It may surprise you, but according to the American Dental Association one quarter of all Americans over age 65 have lost all of their teeth. Millions more are missing many teeth.
While there is cost in replacing these missing teeth, what’s the cost of not doing it? A person may avoid smiling in public situations. Even regular conversation can be avoided because of whistling or difficulty pronouncing certain phrases. Those are cosmetic issues, but nutritional deficiencies can accompany tooth loss, along with jawbone deterioration.
At Dental Arts of Hedgesville, we offer neuromuscular dentures to replace missing teeth. They give our patients back their smile and their confidence. Dr. Smith uses his expertise to ensure the fit of your modern dentures will be nothing like that of your grandfather’s loose, ill-fitting set.
What are dentures?
Maybe the most famous dentures are George Washington’s famous false chompers (they weren’t wood, by the way!), but throughout history man has tried to replace missing teeth. Archeological digs from as far back as the 7th century BC have found partial dentures made with human and animal teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They can be full (replacing all the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw) or partial. Partial dentures are sometimes called bridges. Complete dentures are called conventional, which actually could be called “permanent,” and are placed from two to three months after tooth extraction.
Dr. Smith uses neuromuscular dentures because they offer a superior fit for our patients from Hedgesville and the surrounding areas. Neuromuscular dentures are not made from a pre-existing mold but are made specifically to fit your mouth. This enables our patients to enjoy superior fit, and they don’t have as involved an adjustment time.
How are dentures made?
The entire process of getting dentures, particularly full dentures, usually takes from two to three months. This involves many fittings. In many cases, the first step in the denture process is to remove badly decayed teeth. So that you’re able to chew while your gums heal, we make an “immediate” denture.
After your gums have healed, this is the process Dr. Smith will follow:
- The process begins with Dr. Smith taking measurements of your mouth. To do this accurately, he uses a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit. This device, also used to treat temporomandibular joint disorders, relaxes the jaw muscles, allowing for a perfect measurement. In addition to the TENS device, Dr. Smith also takes computer-generated digital images as a secondary guide.
- In most cases, we’ll use a temporary immediate denture to use while your custom neuromuscular dentures are being created.
- When the dentures are finished, we test them for fit and make further adjustments. From there, we will probably make a few more minute adjustments as you get used to wearing your new dentures.
Our neuromuscular dentures used by Dr. Smith fit much more snugly than those of the past. You can be confident in using them when talking, smiling, and eating. And, you’ll once again be able to enjoy a full diet.
If you’re missing all or many of your teeth, or if you have serious decay throughout and may need numerous extractions, dentures can give you your smile back. Call us Dental Arts of Hedgesville, (304) 754-9903, and let’s get started creating your new smile.