You may have lost your teeth due to injury, gum disease or tooth decay. But no matter how the loss of teeth occurred, Dr. Bowyer understands how important your mouth is to leading a happy and healthy lifestyle. As one of the premier dentists in the Vancouver, WA area, Dr. Bowyer can work to quickly restore your mouth to working order so you can enjoy speaking and eating as you did before.
What are dentures?
In short, dentures are removable replacements for your missing teeth. There are several different types of dentures. Figuring out what type of dentures will be best for you will be based on a number of factors, including lifestyle and age, which Dr. Bowyer could advise on. However, it is important to note that todays dentures are quite different than they were several years ago. Innovations in the field have made it possible to convincingly disguise your dentures as your natural teeth, as well as made dentures more comfortable for long-term wear.
The traditional style of dentures is a pair that is removable from your mouth and requires a mild adhesive and your general anatomy to hold them in. These dentures sit on top of your gums and can start being worn 6-12 weeks after having all your teeth extracted.
What are overdentures?
Overdentures are another style of dentures that sit on top of your gums. The difference between overdentures and traditional dentures is that overdentures are held in place with dental implants, healthy remaining teeth or roots of natural teeth.
The main advantage to overdentures vs traditional dentures is that they are seen as a bit more stable, and may not impact speech and chewing to the same effect that traditional dentures would. There is less need for dental adhesives as a result, as well as less irritation. However, in order for a patient to be a good candidate for overdentures, they must first have a strong & healthy jawbone that will allow for the stabilization of the overdentures.
There are also hybrid denture/overdenture options that use a combination of the methods above. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Bowyer to determine what would be a good denture option for you.
Dental implants or dentures?
Both dental implants and dentures help patients resolve the issue of missing teeth. Dental implants are a popular choice for those with only one or two missing teeth, but can also be used as an alternative to dentures and overdentures for patients with several teeth missing. Dental implants serve as a direct replacement for missing teeth, rather than dentures which are a façade of natural teeth. Implants are permanently affixed to your mouth, and only require the same maintenance that your natural teeth do.
If you are missing a few teeth, but your jaws and gums are healthy, you may be a good candidate for dental implants instead of dentures. However, the only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bowyer who can advise the best option for your unique situation.
How long do dentures last?
With proper maintenance and hygiene, dentures are likely to last five to eight years before they are due for replacement. Replacement is a normal aspect of denture wear and should be expected to happen every so often to account for structural changes to your mouth as well as the hygiene of your dentures. Dr. Bowyer will evaluate your specific needs on an annual basis, including checking your dentures for significant wear, fractures and how they fit in your mouth. You may also choose to replace your dentures if the teeth take on a dirty or stained appearance.
What to expect with your first pair of dentures
Dr. Bowyer will let you know if there is any prep that will be needed before fitting you for your new dentures. Some patients may need to have some teeth extracted and you may need to wear temporary dentures for a short period of time until your mouth is ready for regular denture wear. During this time, Dr. Bowyer will model your dentures from impressions or your mouth. He will work with you to customize a natural looking smile for you, by sizing the teeth and choosing the color that works with your face.
Once you are ready for your first pair of dentures, expect some adjustment period. You will almost certainly feel some discomfort during the first few days, especially with tasks such as eating and drinking. However, with some practice, these activities will start feeling more normal. During the adjustment period, plan to eat soft foods.
Dr. Bowyer will plan several check-ups with you after getting you fitted for your new pair of dentures. These checkups are intended to ensure the correct fit of the device, as well as to help you adjust to life with them.
I'm interested! What are next steps?
Call our office at (360) 253-2640 to set up your consultation.
Not ready yet? We are happy to answer any questions that you have. Contact Dr. Bowyer to discuss a variety of treatment options to make you more confident in your smile.