If you’re missing a tooth due to accident or tooth extraction, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay, gum disease, or similar dental health problems. But what if you’re missing more than one? The risk is that much higher. Dental bridges and implants are great ways to fill in a space, but if you have health issues with your jaw or gums, dentures might be a better option.
Modern technology has made great strides in dentistry, such as lasers and CEREC dental crowns. But it’s a mistake to ignore tried-and-true technologies that work just because they’re not all flashy and new. That’s why we offer removable full dentures at our Medford, OR office. These are designed to replace a whole arch of teeth. They can even replace all of your teeth! We use healthy-looking, lifelike artificial teeth and bond them to a gum-colored mold. With a special nontoxic adhesive, these fit into the empty space on your gum and allow you to look, talk, and eat like normal.
If you are missing only a few teeth, there’s no need for the traditional full set of dentures. Instead, we can craft partial dentures for you. As with full dentures, partials are artificial teeth set in a gum-colored mold. But they are much smaller and connect to the neighboring healthy teeth with clasps, allowing you to easily take them out and put them back in. This also means partials are as easy to clean and care for as full dentures.
First of all, a denture is where you have teeth set in plastic, it's acrylic. We try to recreate the lost position of teeth and gum tissue. Most patients tolerate an upper denture, I'd say 80% of the time they tolerate an upper denture okay. On the occasion that somebody has a gagging problem, they can't deal with the fact that the roof of the mouth is covered by the denture, then that creates a lot of problems for them.
We can basically help them by creating implants or placing implants in key positions in their jawbone that allows us to support an upper denture, keeping the roof of the mouth open so that their tongue doesn't feel constricted, the gag reflex isn't there. Implant supported dentures can be removable or they can be screwed and fixed in place.
The same can happen with the lower dentures. If there's not enough bone for the denture to be supported by, then we can, again, talk about using implants, to either support the denture in the removable fashion or physically screw the denture to the implants to where it's not removable.
Sometimes, you would rather have something stronger and more secure than removable dentures. If you are worried that dentures will slip or fall out, Dr. Vareldzis can provide implant-retained and implant-supported dentures. Both use dental implants to hold the dentures securely where they belong. Implant-retained use a series of balls to connect to the dentures, and implant-supported uses a bar instead. Both come as partial dentures, and Dr. Vareldzis especially recommends implant-supported partials over fixed bridges because they are more affordable and do not put additional stress on the nearby teeth.
Some dentures and dental bridges take time to be made. While these are being crafted to fit exactly in your mouth, you may benefit from temporary dentures. As the name implies, these are dentures that fill in the empty space only until something more permanent can be created and placed. This means you don’t have to endure the embarrassing and unhealthy gap while you wait to get the necessary fixtures made.
There’s a good reason dentures have been around for so long: they work. If you have a large gap in your smile or are missing several teeth, dentures are a great option to get you back to smiling and eating the food you want. Call us today at 541-779-4196 or 541-773-4435 or use our convenient online form to schedule your next appointment or speak with a member of our dental team.
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