The earliest examples of dental prosthetics are hand-crafted dentures dating back to the times of ancient civilizations. Cultures around the world have explored dentures, in many cases painstakingly carving them from bone or wood.
Luckily, the field of dentistry didn’t stay that way. We still have dentures, today, but they are much more sophisticated than the relics of the past.
At Mint Dental Alaska, we have a variety of options for anyone looking for dentures in Anchorage. As a patient, you can choose between the different types of dentures as well as other tooth prosthetic options.
Types of Dentures
Dentures generally fall into one of three different types, complete or partial or temporary. Both complete and partial dentures have a few different variations that we’ll cover. Temporary dentures are the last form and are a great option in emergencies.
The first type of denture is the one you typically think about when you think about false teeth. Complete dentures are entire sets of false teeth that can be fitted over the gums when a patient has lost all his or her teeth. Dentures are typically made from an acrylic-type material that is both strong enough to withstand the pressure of chewing but flexible enough to do so without harming the gums underneath.
There are actually two types of complete dentures, differing the way the treatment proceeds. The dentures that you probably think of when you hear the word, conventional dentures or false teeth, require a wait of 8-12 weeks after you lose your teeth to be placed and permanently fixed.
There are two reasons for this. First, the dentist needs time to order and ensure the dentures will fit your month. To make sure the fit is secure, you need to wait for your gum tissue to completely heal before your mouth is ready for the denture.
Many don’t want to wait the 8-12 weeks for permanent dentures, so there is an option for immediate dentures. These dentures are created beforehand and can be worn immediately after a tooth or teeth are extracted.
Although convenient, immediate dentures have the disadvantage of requiring more adjustments. The shape of a person’s jaw and mouth changes after losing teeth, and immediate dentures aren’t able to accommodate this change like conventional dentures. As a result, immediate dentures are typically treated as temporary solutions that help in the transition period between losing the teeth and getting a conventional denture.
When considering a complete denture, or after the loss of multiple teeth, schedule a consultation with Mint Dental to explore both options and find the right fit for you.
If you are only missing a few teeth than complete dentures are probably not available to you. A solution you may want to consider is partial dentures. These function similarly to several cosmetic dental procedures and dental bridges except for the fact they aren’t permanently fixed in your mouth.
Partial dentures generally resemble an incomplete full denture. The finished piece consists of the prosthetics for the missing teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored base.
Removable partial dentures often have small metal wires that resemble clasps that help attach the denture to the nearby teeth, holding the system in place. Typically, a partial denture blends in perfectly and is undetectable by an outside observer.
Partial dentures can be fixed, or permanent, as well. These partial dentures are created from by “bridging” the gap with a prosthetic that is attached via dental crowns placed on the adjacent teeth.
The result is cemented in place and is a more permanent solution than removable partial dentures. At Mint Dental, we have experience working with both removable and fixed partial dentures. For more information on this type of denture, visit our page on Dental Bridges.
The last form of dentures is the temporary type. As the name suggests, these are not meant to be a long-term solution for missing teeth. While these dentures can be used for a few months, we will normally only fit them after a tooth is knocked out in an accident or sports injury.
At the time of fitting for a temporary denture we will explain your options for permanent solutions to fit any budget.
Denture Care Instructions
Both complete and partial dentures are meant to be long term oral health solutions. Because of this, they require daily care to ensure they last and do not develop harmful bacterial growths.
To help you care for your dentures, we’ve come up with 4 simple rules for you to follow to care for your dentures:
Denture Care Instructions
- You will still need to brush your dentures on a daily basis. Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush on them and rinse your mouth out after each meal to avoid any food buildup. Also, make sure you are brushing your tongue and gums after removing the dentures. This helps make sure no food or bacteria can form outside of your dentures.
- Dentures require a special cleanser that is not as harsh as normal toothpastes or mouthwashes. Ask your dentist or visit the American Dental Association for their list of approved products.
- Store your dentures in a safe, moist cleaning solution designed for this type product. Dentures can crack and break if not soaked in between uses.
- Take extreme caution when handling your dentures. Place a pad, towel, or other soft surface under you when placing or removing them. This helps avoid breaking dentures if you happen to drop them on the counter top.
Cost of Dentures
As with so many dental procedures, the cost of dentures varies greatly depending on the type, material, and timeline of the procedure to place them. With prices varying anywhere from $300 to $5000 dollars for a complete set of heat-cured dentures, its important you consult with your dentist and explore all your options.
Many dental insurance providers do include some “restorative coverage”, which in many cases will cover up to 50% of a denture procedure.
More Questions about Dentures?
Whether you’re missing a few teeth, a whole set, we at Mint Dental Alaska are always happy to talk to you about whether you need dentures. If you’re exploring options to replace currently missing teeth, we’d be happy to evaluate your case and prescribe treatments accordingly.
We’d love to talk to you about the services we provide as well for your complete oral health. Just give us a call at (907) 646-8672 or visit our website at mintdentalak.com to set up an appointment today!