It’s a common problem for denture wearers: after years of a comfortable fit, your dentures now seem to be uncomfortably loose. The reason, though, may have more to do with bone loss than the dentures.
Bone is a living tissue with a life cycle — it forms, it ages, and it eventually dies and dissolves (resorbs). It’s replaced with new bone and the cycle repeats. Additionally, the forces generated when we bite or chew are transmitted from the teeth to the jaw, which helps stimulate new bone growth. When the natural teeth are missing, however, the bone no longer receives this stimulus. Resorbed bone isn’t replaced at a healthy rate, which leads over time to bone loss.
Denture construction can also contribute to bone loss. The denture palate rests for support on the bony ridges that once held the teeth. Over time the compressive forces of the dentures apply damages and reduces the volume of gum tissue and eventually does the same to the bone. Combining all these factors, the reduced gum and bone volume will eventually alter the denture fit.
There are a few alternatives for correcting loose dentures. One is to reline them with new plastic, as either a temporary fix performed during an office visit or a more permanent relining that requires sending your dentures to a dental lab. Depending on the rate of bone loss, a patient could go through several denture relinings to accommodate ongoing changes in the jaw. At some point, though, it may be necessary to create a new set of dentures.
A third alternative that’s becoming increasingly useful is to incorporate dental implants into the denture design. Implants can of course be used to replace individual teeth, but a few strategically placed implants (usually of smaller dimension) can serve as a support platform for a removable denture. This relieves some of the compression force of a traditionally worn denture and can slow bone loss.
If you’re having problems with your denture fit, call us for an appointment. We’ll help you decide on the best alternative to improving the fit and making your dentures more comfortable and secure.
If you would like more information on refitting loose dentures, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Dentures.”
Restoring missing or unattractive teeth can often be a lengthy process. Months may elapse between initial teeth preparation and final placement to allow time for tissue healing and permanent crown manufacturing. During that period you will likely wear temporary (provisional) crowns to protect the teeth while improving function and appearance.
In the past, provisional crowns were fairly uniform. Today, though, there are provisional crowns available that conform exactly to a patient’s individual mouth. These crowns not only enhance function and appearance, they’re an excellent way to “try out” your new smile before the permanent restoration.
Customized provisional crowns are part of a concept known as “smile analysis.” A new smile involves more than restoring affected teeth: we also consider the overall health of your mouth, the shape of your face, and your own desires and expectations. Your final smile design is a joint collaboration between you, our office and the dental laboratory that will fashion the final restoration.
There are a number of techniques for creating customized provisional crowns. Some techniques involve bonding tooth-colored materials like composite resin directly to the teeth. Others use impression models of your teeth to create an outline or shell that’s filled with an acrylic material and then affixed to your teeth. The aim with any of these techniques is to produce a provisional crown that accurately reflects the final crown’s appearance.
With these types of provisional crowns, we can see how the new teeth will look (their color, shading, shapes and proportions) against the gums, and if they appear to be in balance and harmony with the entire face, including your lips, jaws and facial contour. We can also evaluate how well the new teeth function as you chew, speak or smile.
It takes some extra effort to prepare customized provisional crowns rather than the more uniform version. But this effort is well worth it: by helping us anticipate more accurately how your new restorations will appear and function, customized crowns help ensure your new smile is an attractive and satisfying one.
If you would like more information on temporary restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Concepts of Temporary Restorations.”
Do you hide your smile due to embarrassment over crooked teeth?
Teeth that are crooked or any form of malocclusion has both cosmetic and dental health effects. In addition to impacting the aesthetics of your natural appearance, misaligned teeth can be the cause of a range of additional dental problems:
- Tooth decay and cavities: crooked teeth are often difficult to clean, increasing your risk for decay.
- Gum disease: ineffective teeth cleaning also increases the risk of developing gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
- TMJ disorders: : malocclusion is often an underlying cause for TMJ related disorders because the teeth are not making proper contact.
Your local AACD dentist is committed to helping you achieve a smile that is both healthy and beautiful; one that supports long term oral health while giving you the confidence to smile often. Crooked teeth can be addressed with a range of treatment options, depending on your oral health needs and cosmetic goals. A thorough evaluation will identify any underlying problems and enable your dentist to recommend the most suitable treatment options.
