Dentures in St. Albert
False teeth are typically associated with aging, but did you know that there are many reasons to require dentures of some kind at almost any stage of life? Motor vehicle accidents, traumatic injury and congenital disorders are just some of the circumstances that can result in the need for dentures. Whether you require a few false teeth or a complete set of dentures, your dentist can accommodate your needs.
Types of Dentures
Dentures can be removable or fixed, meaning anchored in place. Fixed dentures are removable only with the assistance of your dentist, while removable dentures can be taken out for cleaning and clicked back into place.
Partial dentures are dentures that replace only the missing teeth along a dental arch. Partial dentures can be removable or fixed, the latter being the option offering maximum stability. Fixed partial dentures are anchored to natural teeth using a crown. These can also be referred to as crown and bridge dentures due to the use of crowns to support the pontics (false teeth) between them.
Complete dentures are used for patients missing all of the teeth along either or both of the upper and lower arches. These dentures may include a false hard palette, or, without the palette (U-shaped).
Full dentures are held in place using creams, powders or strips. They should be removed while sleeping and must be cleaned daily to avoid the overgrowth of bacteria and fungi. Various cleaning products are available to assist in the cleaning of dentures.
Dentures and Your Jaw Bone
Dentures have evolved and improved with time, making them easier to speak, laugh and eat with. Still, dentures can present challenges to new wearers, particularly in speech pronunciation and chewing. When wearing full dentures, it is critical to evenly distribute food across both sides of the mouth. This can take some time to feel accustomed to. Bone and mucosal lining is continuously changing in the human mouth and denture fit may be impacted, particularly in the lower jaw where bone resorption can be most apparent.
Bone resorption occurs once the natural tooth roots are no longer present to send important stimuli to the jaw bone to remineralize. Rather than replenish the bone structure of the jaw, the bone begins to degrade – leading to changes in denture fit and facial profile. This loss in mineralization capacity is the result of low bite force distribution into the jaw bone which can drop to 10% of total bite force in patients with full dentures.
Implant Supported Dentures
In order to prevent resorption of the jaw and subsequent changes in the lower mandibular ridge, implant supported dentures are available. These dentures are connected to the jaw using four or more dental implants per arch which hold the removable dentures in place. With the use of titanium implants, bite force stimulation into the jaw can be 80% or more, significantly mitigating the concern of resorption.
Implants consist of a titanium rod, often called an artificial root, which is placed into the jaw bone and allowed to heal. After 6 or more weeks, when the gums have sufficiently healed and osseointegration has occurred, the implant procedure can proceed with the installment of either a cast bar of metal or ball and socket-type abutment (connector) which receives and stabilizes the dentures.
Osseointegration is a reaction that occurs between titanium and bone tissue which results in the bone tissue forming a strong bond with the implanted artificial root. Bite forces exerted will travel down the artificial root and provide the stimulus required for jaw bone remineralization.
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