Complete (Full Arch) Dentures
If you have lost all your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay, or injury, complete full arch dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile.  Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health.  Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag and make a person look older.  You will be able to eat and speak, things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost. There are various types of complete dentures. Listed below are three that we make at our practice:

Conventional full denture: A conventional full denture in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas, is a denture that is made after all the teeth in an arch have been extracted and your gums and bones have fully healed.  These dentures are custom made just for you. A great deal of time and care goes into designing and making these dentures.  If you like, we can closely match your previous teeth in shape, size, and color.  The color of the artificial gums can be custom-stained to match your natural gum tissue.  There are multiple options, so be sure to communicate to your dentist exactly what you want so that you will be happy with the results.

Healing (temporary) full denture: A healing or temporary full arch denture is a denture that is made before all the teeth in the upper or lower arch are extracted.  Healing dentures are inserted immediately after the remaining teeth have been removed.  To make a healing denture, the dentist takes measurements and impressions of the patient’s jaws and teeth in a preliminary visit.  The denturist (some who makes dentures and partials) takes this information and fabricates the healing denture.  Because these dentures are made while the teeth are still present, there may be some variation on how they will fit and function.  Remember that these dentures are temporary, and serve an important role in allowing a patient to have teeth during the healing period.

Implant-supported full arch denture: An implant-supported full arch denture is a conventional denture that is kept in place and supported by dental implants.  Implant-supported dentures in Farmersville and Alstyne, Texas, are becoming the standard of care, especially in the lower arch where dentures tend to move or “float”.  This denture has two to four special connectors that snap into the implants that are placed in your jaw.  This offers a firmer bite and the confidence and security that your denture won’t “fly out” when talking, sneezing, coughing, or smiling.

What are the steps in making a full denture?

  • Initial impression: An initial impression is taken of the upper and lower arch, using stock trays and a low detail impression material.  This is then used to make a model of your gums and jaw so that a custom tray can be fabricated.
  • Final impression: The custom tray made from the initial impression is loaded with a high detail impression material; with this, an impression of the edentulous (without teeth) arch is taken.  This detailed model of your edentulous arch helps the denturist make the best fitting base plate possible.  This is very important because the base plate sits against your gums and provides the stability of your denture.
  • Wax-rim bite registration: Using the base plate, the denturist adds a wax-rim in the shape of a U. The wax-rim sits in the position where the future teeth will be placed. The dentist puts the wax-rim in your mouth and asks you to bite carefully into it.  This registers how you bite and provides important information about how your teeth and jaw align.  At this visit, you and the dentist choose the size, shape, and color of the future life-like false teeth.
  • Teeth try-in wax: The teeth that were chosen by you and the dentist are now installed in the wax-rim base plate.  During this visit you have a chance to approve the look of your teeth. The dentist checks your bite and other critical points. If both parties are happy, the denture is off to be processed and finished.
  • Denture delivery: At this visit you finally get your finished denture.  The dentist checks the fit and function and makes any needed adjustments.
  • Denture adjustments: After you receive your dentures, it’s typical that you will need three to five adjustments.  A few reasons for adjustments might be if the denture is causing a sore spot because it’s digging into your gum tissue, or if your bite feels uneven.  On rare occasions, you may not need an adjustment or you may require more than five.

What will dentures feel like?
New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them.  The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place.  It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness.  You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases.  As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish.  One or more follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted.  If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist.

Will dentures make me look different?
Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in your appearance will be noticeable.  Dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.

Will I be able to eat with my dentures?
Eating will take a little practice.  Start with soft foods cut into small pieces.  Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping.  As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet.  Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time.  Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells.

Will dentures change how I speak?
Pronouncing certain words may require practice.  Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will help.  If your dentures “click” while you’re talking, speak more slowly.  You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough, or smile.  Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing.  If a speaking problem persists, consult your dentist.

How long should I wear my dentures?
Your dentist will provide instructions about how long dentures should be kept in place.  If you had multiple extractions and a healing denture was used, your dentist may advise you to wear them most of the time, including while you sleep, for one or two nights. After this initial adjustment period, you will be instructed to remove the dentures before going to bed.  This allows gum tissues to rest and promotes oral health.  Generally, it is not desirable that the tissues be constantly covered by denture material.

