificial root, typically made of metal and inserted into the jawbone. Once the implant is securely in place, artificial teeth (crowns) may be attached. Like dentures, implants can be used to replace some or all of your teeth, depending on the circumstance.
Dental implants require there to be some bone volume left, as the implants are attached directly to the bone; without bone volume, it may be necessary to either have a bone graft or instead just opt for dentures. Implants also tend to be more expensive, and they take longer to make, but the plus side is that they are truly permanent; implants should last a lifetime and be completely indistinguishable from your natural teeth, both in appearance and in functionality.
During your consultation, we are happy to talk with you further about the pros and cons of choosing either dentures or dental implants, both of which we offer here at Snow Family Dentistry.
Are There Any Other Alternatives?
If you are not sure whether dentures are for you, and wish to explore other alternatives, the best step is to join us for a consultation at Snow Family Dentistry. One option to consider is getting a dental bridge, which can be a good way to replace multiple teeth that have become damaged or lost. Bridges can either cover or completely replace unhealthy teeth, and if you only need two or three teeth replaced, a bridge is probably a better option than dentures.
How Much Do Dentures Cost?
The cost of dentures can vary from patient to patient, depending on a number of factors (including the type of dentures you are getting and the number of teeth you need replaced). The best way to determine the cost of your dentures is to join us for a consultation, where we can offer a more personalized estimate.
In thinking about the cost of dentures, keep in mind that your insurance will likely provide some assistance. Also, Snow Family Dentistry wants premium dental care to be accessible to everyone, and to that end, we are pleased to offer flexible financing options.
What to Expect When Getting Dentures: The Process
Each patient’s denture experience is unique, and the process may look a little different from one patient to the next. For most patients, the process of getting fitted for dentures will take multiple visits, spread over a few weeks. We are happy to walk you through each step of the denture process.
How Long Does the Denture Process Take from Start to Finish?
On average, patients will need to make three to five visits to our practice, spread over three to six weeks, before their dentures are in place. This process may be longer for those who need a number of their teeth extracted. In total, it can take two or three months for you to complete the process and feel totally comfortable with your new dentures.
The dentures process begins with a simple dental exam. This allows Dr. Snow to get a good sense of your oral health and hygiene. During the examination, we can pinpoint the number of teeth that need to be replaced and also identify any teeth that need to be extracted before the dentures can be placed. Additionally, the examination allows us to identify any tooth or gum disease that needs to be addressed before the dentures can be put into place.
In some instances, patients may have a few teeth that are badly damaged and beyond saving. These teeth may need to be extracted, after which the gums need some time to heal. Routine dental procedures may also be needed to combat periodontal issues that are identified during the initial examination.
Making the Dentures
Each set of dentures is custom-made, which helps ensure that they fit your mouth exactly. In order to get the dentures just right, we may make a 3-D image of your mouth, take photographs, or create a mold. All of this information is used by the dental lab to verify that your dentures meet the specifications.
Fitting the Dentures
Once the dentures have been made, we will invite you back to Snow Family Dentistry to have them placed, guaranteeing that they fit snugly and comfortably. During this appointment, we will make certain you can use your dentures without any pain or discomfort. We will also make any necessary adjustments to the dentures.
Adapting to the Dentures
It may take a few days to adjust to eating or speaking with your dentures. In fact, some patients need up to 30 days for their mouths to acclimate to the dentures. This is a normal part of the process. If you have any concerns, you are always welcome to contact Snow Family Dentistry.
After Dentures are Placed
After you get your dentures, you may need a little time to become familiar with using your dentures and for caring for them properly. It is important to know what you can and cannot eat, as well as what steps you can take to preserve the lifespan of your dentures.
What Can I Eat with My Dentures?
Getting dentures may require you to make some dietary changes. For example, most denture wearers avoid popcorn, and other foods where jagged or coarse bits can get lodged between teeth. Chewing gum is acceptable, though we highly recommend making it sugar-free. Hard, crunchy snacks, as well as sticky candies, are generally discouraged. The former can cause the dentures to detach, while the latter leaves a surgery residue on the dentures that can be hard to get off.
How Do I Clean My Dentures?
There are a few steps that denture wearers can take to keep their dentures clean. One is to remove them and soak them in a denture cleaner following meals. With the dentures removed, use a toothbrush or soft cloth to clean your gums and the inside of your cheeks. It is also best to brush the dentures at least once a day, usually right after they soak. Use a soft-bristled brush as you do this.
How Long Will My Dentures Last Me?
Over time, dentures can take on wear and tear. Eventually, they will need to be replaced. Most patients get seven to ten years out of their dentures, but your mileage may vary depending on how well you take care of those dentures. Handling them carefully, avoiding harmful foods, and cleaning your dentures consistently can help extend their lifespan. Additionally, routine dental appointments with Dr. Snow will provide you with a good sense of how your dentures are faring and whether they are almost due for replacement.
Other Things to Know After Getting Dentures
For the first couple of weeks after you get your dentures, you may notice that there is more saliva in your mouth than usual. This is common and should subside once your mouth gets used to the dentures.
Also, keep in mind that it may take a few weeks to get used to chewing with your dentures. This is purely a matter of practice. It is usually best to start with softer foods and work your way toward a more varied diet.
It may also require some practice before you are able to speak normally, as your tongue will need to get used to new positions to make different sounds. A good way to practice this, and to find your voice again quickly, is to read out loud to yourself.
Are Dentures Really the Right Choice for Me?
Tooth loss happens for many different reasons, and it is always in your best interest to address the problem sooner rather than later. For those missing many teeth, the best solution may be to get either a complete or partial set of dentures. This option can restore your smile and allow you to live your life as normal, while also ensuring that you avert more serious dental problems. We are pleased to offer denture consultations to patients at Snow Family Dentistry.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Snow at Snow Family Dentistry
If you are ready to regain your full, vibrant smile, or if you simply have questions about whether or not dentures are right for you, we welcome you to join us in our relaxed, comfortable practice.
Make an appointment with Dr. Snow by contacting Snow Family Dentistry directly. We hope to hear from you soon.