How are Dentures Made?
Following a tooth extraction, the tooth socket begins to fill in. The body seeks to heal itself and bone and gum tissue heal and changes the shape of the void left behind. After a few months, the gums and bones achieve a stable stage. Once the process has completed, (about 8-12 weeks), it is possible to make a conventional full denture.
After this healing process has completed, your dental team with take a series of impressions of your mouth. Then, a dental lab will use these impressions to make models of your mouth. The dentist and laboratory technician will begin to build the dentures on these models and then transferring them to your mouth in steps to ensure proper fit, establish a proper bite, and ensure that the appearance is desirable. You will generally need to be seen by the dentist once per week for about 4 to 5 weeks until the denture is complete. It is normal to need to return occasionally during the first month after the denture is delivered to have adjustments made.
For most patients we will provide a temporary denture to wear while the permanent one is being made. This temporary denture will be made ahead of the teeth extractions and will provide shape to the mouth and the ability to chew some foods in the interim period. It will not fit as snugly, and while many patients appreciate having one for this time, they do look forward to getting their new permanent dentures.
Other Dental Alternatives to Dentures
In addition to dentures, there are two other alternatives which may be recommended to you depending on your unique situation. Bridges replace missing teeth with a simulated tooth/teeth placed in between two healthy teeth which act as anchors by using crowns, or next to a single tooth and secured with an attached piece of metal to the back of the tooth. Bridges can span 1 to three missing teeth depending on the location. The whole appliance is cemented in place and is permanent.
A second option is an implant. Dental implants are metal posts that are inserted into the upper or lower jaw bone. The post fills the place of the missing tooth and receive a crown on top to simulate a tooth. Implants are the costliest of the options per missing tooth, but are generally most favored for aesthetics.
If you are interested in learning more about dentures, get in touch with our team at Smiles at San Tan Ranch. Contact us today to set up an appointment.