For many people, the fear of losing teeth can be paralyzing. Some people recount nightmares involving loose teeth falling out, which often wakes them in a panic, checking to ensure all their teeth are still in place. Unfortunately, the fear of losing teeth is a reality for some, and can be a most embarrassing challenge to overcome. Tooth loss is difficult to hide from the outside world, as the gaps where teeth used to be are exposed every time a person smiles, eats, laughs or talks. The result of such effects can be emotionally devastating, as people tend to withdraw from social situations to hide their missing teeth.
Dr. Heather Pfefferle, your Traverse City dentist, understands how embarrassing missing teeth can be for some, and can help offer different solutions to replace missing teeth and restore confidence in your smile. There are many options to replace teeth, however, let’s specifically take a closer look at dentures and partial dentures:
If you have lost all of your teeth, we may recommend a full or complete set of dentures. These complete dentures can be made over 3-4 appointments, and allow you the luxury of seeing how your new teeth will look in your mouth as the dentures are made.
If you have very few remaining teeth that are in compromised condition, we can discuss the process of making immediate dentures. In this scenario, you retain your remaining teeth while jaw measurements and impressions are taken. With these measurements, we work with a dental laboratory to fabricate an immediate denture that will be delivered the same day we take out your remaining teeth. In this option, you do not have to go without your teeth, however we do not have the luxury of trying in the dentures to make sure you approve of how they look prior to them being made. Over 6-12 months, the bone that surrounded your remaining teeth will collapse and the immediate denture will no longer fit properly. This is why we recommend you plan to have a new set of complete dentures made after the bone level has stabilized.
Partial dentures are used when you have some remaining teeth that are still in good condition. They are designed with wires and clasps to grab onto your remaining teeth to help keep the partial denture secure. This means you can talk and eat without worry that the partial denture will pop out. Like any denture, partial dentures need to be removed at night and cleaned every day.
If you want to replace your teeth, but are not sure if dentures or partial dentures are right for you, please schedule a consultation with our Traverse City dental office. Dr. Pfefferle can perform a comprehensive exam to help determine which tooth replacement option is right for you.
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