Missing teeth can do more than just detract the aesthetics of your smile. They can also cause chewing and speech problems, not to mention that a gap increases the likelihood of developing dental misalignments over time. If you have several missing teeth in a row, one of the best restorative options to consider is specialty dentures. They are an affordable alternative to dental implants and give you a complete smile because of their natural-looking aesthetics. At La Puente Advanced Dentistry, we have a team dedicated to cosmetic dentistry. We offer a range of treatments in La Puente, CA for missing teeth that can help enhance your smile and your overall oral health.
Specialty dentures can change your life by making it easier to chew food properly. Even though it may take a while to become accustomed to using the removable device, it will look, feel, and function just like regular teeth. If you often find yourself hiding your smile because of unsightly gaps caused by missing teeth, it may be time for you to talk to your dentist about specialty dentures.
Specialty Dentures Overview
Specialty dentures, also referred to as partial dentures, offer a non-invasive and affordable alternative to dental implants. They are pretty similar to dental bridges in that they replace missing teeth in a row and fit over implanted or natural teeth. Thanks to technological advancements in the world of dentistry, modern dentures are more lightweight and natural-looking.
Your dentist can craft dentures that perfectly fit into your mouth and restore gaps caused by missing teeth. The customized fit enhances comfort, allowing you to wear your dentures discreetly throughout the day.
Specialty dentures have a pink acrylic base and artificial teeth connected to a metal framework supported by anchor teeth. They are removable for easy cleaning and make talking and chewing more comfortable. Your dentist can match the artificial teeth with the color of your natural teeth for that perfect look. Once you install the dentures, you can have them repaired or replaced over the years, depending on your needs.
It remains imperative to understand that it may take time to get used to using specialty dentures. It is perfectly normal to feel some level of discomfort when talking and eating right after a fitting. However, your mouth muscles, nerves, and ligaments will learn to work with the device within a few days. Moreover, your denture will become “balanced” and occupy the mouth more comfortably with repeated use.
Understanding Your Specialty Dentures Options
As aforementioned, specialty dentures are removable and can be replaced or repaired whenever necessary. You have several options at your disposal, and the right choice will highly depend on your specific needs.
Here are the main types of specialty dentures:
Removable Specialty Dentures
Like complete dentures, removable specialty dentures feature a pink plastic base resembling the gums. Cast partial dentures fit into the gap and use a metal frame to draw support from surrounding natural teeth or dental implants. You could also settle for acrylic partial dentures, which often don’t feature wire clasps. They are more temporary because they draw support mainly from the gum.
If you need a temporary solution for missing teeth, removable specialty dentures are an excellent option to consider. They will also come in handy if you’re not a suitable candidate for fixed partial dentures.
Fixed Partial Dentures
Fixed specialty dentures, as the name suggests, are not removable. They draw support from dental implants and can replace two or more consecutive missing teeth.
Here are a few excellent reasons to choose fixed specialty dentures:
- They feel more secure in the mouth
- Compared to removable specialty dentures, fixed partial dentures are more robust and more durable.
- They do a better job at maintaining your facial contours
- Provide enhanced tooth positioning for a better bite
Overdentures are also referred to as Implant-Retained Dentures, snap-on or snap-in dentures. The main difference between overdentures and fixed partial dentures is that they don’t attach to the dental implant permanently. Instead, they latch on the metal posts, drawing enough support to remain firmly in place.
Overdentures are a better alternative to complete dentures because they provide greater levels of stability. Some of their benefits include:
- Provide long-lasting solutions for missing teeth
- Feel more comfortable to wear
- Provide the functions and aesthetics of natural teeth
- Ensure comfortable chewing and an improved bite
Immediate Specialty Dentures
Losing teeth, irrespective of the reasons behind the loss can be a traumatic experience. If you can’t stand looking at your toothless smile in the mirror for one second, all is not lost for you. Immediate dentures provide convenient solutions because the waiting time between tooth extraction and denture installation is not necessary.
The main drawback is that this type of specialty denture isn’t custom-fitted. Some patients experience significant discomfort, especially during the first few days. Nonetheless, they offer fantastic service for 4—6 months, giving you ample time to seek better tooth replacement solutions.
