About 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth due to trauma or decay. Those gaps lead to a cascade of problems, including further tooth decay, gum disease, shifting teeth, misaligned bites, jawbone loss, and even facial changes.
A staggering 23 million are missing an entire arch of teeth, meaning they have no upper teeth or no lower teeth. Loss of this magnitude leaves you with more than just a gap — it leaves you unable to eat or speak.
Fortunately, dentures stand in for missing teeth, even an entire arch or a completely vacant mouth. If, like many, you think of dentures as a fake-looking, clicky-sounding, clunky appliance your grandparents used, think again.
Modern dentures have come a long way since those days, and you might be surprised at the newer, streamlined models. We fit many folks with dentures at Dental Art of South Bay in Torrance, California. Dana Samet, DDS, Bethany Jung, DDS, and Alyssa Nowlen, DDS have extensive training and experience using the most advanced denture techniques and technology.
If you’re missing a few — or all — of your teeth, here are four denture options that can restore your smile and oral health.
1. Complete dentures
When all your teeth are missing, we recommend complete dentures, sometimes called conventional dentures.
We design and manufacture complete dentures after we remove your teeth (when extractions are necessary) and your gum tissue has begun to heal. They’re usually ready for placement in your mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after removing the teeth.
While they offer a good fit and more durability, their disadvantage is living without teeth for a while.
2. Partial dentures
Partial dentures are a good option if you have some natural teeth remaining. A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, connected by a metal framework that holds the denture in your mouth.
Partial dentures do a great job filling in the spaces created by missing teeth and preventing other teeth from changing position, but they require careful cleaning and maintenance.
3. Immediate dentures
We make immediate dentures in advance so we can position them as soon as we remove your teeth. The advantage is that you don’t have to be without teeth during the healing period.
However, your bones and gums can shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal, requiring more adjustments for a proper fit than conventional or implant-supported dentures.
4. Implant-supported dentures
These dentures connect to dental implants in your jaw. They provide superior stability, function, and comfort compared to traditional removable dentures.
Dental Art of South Bay also offers All-on-4 implants, an innovative system that requires only four implanted posts in your upper and/or lower jaw. These implants support the dentures, so they don’t slip and shift in your mouth. They also eliminate the need to get a post for every missing tooth, saving you time, money, and tissue trauma.
However, while implant-supported dentures are the most comfortable, functional, and durable option, they’re more expensive and require a surgical procedure for placement.
When you’re ready to discuss your denture options, call Dental Art of South Bay to schedule an appointment with one of our denture specialists.