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Dentures & Partial Dentures

A denture is a removable dental appliance and a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  Dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures.  Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.  A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A complete denture can be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed (usually takes 4 to 6 weeks).  During this time, the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.  Most immediate dentures are replaced with conventional dentures within a year.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years but will have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Dr. Jim Dahm has actively provided denture care since 1966 and has mentored Dr. Jeff in the art and science of denture care since 1992.  Both doctors enjoy providing denture care for patients.  One of the reasons  Dr. Jeff's denture work looks so natural is that he does a 'chair-side setup' for each patient.  This means that in the process of placing the teeth in the denture, Dr. Jeff places each front tooth to optimize your smile, speech and bite, all while you are sitting in the chair.  Most dentists send a wax bite to a dental laboratory, where a technician places the teeth to the typical denture pattern, which is why most people's dentures look like dentures, not natural teeth.

One of the most exciting new developments in denture care is the use of dental implants to stabilize upper and lower dentures. This provides great function and stability for the dentures, improves chewing function and makes wearing dentures more enjoyable.  If you struggle with wearing upper and lower dentures, dental implants may be the long-term solution you are looking for.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch.
  • Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over a period of several weeks.  Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.  Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit.  At the final appointment, Dr. Dahm will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures.  Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental health visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.


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