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Durable Dentures in Vienna, VA

People have been replacing their missing teeth since the beginning of time. Up until the late 1800’s they used transplanted human teeth, animal teeth, or even ivory as replacements, but fortunately, restorative and prosthetic dentistry have come a long way since then. Now it is more efficient than ever for dentists to replace missing teeth and restore smiles with natural looking materials and long lasting results. If you are missing teeth there is no need to put off treatment. A consultation with Dr. Ellenbogen will get you on the right track and he will know if dentures are the best treatment option for your needs.

Why Should I Replace My Missing Teeth?

The bones and muscles of your jaw and the entire head region stay healthy by the shape, function, and ideal position of your teeth. A lost tooth, or multiple missing teeth, affect your ability to bite and chew. Missing teeth also change the appearance of our smile and facial profile. The surrounding bone, tendons, and muscles can become overstressed as they compensate for the function of missing teeth. Eventually, this can result in ligament and muscle strain throughout the jaw, head, and neck areas. Missing teeth also lead to bone degeneration and your jaw begins to shrink because of disuse. Replacing missing teeth is important so you can look and feel great, but more importantly maintain optimal health and well-being.

Types of Dentures

Partial or complete conventional dentures have been the standard of care for many years. Dental implants are now an emerging contender, but they do not work in every case.  If you are not a good candidate for dental implants or are missing too many teeth, Dr. Ellenbogen might recommend dentures.

Procedure for Dentures

Conventional dentures have to be custom fitted to each patient’s mouth. During your evaluation, the dentist will determine if there are any additional procedures he needs to perform before starting on the dentures. This might include treatment like tooth extraction, bone grafting, or soft tissue grafting. For partial dentures, the enamel on teeth adjacent to the site will be ground down and a plastic or metal anchor placed onto them. Afterwards, a crown is placed over the top. Today’s partial dentures are usually secured with a bar, so the denture can clip securely into place and be removed for easy cleaning.

Once you have recovered from these treatments, the dentist will take Impressions of the empty space and create a mold. Then dental technicians fabricate a series of temporary dentures from the mold, usually in an off-site dental laboratory. Usually, it takes a series of back and forth exchanges between dentists and technicians before they complete the final restoration. This is to ensure the proper fit and alignment, guaranteeing the best results.

What Are Dentures Made of?

Traditionally, dentures were made from plastic. Today though, patients can choose from several different materials depending on their desired outcome and the cost of the material. For example, people will often pay more for polymer dentures because they more closely resemble natural teeth and are much sturdier than traditional plastic dentures.

Caring for Partial and Complete Dentures

Both partial and complete dentures require maintenance and daily care to keep them in top shape. Proper oral hygiene is essential to maintain the health of remaining teeth and soft tissue. You also need to clean your dentures daily and soak them in a special solution overnight. Visiting the dentist every six months or more often will be a priority, so you can ensure the life of your dentures, have them refitted if necessary, and prevent any problems from evolving.

Leading Disadvantages of Conventional Dentures

The main disadvantage of conventional dentures is that they are inflexible and unable to move with the natural action of your mouth. For this reason, some people with dentures have difficulty enunciating certain words and sounds. Another disadvantage is that if you wear dentures for long periods of time, the underlying and supporting gum and bone starts to wear down. In turn, this affects the fit and function of the denture causing slippage. Also, most dentures have an anticipated lifespan of about 10 to 15 years before they need to be completely replaced.

What are Implant-Supported Dentures?

The development of the dental implant has revolutionized restorative dentistry over the last 30 years. Dental implants not only replace single missing teeth, but also provide support for partial and complete dentures. With the stress and forces of speaking and chewing distributed evenly, the underlying bone, teeth, and gums stay healthy. Implant-based dentures can last up to 30 years or longer while looking and functioning like natural teeth.

Due to the fact that crowns actually sit in the socket like natural teeth, these restorations can flex with the movement of the mouth. Implant placement also means not having to grind down adjacent, otherwise healthy teeth to support the new crown or partial denture. Then with the advent of the All-on-4 system, patients can come in for treatment and walk out with a temporary set of teeth that same day.

Unfortunately, not every patient is a good candidate for implant-based dentures. Candidacy depends on the quality of existing bone, the health of soft tissue and the potential for bone grafts. Smoking or tooth grinding and clenching may also make a successful integration of an implant questionable. In these cases, a conventional denture may be the only course of treatment available. The only way to know which replacement option is best is by consulting with Dr. Ellenbogen.

For additional information, call us today at (703) 734-1095 so we can quickly answer your questions about dentures and find the best treatment plan for your unique needs.