When replacing teeth, dentures are by far the most common and well-loved method of doing so. Dentists have been using this technology to replace teeth for centuries. Today’s dentures are nothing like the previous iterations. The dentures today, look, feel and act like the natural teeth that they are replacing. We build dentures for comfort and esthetic appearance. There are three fundamental types of dentures that are available.
We will determine if dentures are right for the patient after reviewing the number of missing teeth, the amount of healthy soft tissue that remains in the mouth and the patient’s needs. The three types of dentures available are full dentures, partial dentures, and immediate dentures. Other than immediate dentures, which as the name suggests are installed immediately, we install the other dentures over the course of four to five visits. While there can be variations based on the individual, here is what you can expect when you come into our Scottsdale dental office for this procedure.
Steps for Getting Dentures
Pre-denture healthy visit:
The first visit will be to make sure that the gums and soft tissue are healthy and ready for the new teeth. To do this, we will give the patient a complete examination, which will include X-rays. The X-rays are to make sure there are not some unforeseen challenges with the underlying bones. Sometimes we will recommend additional procedures during this phase like removing the excess flabby tissue for a better fitting denture or reshaping the bone to accommodate a tighter fit.
During this visit, we will also start the denture making process by making a cast or mold of both the upper and the lower gums. We prefer if we can get these without the teeth so that the laboratory has a perfect impression of the gums on which to base the fabrication of the new dentures. Finally, we will discuss important elements like the size, shape, and shade of the new teeth with the new patient.
Denture length and plane adjustment:
The second visit is when we decide the length of the new teeth based on the patient’s mouth. In order for the denture to be an ideal fit, we will have to make sure that there is a correct alignment between the upper and lower teeth. This visit could also be called the center jaw relationship (CJR), or the maximum mandibular retrusion (MMR) step. During this step, we review the crucial relationship between the upper and lower jaw. Using a loose-fitting denture and a rim of wax to approximate the position of the teeth, we will make sure that the bite is perfect so that there is no clicking when the patient talks or chews.
Denture wax try-in:
During the third visit, we will replace the loose tray with the actual final plastic teeth. The final set will look and feel exactly like a denture, with the exception that the base fits loosely on the gums and the teeth themselves are in wax instead of the final plastic. This visit allows us to see what the dentures will look like, adjust them for size and get the laboratory to make any final adjustments.
Visit number four ends with you leaving with a completely installed brand new pair of dentures so that you can begin to eat and speak like you used to while improving your appearance.
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