Missing teeth can have a significant impact on your life. It may make you self-conscious when you smile, preventing you from making a great impression in social or professional situations. But more importantly, missing teeth can result in a variety of oral health issues. Neighboring teeth can shift to fill in the gaps, causing bite alignment problems. You may also be more susceptible to bone loss and additional tooth loss down the road. Finally, you might have trouble chewing, which can result in poor nutrition over time.
Dentures are among the oldest forms of prosthetic dentistry, and today they come in a variety of sizes and materials to suit your specific needs. Modern dentures are much more comfortable and effective than dentures used decades ago, and they provide an excellent option to replace missing teeth.
There are several different tooth replacement options available to you, including dental implants, dentures and dental bridges. You can find out which of these options will best meet your needs by speaking with our dentists in person. Please call 281-320-2000 today to schedule a consultation. Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry serves patients in Spring, Conroe, the Woodlands and throughout North Houston.
Full vs. Partial Dentures
There are essentially two different types of dentures:
- Full dentures
- Partial dentures
Full dentures consist of a full row of replacement teeth and are designed to fit snugly along your dental ridge. They are supported by a comfortable, gum-colored plastic base. A traditional full denture relies on the shape of your dental ridge for support, and you may use special dental adhesive for improved stability if necessary.
Full dentures are an ideal solution for individuals who are missing an entire arch of teeth, and they provide a much more affordable solution than dental implants.
Partial dentures also consist of a base that rests along your dental ridge, but only contain replacement teeth where needed. They fit around the healthy teeth that remain. Partial dentures don’t rely on adhesive. Instead, they are secured to your neighboring teeth using clips or brackets.
Partial dentures provide an effective alternative for individuals who are only missing a few teeth and are not good candidates for dental implants.
For many patients, we often recommend securing a partial or full denture on a series of dental implants – prosthetic posts that replace your lost dental roots and are placed within your jawbone. In many cases, our dentists may be able to support a full denture on only four strategically-placed implants. Using dental implants to secure your denture to your jawbone provides for a much more secure restoration and improved function.
After the implants are placed, your jawbone will fuse to them, creating biologically compatible anchors for your partial or full denture. With implant-supported dentures, you can enjoy a number of benefits, including:
- Lifelike stability and improved bite function
- Increased comfort while you bite and chew
- Increased confidence knowing your dentures will not shift or become loose
- Improved longevity (dental implants can last for life with proper care and maintenance)
- Improved oral health (implants preserve your jawbone, keeping it strong and healthy)
Caring for Your Dentures
The longevity of your dentures will depend on how well you care for them. The supporting tissue and bone in your mouth will need a break from your dentures, and you should remove them for at least a few hours every day (ideally while you sleep). These breaks from wearing your dentures provide an excellent opportunity to care for them and keep them clean.
At Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry, we recommend the following tips for cleaning and storing your dentures:
- You should always clean your dentures over a sink or tub filled with water. This will prevent them from breaking if you accidentally drop them.
- Rinse your dentures using warm or cool water to remove any food particles which may have gotten lodged in the restoration while you eat. Avoid hot water since this can warp your dentures.
- Brush your dentures using a medium bristled toothbrush or a denture brush. Use hand soap to clean the restoration.
- Use a denture cleaning product to soak your dentures. If you are using partial dentures, make sure the cleaning product you purchase is specifically made for partials so that it won’t damage the metal clasps.
- Store your dentures in a container filled with water when they are not being worn. This will prevent them from drying out.
Contact our North Houston Dentists
If you’re missing one or more teeth, please contact Stephens & Gatewood Dentistry using the form on this page or call 281-320-2000 today to find out if dentures are right for you. We serve patients in Spring, Conroe, the Woodlands and throughout North Houston, Texas.