What Are Your Material Options When Seeking Specialty Dentures?
In the world of dentistry, new advancements take place with each passing year. Today, patients always have options at their disposal when seeking different services, including restorative dentistry.
If you want to restore the functions and aesthetics of your smile using specialty dentures, it is essential to know about the different materials used to create the device. In any case, your needs and budget will dictate the ideal option.
Here are common materials used to make partial dentures:
Partial metal specialty dentures feature a metal base made from a blend of cobalt and chrome. Dentists use quality resin to color-match the device with a patient’s natural teeth. The main perk offered by this option is that it is stronger yet lightweight. It also provides excellent support for the remaining natural teeth, ensuring they don’t shift out of alignment.
Another material option is porcelain. It is strong, long-lasting, and helps to create more natural-looking dentures. Moreover, porcelain is pretty wear-resistant and provides a more comfortable fit.
Compared to porcelain, acrylic resin is more durable. It’s comfortable to wear and also allows easier adjustments. On average, specialty dentures made from the acrylic resin can last up to five years with proper maintenance.
Flexible Specialty Dentures
Flexible partial dentures are made from a thin thermoplastic such as nylon. The material is BPA-free and resistant to stains and odors. Moreover, it is long-lasting and ideal for people allergic to metals because it doesn’t feature a metal clasp and offers efficient support to make it unnecessary to use a denture adhesive.
Pros and Cons of Specialty Dentures
There are more than a few reasons why you may find yourself missing teeth. Apart from common concerns like dental cavities and facial trauma, you could lose teeth because of lifestyle habits like smoking and consuming sticky or sugary foods like gummies and candies.
If you opt to restore missing teeth using partial dentures, here are the pros and cons you should know:
Specialty Dentures Pros
- Preserve your natural facial contours
- Prevent your natural teeth from shifting because of a gap
- Proper chewing of the foods you enjoy
- Enhance your smile’s aesthetics and your overall self-confidence
- Address speech issues stemming from missing teeth
- Avoid more invasive tooth replacement procedures
Specialty Dentures Cons
- Not as natural looking as dental implants
- You cannot wear them overnight
- Consuming foods can damage your dentures
- A need for constant refitting
The most significant drawback of dentures is that they don’t provide the stimulation of natural teeth. This means the bone on the gap will slowly resorb, making future treatments challenging.
What to Expect During the Fabrication of Specialty Dentures
The process of fabricating dentures is not as complicated as many may assume. As expected, the first step is to meet your dentist for an initial consultation. The specialist will examine the position of the missing teeth, your bone structure, and your gums before confirming whether specialty dentures are a perfect match for your needs.
X-ray technology makes it easier for your dentist to establish the actual state of your dental and point out any teeth that require extraction. Note that tooth extraction always comes as a last resort when saving your natural teeth is impossible.
Specialty dentures are custom fitted for enhanced comfort. This makes it necessary for your dentist to take impressions of your teeth to ensure the new device matches everything, including the contours and borders of your gams. The idea is to create a device that perfectly fits your oral structure and blends well with the rest of your dental.
If need be, you could request your dentist for immediate dentures. They offer temporary solutions and can make you less conscious of the gap in your teeth. Meanwhile, the specialist will take the impression to a dental lab for fabrication. You can choose the ideal materials for the dentures based on your needs, preferences, and budget.
Once the mold is ready, you’ll have to check in for another appointment. Depending on your specialty denture choice, your dentist will fix the device permanently or inform you how to remove and clean it. More adjustments may be necessary if the set of teeth don’t fit comfortably.
Tips to Help You Get Used To Your New Specialty Dentures
New dentures don’t provide an instant natural feel. It takes some time for your mouth to get used to the new restoration, mainly because the device may feel a little bulky and odd. It is normal to experience excessive saliva flow and some trouble chewing and speaking during the first few weeks.
Here are tips to help you practice and become accustomed to using the new device:
One of the first hurdles you may experience right after receiving your new dentures is that chewing will not feel natural. The simplest way to ease chewing discomfort is to begin by eating soft or semi-solid foods. You can then introduce more solids as your mouth adjusts to the new device.
