Dentures assist people in continuing to smile and eat normally after they’ve lost one or more of their natural teeth. They are natural-looking, removable appliances used to replace missing teeth. Complete or full dentures are used when a patient is missing all of his or her teeth, whereas, partial dentures are used to replace one or a few missing teeth. Other options exist for patients who have had tooth loss. Dental implants are available for those who still have a solid jaw able to support the implants and many times dental implants can aid in supporting a denture.
A patient must wait for his or her gums to heal prior to getting traditional dentures. The healing process takes anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. Immediate dentures are used following extraction, but because the gums shrink and remodel during the healing process, they're not always the best long-term option and must be relined or remade after healing is complete.
The first step entails the dentist making impressions of the jaw and then taking precise measurements. He or she, for example, needs to know how much space is between each one of the patient's jaws so that the size of the dentures matches the patient's mouth. The dentist will then create other models, and then the patient may try the dentures on. The dentist will determine the shape, color, and fit at this stage. The mold is then sent out and the denture is fabricated.
Initially, dentures may feel a bit foreign in the mouth. It takes the patient a little bit of time to get accustomed to holding the dentures in place with his or her muscles and tongue. It may take some time to get used to eating and speaking with dentures, as well. Certain words may be difficult for a person to say at first, but with practice, the patient should be able to speak as he or she usually did. Dr. Alfano enjoys making dentures and uses may different impression techniques to ensure the best possible result. Fabricating dentures is an art and as a board certified Prosthodontist, Dr. Alfano is a denture specialist.
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