Dentures Q & A

Melanie L. Throne, DDS, PA - General Family Dentist located in Fort Worth, Texas

Custom dentures can restore a beautiful smile in both form and function so you can feel confident again. At Melanie L. Throne DDS, PA, in Fort Worth, Texas, Dr. Throne worked in a local denture clinic for many years and has made literally thousands of dentures of all types and under all circumstances.  She is skilled in the art of fitting and making dentures. To find out which denture option is best for you, call the office or schedule an appointment online. 817-735-4700

What denture options are available?

Dr. Throne offers a variety of all-in-one treatment options for patients of all ages. From the initial consultation to the first denture fitting, or a later denture relining or repair, Dr. Throne utilizes the highest quality materials to deliver the best overall experience. She is committed to achieving a highly esthetic result that functions well for every patient.  She accomplishes this through a wax tryin process, when possible, that allows she and the patient to evaluate and correct discrepancies in midlines, gum heights, cant, and bite BEFORE a denture is processed into hard acrylic.  At Melanie L. Throne DDS, PA, all dentures are constructed by licensed denturists, and so this is a great benefit since you can see your dentures being made and adjusted throughout the process. Every patient signs an esthetics approval prior to processing to ensure satisfaction.  It is always best to make upper and lower dentures together when possible so that they fit together properly.

Denture options at Melanie L. Throne DDS, PA include:

  • Implant-supported dentures
  • Flexible acrylic dentures
  • Metal framework partial dentures
  • Acrylic partial dentures
  • Denture relines
  • Soft denture liners

Are immediate dentures right for me?

Have you lost your teeth as a result of an illness, injury, or prolonged decay? Do you need full dentures? If so, immediate dentures might be the right choice for you. Immediate dentures are made prior to extraction of the teeth, which means you don't have to suffer the inconvenience of not having teeth. Unfortunately, depending on how many teeth remain, it is not always possible to try these dentures in for a patient prior to extraction, so these may not be as esthetic or as natural appearing. One additional thing to consider is that immediate dentures need to be regularly adjusted and relined, sometimes a lot and this is normal with any new body part that you must function with so be patient with yourself and your team and please know that we are here for you. Relining a denture helps ensure a comfortable, precise fit as your mouth heals and bone remodels from the loss of your natural teeth.  If you are using an immediate denture while healing after extractions, soft reliners are recommended to help shape the healing wounds and bone getting the structures smooth and ready for the hard acrylic permanent set of dentures.  For these reasons, immediate dentures provide the perfect temporary solution for the transition to permanent dentures and, after this transition, it gives a patient a backup set to use in the event that the permanent set need a repair or reline maintenance.

Are partial dentures a better choice for me?

Partial dentures with a metal framework are the most common type of partials. Unlike full dentures, partials are meant to replace a few missing teeth, not all of your natural teeth.

The rigid metal frame provides sturdy support for chewing, particularly when you're missing molars. Partial dentures with metal frames securely anchor to your existing teeth and stay in place oftentimes without the use of dental adhesives.

Acrylic partial dentures are another option. On the one hand, they tend to be cheaper than metal partials, but on the other hand, they don't last as long. Acrylic partials are usually a short-term solution that's worn while the dentist makes permanent bridges or partials.

Flexible partial dentures have become the most popular partial denture choice for patients in the past 15 years.  These are very comfortable and lightweight while fitting tightly against the teeth.  They are much gentler on the remaining teeth used to hold the partial in place and are especially ideal for patients who have periodontal disease as a contributing factor to their tooth loss. There can be some restrictions in the ability to repair this type of material, so it is necessary to fully discuss this option.

Repair and Proper Maintenance of Dentures

Dr. Throne and the team can repair full or partial custom dentures in a few hours or possibly overnight, depending on the repairs needed. The American Dental Association currently recommends that like all dental patients, denture wearers have a full head and neck exam and oral cancer screening.  At this appointment in addition to the exam, Dr. Throne will assess the dentures for excessive wear and adequate fit and stabililty.  We also prefer to professionally clean the dentures at this visit, although this is often recommended and needed more frequently than once per year, and many dental insurances will cover exams twice per year for this type of necessary maintenance. 