TREATING CROOKED TEETH WITHOUT BRACES
If your crooked smile is not affecting the health and function of your bite, there are several cosmetic dental treatments that can give you a straighter, more aesthetically pleasing smile. From dental crowns to custom porcelain veneers, an experienced AACD member dentist in your area offers the highest standard of dental care for achieving your goals. A personalized treatment plan will be designed to makeover your smile and preserve your long term oral health.
ORTHODONTICS FOR CROOKED TEETH
Many AACD member dentists offer orthodontic treatment. If a thorough dental exam reveals imbalance or dysfunction in your bite, straightening your teeth with orthodontics may be the most suitable option. For patients with mild to moderate concerns, invisible braces or clear aligners can often be effective while offering discreet and comfortable treatment.
Traditional metal braces and oral appliances may also be used to give you a smile that is stable, comfortable and healthy. Your local AACD dentist will present your treatment options and work with you to meet your needs. The goal of your treatment is to improve both the aesthetics and health of your smile so that you will enjoy sharing it each day.
If you're considering dental implants, they'll need to be surgically placed in the jaw bone. But don't be alarmed — it's a relatively minor procedure that usually requires nothing more than local anesthesia.
But that being said, it's still an invasive procedure that involves making incisions in gum and bone tissues. That could introduce bacteria into the bloodstream and pose, for certain individuals, a slightly greater risk of infection.
But infection risk is quite low for most healthy patients. As a result, implants enjoy a greater than 95-percent success rate ten years after installation. But some patients have health issues that increase their risk of infection. These include older adults with a weakened immune system, smokers, diabetics or those well under or over their ideal weight.
If you have these or similar health situations, we may recommend undergoing an antibiotic treatment before you undergo surgery. This can help prevent bacteria from spreading and reduce the likelihood of an infection.
Preventive antibiotic therapy is commonplace with many other dental procedures. Both the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association recommend antibiotics before any invasive oral procedure for patients with prosthetic (false) heart valves, past endocarditis, a heart transplant or other heart conditions. To lower the risk of implant failure due to infection, we often advise antibiotics for patients who fall in these categories, as well as those with similar conditions mentioned earlier.
Of course, whether pre-surgical antibiotics is a wise choice for you will depend on your medical history and current health status. We'll consider all these factors thoroughly before advising you. But if you are more susceptible to infection, antibiotics before surgery could potentially lower your risk for an implant failure.
Do you think all of your favorite celebrities achieved their red carpet status because they were lucky enough to be born with perfect looks and great talent? Well, the truth is that many celebrities achieve their pictureperfect smiles by getting veneers!
While most celebrities are pretty tightlipped about whether or not they've had any dental work done, here are four celebrities that are rumored to have veneers. Visit your dentist, and you can achieve the same stunning transformation yourself!
1. Tom Cruise: Crooked Teeth
Looking back at old pictures of Tom Cruise, you'd be amazed to see how his smile has transformed over the years. From the severely crooked and gapped smile he had when he was a budding actor to the pictureperfect smile he has today, word has it that good veneer work created his famous smile!
2. Hillary Duff: Chipped and Discolored Teeth
Hillary Duff allegedly chipped a tooth while singing. Rather than simply repairing the chip, she appears to have chosen veneers instead. While the difference isn't drastic, if you compare her before and after pictures, you'll notice her teeth do appear both whiter and straighter. Her grin looks great, and your teeth can too!
3. Zac Efron: Gapped Teeth
Braces aren't the only option for people who want to fix the gaps in their teeth veneers are a great choice as well. They are quick, painless and they can even be placed in as little as two office visits. Compared to his old smile, Zac Efron’s teeth are now whiter and more even than would be possible overnight with any procedure but veneers. Hence the belief that they’re responsible for the magical transformation that closed his gap!
4. George Clooney: Ground Teeth
Grinding your teeth doesn't only cause pain; it can cause your teeth to get shorter too, and this apparently affected George Clooney. Thankfully, veneers are an excellent way to quickly and easily lengthen the teeth for a redcarpetready smile.
Why live with a smile you aren't proud to show off? If your smile isn't as straight, white, perfectly aligned or perfectly proportioned as you'd like it to be, do something about it! Visit your local dentist for a brand new smile you'll have to see to believe.
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