When you are missing teeth, your overall quality of life can suffer. In addition to being self-conscious about your smile, you may lack the proper function necessary for everyday tasks such as chewing or eating. Dentures can restore the appearance and function to the smile of a patient missing several teeth or even an entire dental arch. Dr. Robert F. Berger, the general dentist at our Columbia, SC, practice, has been fitting patients with functional and natural-looking dentures for over four decades.
A denture is a removable prosthetic that can replace multiple missing teeth or a full dental arch. This restoration is supported by the gum tissue and the underlying bone ridge. Dentures can be crafted from a variety of materials, including acrylic or even porcelain. Today’s dentures are much more lifelike than their older counterparts, and because of their custom design, they are also more comfortable and sleek. Depending on each patient’s unique needs, either a partial or a full denture will be required to replace teeth on one or both arches.
Dentures offer a number of benefits for those who are missing teeth. First, dentures restore bite and function for a healthier smile. Patients who previously had difficulty chewing will be able to enjoy wider dietary options. In addition to not being able to eat properly, patients who have been missing teeth for an extended period of time may develop issues with their temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Dentures reposition your jaws in a favorable manner to balance the pressure across your bite and alleviate tension. Additionally, dentures support the facial structures. Missing teeth can cause the tissues and muscles of the face to sag and appear hollow. Dentures help patients avoid the “sunken-in” appearance that often accompanies lost teeth. Finally, dentures deliver a beautiful, complete smile. Many patients who receive dentures enjoy a boost in self-confidence because they can eat, chew, and speak with full confidence in their restoration.
At Berger Dental Group, we also offer implant-supported dentures. Rather than resting on the gum tissue, an implant-supported denture is connected to dental implants surgically set in your jawbone for optimal stability. This restorative solution is especially helpful for securing lower dentures, which tend to shift and move while eating or speaking.
Candidacy for an implant-supported denture will depend on the patient’s jawbone health. During a consultation, Dr. Berger can determine whether this is a treatment option for you. Patients who undergo implant treatment will be able to receive all phases of treatment in one convenient location.
Before beginning treatment, you will need to attend an initial consultation in our office. Dr. Berger will perform a comprehensive oral assessment to determine which type of denture will be most beneficial for you. X-rays and scans will also be taken to assess the health of the underlying bone and structures. During this appointment, we will also determine if any preparatory procedures need to be performed, such as tooth extractions. Patients receiving an implant-supported denture may require a bone graft or sinus lift prior to undergoing dental implant surgery.
Dentures deliver a beautiful, complete smile. Many patients who receive dentures enjoy a boost in self-confidence because they can eat, chew, and speak with full confidence in their restoration.
For those patients receiving traditional dentures, we will take impressions of your teeth and gums and send those impressions to our dental lab. They will be used to make a wax model of your new prosthesis. Any necessary alterations will be communicated to the lab, and a skilled technician will begin the creation of your final denture. This process may take up to two weeks, but timelines can vary for every individual.
Once your new dentures arrive from the lab, we will schedule you for an appointment to try them on. Dr. Berger will check your bite and make any necessary adjustments. It may take a few weeks to become completely accustomed to your prosthesis. During this time, it is not uncommon to need slight adjustments periodically. We will see you for follow-up appointments in our office to ensure everything is fitting properly.
If you are missing teeth, and would like to explore denture options, schedule an appointment at the Berger Dental Group. You can contact us online or call us at (803) 787-9793.
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