Dentist in Towson

When a patient no longer has any natural teeth, complete dentures are the traditional method to restore function and appearance. Many patients experience difficulty wearing conventional dentures because of poor stability and decreased chewing function. The use of dental implants to improve the stability and retention of dentures is becoming increasingly popular. A complete denture is a removable prosthesis that replaces all of the natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.

A partial denture is a removable appliance that replaces missing teeth when some natural teeth are present.

Most dentures are generally made of acrylic, a type of plastic, or acrylic with metal. Generally there are three different types of dentures.

An immediate denture (or immediate partial denture) is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and will allow the tissues to heal under the denture. Often, a soft liner or tissue conditioner is added for comfort. Immediate dentures are then replaced with either a conventional denture or an overdenture. An immediate denture ensures that the patient will never have to be without teeth.

A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have fully healed. A complete denture has acrylic in a shade that matches each individual’s gum tissues, which surround the teeth and which covers the palate (roof of the mouth). A partial denture usually has a thin metal framework that covers a portion of the palate.

Similarly, an overdenture is also made after the teeth have been extracted and the tissues have adequately healed. The overdenture, however, has special hidden attachments that allow it to “snap on” to roots of retained teeth or surgically placed dental implants. If there are enough implants on the upper, Drs. Ousborne and Keller can sometimes remove the portion of the overdenture that would normally cover the palate providing an open palate design. This greatly enhances the patient’s ability to enjoy eating and improves the overall comfort of the denture. As well, implant supported overdentures fit more tightly than conventional dentures, especially on the lower arch.

As the supporting bony foundation changes, Drs. Ousborne and Keller will need to replace or reline the dentures in order to keep the jaw alignment and appearance normal. The bone and gum ridges will continually recede or shrink in the areas of missing teeth as the supporting bony foundation changes. When this occurs, the alignment will slowly change as well. Regular dental examinations are very important for a denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be examined and screened for oral cancer. In addition, the denture needs to be regularly checked by Drs. Ousborne and Keller for proper fit and alignment.

Key Benefits

  • Appearance
  • Improved function with chewing which aids digestion
  • Slows bone loss in the jaws if chewing directly on boney ridges
  • Avoids TMJ symptoms from over closure of the bite
  • Avoids disfigurement
  • Improvement of the smile
  • Restores phonetics for speech
  • Secondary benefits include improved self esteem, reduced wrinkles/lip support