It is critical to keep the dentures fitting well against the soft tissues with minimal movement and without a lot of adhesive present.  While some movement of a denture is unavoidable, bone tends to continue to remodel and resorb with movement or excessive cushioning, and the presence and maintenance of the bone is critical to maintaining stability and function of a denture. For this reason, it is recommended that dentures undergo a hard lab reline every 3-5 years.  For patients who have breathing, airway, or grinding issues a reline may need to be done more frequently.  If a denture has clasps, attachments, or screws, these occasionally break or need to be replaced or repaired in addition to regular maintenance.

An important word of caution: A broken denture should be taken to a dentist and repaired only by an experienced dental professional.  Most broken pieces will fit readily back together if they are unaltered and are taken in immediately. Repair kits sold in stores or the dreaded Super Glue are ineffective at best and can cause irreparable damage to a denture resulting in more complex and costly repairs or the need for expensive replacement of the entire prosthesis. Super Glue is highly toxic to skin and should never, ever be placed in the mouth and often results in a trip to the emergency room.

How do I Care for my Dentures Daily?

The majority of dentures today are made out of dental acrylics instead of porcelain.  Acrylic under a microscope is actually very porous like a sponge and can therefore stain and scratch.  It is important to remove the dentures twice per day at a minimum and brush your remaining teeth if applicable.  Run a bit of water into your sink with the drain closed in case you drop the dentures while cleaning them since they will be wet and slippery and breakage can result if the are inadvertently dropped.  Hold the dentures over the water and brush the dentures thoroughly in all directions paying special attention to crevices with a special soft denture brush or soft toothbrush using only liquid soap or a denture creamAll toothpastes are too abrasive and should NEVER be used on any acrylic appliance as they WILL scratch the surface causing buildup of bacteria/tartar.

The popularly advertised denture cleansing tablets were made long ago when dentures were mostly porcelain and did not scratch or stain.  Use of these tablets will cause an unnatural orange discoloration of the pink denture base acrylic and of the teeth leading to a less that esthetic appearance over time with continued use.  These tablets are great for cleaning porcelain toilets and bathtubs, hint, hint for if you have them lying around unused.  If you must use these tablets, never leave dentures in the solution for longer than a few minutes and thoroughly rinse the solution off.  It should be noted that use of these tablets will void the warranty that some denture tooth manufacturers provide against wear and breakage, so it is important to understand if this will effect you. NEVER EVER soak your dentures in anything other than plain water since those chemicals will remain in the porosities of the denture and can discolor it or damage it.

If your dentures are screwed onto implants, it is important to thread floss under all the accessible areas of the denture cleaning debris out from under it and around implant retainers.  It is also recommended to use a water pressure cleaning device like a WaterPik at least twice per day under the screwed to place dentures where it makes contact with the tissue to eliminate debris and any plaque that has built up.

Do I need to remove my dentures during sleep?

Current research indicates the dentures need to be worn during sleep to prevent collapse of soft tissues during deeper sleep that could compromise breathing leading to sleep fragmentation.  It is important to note that the tissues under the dentures can be prone to fungal infection, known as thrush, if tissues are not allowed to breathe for a while daily.  This can extend to the corners of the mouth, known as angular cheilitis.  These fungal infections can be miserable and painful, but are readily treatable by Dr. Throne.  NEVER apply antibacterial ointment to these areas as that will cause the infection to become worse and do not use chapsticks as this can spread or re-inoculate the infection later. Call our office immediately for an appointment if you begin experiencing these symptoms.  Remember, dentures are porous and this fungus can and will penetrate into the denture so that must be treated as well to assist in full recovery and minimize re-occurrence of the infection.

Call the office or schedule an appointment online for your denture consultation at 817-735-4700.

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