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Dental Implants: An Alternative to Dentures and Bridges

Dental Implants: An Alternative to Dentures and Bridges

In the past, replacing lost teeth meant getting dentures or bridges. Even though these offered the best way at the time to restore your mouth’s appearance and function, technology has improved through the development of dental implants. The main drawbacks of bridges and dentures is that they do not feel or look just like real teeth, and it is difficult to chew tough foods. The advantage of implants is that they look and perform so well that you can’t even tell they are not your natural teeth.

Made from titanium, dental implants are screws that are surgically placed directly into your jawbone. They are light and malleable, but durable and strong. The titanium screws are implanted into your jawbone and given time to heal. Once healing is complete, one or multiple crowns are placed on top of the implant to recreate your missing teeth. One implant can hold more than one screw, so it is possible to attach as many crowns as needed to replace your missing teeth.

Dental implants look so much like real teeth that others won’t even be able to tell that you have any artificial teeth. You might even forget about it yourself, as they feel real as well. Since the implants are securely placed in your jaw, they are as strong as real teeth and you are able to chew and bite anything that you would normally eat. Another great thing about implants is that they don’t impact any of your adjacent healthy teeth. While bridges and dentures can sometimes damage neighboring teeth because those teeth are necessary for support, implants avoid this problem. You are left with a fully restored and comfortable smile.

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Options for Complete Dentures

Options for Complete Dentures

Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.

Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.

Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.

For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.

Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.

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Warning Signs Dentures May be in Your Future

Warning Signs Dentures May be in Your Future

You may expect you won’t need dentures because you take good care of your teeth. However, dentures are more prevalent than you may think. The number of adults in the United States needing dentures is expected to increase from 33 million in 1991 to 37 million in 2020. If you are wondering how likely you are to keep your teeth, here are some warning signs that may indicate dentures are in your future.

  • You don’t visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and routine cleaning. Gum disease and tooth decay are the leading causes of tooth loss; therefore, it is critical to be proactive with dental care to prevent problems that could cause the need for extraction.
  • You have gums that are swollen, tender, red, or bleeding which are indications of periodontal disease. Left untreated, gum disease is the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
  • Your teeth have become loose, are shifting, or have developed wider gaps between them that can indicate bone loss from gum disease.
  • You have severe tooth pain that could be a sign that decay has progressed and is attacking the nerve at the center of the tooth. Once tooth decay has advanced, it is more likely your tooth will need to be removed.
  • You are already missing several of your teeth. If you are missing more than two teeth, it is important to replace them with some sort of prosthesis to keep pressure off of your remaining teeth.
  • It is difficult for you to eat hard candy or chewy foods, which may indicate a cracked tooth, cavities, or gum disease.
  • If you suffer from recurring stomach aches or indigestion, it may be a sign of dental problems. When you can’t chew properly, you end up swallowing larger pieces of food which is hard on your digestion.

Tooth loss does not happen overnight. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, you may be able to avoid or delay the need for dentures in your future.

We treat patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area

What you Need to Know about Permanent Dentures

What you Need to Know about Permanent Dentures

Dentures have been around a long time as a way to restore smiles plagued by missing teeth. They provide a solution for people who want to smile, talk, and eat as normally as possible. Unfortunately, removable dentures aren’t without issues. They can become loose or shift, making it uncomfortable to eat and talk. Messy denture adhesives are bothersome and ineffective for some patients. Therefore, advancements in dental technology have developed the option of permanent dentures.

What are permanent dentures?

Permanent, or fixed, dentures are suitable for patients missing one, two, or more teeth. The appliance is made up of a row of crowns or artificial teeth, which are connected together and the framework is supported by dental implants. The implants act like natural tooth roots, and the permanent dentures create a bite similar to natural teeth.

What are the benefits?

Fixed dentures definitely offers some advantages to removable ones. The need for messy adhesives is eliminated, and you don’t have to worry about loose or ill-fitting dentures affecting you. The force of your bite is also improved, so you can eat all kinds of foods without concern. Because a permanent upper denture doesn’t cover the roof of your mouth, your ability to taste and enjoy food is not sacrificed. This kind of denture stays in place for normal oral hygiene, so there are no special cleaning or soaking requirements. If properly maintained, permanent dentures can last for many years or even a lifetime.

Are there any disadvantages?

Permanent dentures are susceptible to oral problems like infection or inflammation because they are not removable. Also, it is possible that the crowns may require replacement in 10 to 15 years.

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Dentures: Frequently Asked Questions

Dentures: Frequently Asked Questions

Dentures have improved dramatically over the past several years. Whether it’s your first set of dentures or your fifth set, you probably have questions. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about dentures:

  • Will dentures change how I look? Today’s dentures are personalized to your mouth, making their appearance more natural than ever. Dentures also support your cheeks and lips, making you look years younger.
  • Will dentures change how I feel? After a period of adjustment, dentures should make you feel more confident than ever.
  • Will dentures alter my speech? While speaking may be difficult initially, with practice, your speech should quickly return to normal. Practicing reading and counting out loud will help to speed up the adjustment.
  • Will dentures affect how I eat? Eating may take some practice, and you should start with a soft food diet while you adjust to the differences between eating with your natural teeth and dentures. Take small bites and try to chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time. Avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods that can damage your dentures.
  • How do I care for my dentures? Clean dentures daily, brushing immediately after every meal if possible. Use a soft brush and gentle cleanser, taking care to avoid hard abrasives. Be careful when they are out of your mouth not to drop them or clean them on hard surfaces.
  • Once I have dentures, will I still need to see the dentist? Regular dental examinations and professional denture cleanings are vital to maintaining your oral health. Have your dentist periodically check the fit of your dentures to ensure they are comfortable and last for as long as possible.
  • When will I need to replace my dentures? With care, dentures typically last 5-10 years. Because your mouth continues to change shape as you age and denture teeth wear down, you should have them checked yearly to avoid any significant problems.

Consult with your dental professional about any additional questions or concerns you may have about your future with dentures and your potential for a bright, new smile.

We treat patients from Baltimore and the surrounding area

Enjoy Food Again With Hybrid Dentures

Enjoy Food Again With Hybrid Dentures

If you are currently a denture wearer, you know that dentures can be problematic when it comes to eating a wide variety of foods, especially those foods with a very crunchy or chewy texture. Dentures can click or move when you are eating, or food debris can collect underneath, leading to poor fit and irritation of the soft palate and gums. Over time, if your dentures aren’t properly cleaned, this can lead to an odor in the dentures that causes bad breath for the wearer.

Issues with stability and retention of standard dentures mean that many wearers have food restrictions, including healthful and fresh foods they previously enjoyed with their healthy natural teeth. Some of the most nutritious foods available are problematic for denture wearers, making chewing difficult. Because so much of the digestion process begins in the mouth with the mastication of food, poorly chewed food can cause digestion difficulties and eventually be a factor in overall poor health.

Standard dentures can also affect the enjoyment of eating the foods that are allowed. They can be bulky, especially on the roof of the mouth, taking away a large part of savoring the texture and flavor of foods.

Hybrid dentures address all of these issues. They are crafted so that the roof of the mouth remains completely open and uncovered. Texture and flavor are enhanced over typical dentures. Hybrid dentures are affixed firmly with four or more dental implants functioning as anchors. These denture anchors are extremely secure and stable, giving the wearer the confidence to eat, drink, and speak.

Talk to your dentist today to see if hybrid dentures can improve your life. Experience the positive effects of hybrid dentures as your put your best smile forward with confidence that it looks and functions virtually identically to your natural teeth and gums.

Schedule your appointment at our Baltimore dental office