Should I use a denture adhesive?
Denture adhesive can provide additional retention even for well-fitting dentures.  Denture adhesives are not the solution for old or ill-fitting dentures.  A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores.  These dentures may need to be relined or replaced.  If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult your dentist immediately.

How do I take care of my dentures?

  1. Never leave your dentures or partial in your mouth overnight!  Take them out before going to bed.  Let your gums and palate “breathe.”  Leaving your dentures or partial in overnight can cause serious bacterial and/or fungal infections.
  2. While taking your dentures in and out of your mouth or while you are cleaning, do so with great care.  Accidentally dropping them can cause them to break.  To avoid this, place a towel over your sink.  If you drop your dentures, the towel will hopefully buffer the fall, potentially protecting them from hitting a hard porcelain or stainless-steel sink.
  3. Brush and clean your dentures or partial.  Like natural teeth, they must be brushed daily.  This removes food and plaque, and it helps prevent the development of permanent stains on your dentures. Use a brush that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures.  Gently brush all surfaces, being careful not to damage the plastic or accidentally bend the claps.  After meals, take them out and rinse them; also, rinse out your mouth thoroughly before putting them back in.
  4. Clean your them only with an approved cleaner. These can be found at almost any pharmacy or grocery store.  Look for products that have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.  Do not use household cleansers or even toothpaste.  They contain abrasives and can damage your dentures.  Never use bleach—this will discolor the pink portion.
  5. When you are not wearing your dentures, keep them in a container of water or an approved cleaning solution.  This prevents them from drying out, cracking, or losing their shape.  Dentures should never be placed in hot water, as this may cause them to warp and not fit properly.
  6. Be mindful of where you place your dentures.  Many have been destroyed by man’s best friend.  Yes, dogs love the smell and taste of dentures.  They will readily make them into a chew toy.  This is not good for the dog and it’s a very costly mistake.

Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or remade.  This is due to normal wear and tear.  Also, as we age, our jawbones lose some of their size, which causes your dentures to fit improperly and makes them feel loose.  Sometimes a reline or rebase can be done instead of making new dentures.  A reline or rebase is when the dentist adds material or remakes the base (the pink part that sits on your gums) so that they fit better.  In general, dentures last for five to ten years before they need to be completely replaced.

How should I care for my mouth and gums if I have dentures?
Even with full dentures, it is important to brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush every morning before you put your denture or partial in.  This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth.  Be sure to remove your partial before brushing your teeth.  Pay special attention to cleaning the teeth that hold the partial’s clasps.  Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps of partials will increase the risk of these teeth decaying.  Clean and massage your gums regularly.  Rinse your mouth daily with lukewarm salt water to help keep your mouth and gums healthy.  Be sure to eat a balanced diet so that you are getting proper nutrition.

How often should I see the dentist if I have dentures?
If you have dentures you need to visit your dentist every six months.  Regular dental visits are important so that your dentist can inspect your denture and mouth.  A dentist will make sure that the denture is in good working order and fits properly.  The dentist will also look for signs of oral disease, such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, or cancer.  It is very important to have a check-up twice a year, even if you do not have any teeth.

Can I make minor adjustments or repairs to my dentures?
You can seriously damage your dentures and harm your health by trying to adjust or repair your dentures.  A denture that is altered and does not fit properly can also cause irritation and sores.  See Drs. Horsley and Walker if your dentures break, crack, or chip, or if one of the teeth becomes loose.  We can often make the necessary adjustments or repairs on the same day.  A person who lacks the proper training will not be able to reconstruct the denture.  This can cause greater damage to the dentures and may cause problems in your mouth.  Glue sold over-the-counter often contains harmful chemicals and should not be used on dentures.

With regular professional care from those at Harvest Dental, a positive attitude, and persistence, you can become one of the millions of people who wear their dentures with a smile. Please call 469-812-7100 to arrange your consultation with our dentists.