If somebody has teeth that are in bad shape and then they're going to need them all removed, I get a lot of patients that will come see us. They're embarrassed about their smile. They have pain. They're just tired of it or they can't afford to keep up with fillings on their teeth. Every time they go to the dentist, they've got thousands of dollars of fillings to do and they really can't afford it anymore.
For those folks, we offer denture solutions, which is one of the tooth replacement options. It's very viable. They look beautiful and they function nicely. Depending on how a patient tolerates them, that might be all they need. As far as a budget solution, that's something that we offer to everybody. In my practice, we have—everything is custom made. I don't really have anything that comes in a box, essentially, but I typically have a temporary denture that we fabricate initially beforehand so that you never have to go without teeth. They're made from measurements from existing teeth or measurements from your face. Kind of as a prosthetic, I'm pretty tricky with that.
I'm able to make dentures that are going to suit your smile just beautifully and they're already prepared ahead of time so that when you come, we remove the teeth, and then you can go home with your dentures the same day, and then we follow up after that. After the mouth has healed and the bone has changed from where the teeth used to be, then we make a new custom set of artistic, beautiful dentures. They can be as beautiful as anybody with veneer smiles. You could be on television and they’d never know that you have dentures.
I see so many patients for dentures that we're very comfortable with seeing these folks. I always have some phrases that I always say so that people who hear commercials about Clear Choice and implants and this and that and yet, what I like to tell folks is that if somebody thinks that their teeth are really bad, and if they truly are, and they may need full-tooth replacements, then once we determine that the teeth need to be removed, then the discussion turns to how to replace the teeth. We always start with upper dentures. They tend to work just fine, they fit nice, they stay in tight, they function, they’re beautiful, natural looking. Lower dentures though, tend to be loose. Even as a specialist, I tell patients that all lower dentures are going to be loose.
They may have Uncle Louie who says he can chew anything he wants. Well, he's fortunate and maybe he can but some people can do a lot of things that most people can't. For the lower jaw, we generally recommend two implants. Those are usually placed where the eye teeth used to be. They're often placed the same day that the teeth come out. Then after your mouth has healed, then we make a final set of dentures where the implants are connected to the dentures. That just allows the denture to stay put.
When you need to replace the teeth in your smile, you have a choice to make. What teeth replacement option should you choose? Dr. Wilhelm will help you choose the option that will work best for your situation. One of the most popular options are dentures.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are one of the most recognized tooth replacement options available. They consist of a full (or partial) arch of replacement teeth that are mounted on a gum-colored base to give them the look of natural teeth. Dr. Wilhelm will take dental impressions to make your new set of replacement teeth. It may take up to 12 weeks for these to be ready, so temporary dentures are available to make sure that you have teeth in your smile while you wait for your permanent restoration to be completed. To make your dentures, Dr. Wilhelm will take a series of dental impressions. Just like with dental crowns and veneers, these impressions will be used to make your custom restoration.
Are Dental Implants Better Than Dentures?
Neither option is necessarily better or worse than the other. They are different. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that stabilize restorations, while dentures are sets of replacement teeth. With implant-secured dentures, you can get the best of both worlds: the stability of dental implants and the full set of replacement teeth provided by dentures.
What Types of Dentures Are Available at Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD?
- Full Dentures – A full set of replacement teeth is custom made to fit inside your mouth and give you a completely new smile. You will take these out at night and for easy cleaning, and wear them for a bright smile throughout the day.
- Partial Dentures – Instead of a full set of teeth, this is a partial set of replacement teeth. This option is for those who need to replace more teeth than what a dental bridge can do.
- Temporary Dentures – This type of denture is a stop-gap measure to keep you with a full set of teeth while you wait for your permanent denture. These will serve you well in the short-term but should not be considered a long-term option. They will become loose and shift due to bone and gum shrinkage as well as swelling in your gums going down following your tooth extraction.
- Implant-Secured Dentures – This type of denture is stabilized by implants. First, Dr. Wilhelm will place an appropriate number of implants in your dental arch for maximum stability. Then, he will attach a bar to the implants. While your denture will clip onto the bar to remain stable in your mouth, you can still remove it. The bar, however, can be removed only by Dr. Wilhelm.
- Implant-Retained Dentures – For this procedure, you will have implants placed along your dental arch. Balls are placed on top of the implants, and those balls snap onto corresponding mechanisms on the bottom of your dentures. This firmly holds your denture restoration in place.