Other tips that may help include:
- Chop down your foods into small pieces and make use of both sides to chew. This helps to balance the dentures.
- Take small sips of your teas, water, and other beverages. Avoid using straws at all costs.
How to Speak
Irrespective of the number of teeth replaced by specialty dentures or even their position, you may experience some problems with speech. Fortunately, this concern will soon address itself, more so when the increased saliva flow subsides. The quickest way to address speech issues is to try reading something aloud. Note the words you have difficulty pronouncing and practice to help increase your confidence.
Exercise Your Facial Muscles
You will begin to feel more comfortable wearing dentures once your facial muscles adjust to working with the new device. This makes it imperative to chew, smile, laugh, and speak as usual, even with minor discomfort. If you still experience pain or discomfort in a week, talk to your dentist about your concern. It could be that your dentures are an ill fit.
If you opt for removable specialty dentures, talk to your dentist about denture adhesives. They can help boost your confidence, especially when you dread dropping your fake teeth when speaking in public. You could experiment with different glues and choose one that works best for you.
Depending on the type of dentures installed, you may need to change your everyday practices. For instance, you want to keep a handkerchief nearby at all times and use it to cover your mouth whenever you sneeze. This ensures you catch the device in case it dislodges because of the coughing or sneezing pressure.
How to Keep Your Specialty Dentures in Top-Notch State for Longer
Specialty dentures can last for anything between 7 and 10 years with proper maintenance. You can prevent straining by cleaning out food particles and debris at least twice daily.
Moreover, don’t forget to brush and floss your natural teeth to maintain excellent oral health. Use a quality denture solution for your device and fluoride toothpaste for your natural teeth. Also, rinse with quality mouthwash to keep your gums healthy and keep foul breath at bay.
If you want your device to serve you for years on end, here are a few tips that may come in handy:
Specialty Dentures Cleaning Instructions
Fold a soft towel and place it on your bathroom counter. You can then remove your dentures and rinse them with warm water. Use a denture solution and a soft-bristled brush to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria. Make sure you reach all areas and remove any denture adhesive stuck on the device. You can now rinse your dentures once more and soak them in lukewarm water before going to bed.
Soaking ensures that the device doesn’t dry out when it’s not in use. If the dentures begin to feel stiff or lose their shape try soaking them in a denture solution. Make sure you rinse or brush them before wearing them in the morning. Again, use lukewarm water and not hot water.
Dentures can break easily, and it is crucial always to handle them with care. If you need to place them on the counter, always put them on a soft towel instead of a tiled surface. Most importantly, don’t use regular toothpaste when cleaning the dentures because anything abrasive can scratch the fake teeth, turning them into an eyesore.
Another helpful maintenance tip is never to sleep with your specialty dentures. If they are removable, always place them in lukewarm water overnight to help maintain their comfortable fit. Moreover, remove your dentures and rinse them after every meal.
Another surefire way to extend the longevity of your dentures is to follow the instructions on denture adhesives. Don’t use too much product, and always be gentle when removing the glue.
Your dentist can fix your device if it breaks or becomes loose. If you experience any concerns, visit your dentist immediately for the best solutions. Attempting to fix the device in person could only turn the situation from bad to worse.
Cost Partial Dentures Overview
If you are considering specialty dentures, you are likely to wonder how deep you have to dive into your wallet to purchase the new device. Well, treatment may cost between $650 and $2,500 depending on the type of device you choose and the number of missing teeth that require replacement. Note that fixed partial dentures are more expensive and could cost as much as $6,500.
Fortunately, you may not need to pay the entire bill from your wallet. Some insurance policies provide coverage for the installation of specialty dentures. Depending on your insurance plan, your insurer could cover up to 50% of the cost of a procedure.
Find a La Puente Dentist
Your teeth work best as a unit. Even a single missing tooth can alter your dental alignment and cause chewing, speech, or bite problems. Specialty dentures offer an excellent option for replacing missing teeth to restore the functions and aesthetics of your smile. If you need partial dentures in La Puente, CA, we can provide top-notch services. At La Puente Advanced Dentistry, we offer a whole range of treatments for missing teeth and can help you enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. For a consultation or to book an appointment, please contact us at 626-626-7075.