Why should I wear dentures or partials?
When a person no longer has teeth in their mouth, it's common to feel a sense of loss. Dentures and partials can help to improve a person's appearance which, in turn, restores their confidence.
The teeth support the cheek muscles. When the teeth are gone, the tissue around them is no longer supported. Over time, this causes the mouth to develop a sunken appearance. Dentures and partials help to return the facial structure to a more normal position.
Dentures may even give a person a more youthful look!
Without the constant pounding action caused by chewing with natural teeth, bone loss is inevitable. The sooner a patient can get a denture or partial over a toothless ridge, the less rapid bone loss will occur.
What should I know about my first appointment?
Your first appointment with us is simply a consultation visit. We are excited to get to know you and consider how best we may be able to meet your denture or partial needs.
When you arrive, please have your photo ID and insurance card ready for us to make a copy. There is a bit of paperwork that we'll have you fill out. If you take a number of medications, it may be helpful to you to bring in a list of them that we can add to your chart, instead of you having to write them all down.
Although you don't need a referral from a dentist in order to be see by our Denturist, it is helpful if you have one. Dr. Turner likes to work closely with patients' dentists in order to ensure the absolute best treatment plan is established. If you do receive a referral, please bring it in with you.
If you are a current denture wearer, and you use adhesive to keep your teeth in place, we would ask that you not use any on the days of your appointments. This makes it easier for Dr. Turner to see and work inside your mouth.
We want your new denture experience to be a pleasant and encouraging one, so please don't hesitate to ask whatever questions you may have. We are here for you!
Please do NOT wear adhesive to your appointments
How are my dentures or partials made?
The first step in making new dentures is to get an initial impression of your mouth. We use an alginate material to make a mold of your upper and lower ridges. This appointment takes about 15 minutes.
After you leave, our lab technicians will pour stone into your impressions. When the stone hardens, the mold is removed and a replica of your ridges is formed. The technician then uses these models to fabricate custom trays. The trays are made from a light cure material, which is soft enough to press around the models of your mouth. Once the material is custom fitted to your tissue, it's placed in the light cure machine. After about 5 minutes, the tray comes out hard and solid. Holes are punched into it so that material can flow through. Then the trays are washed and dried, and ready for your next appointment. The lab time involved after your appointment takes about 30 minutes.
Using the custom trays that were fabricated after your previous appointment, final impressions can be taken of your upper and lower jaw arches. The material used in these impressions is different from the alginate used before. This material is smoother, more sturdy, and does not dry our or change shape after it sets. The combination of the tray that is made specifically to fit your mouth, and the more permanent impression material, ensures that the denture will fit as accurately against your tissue as possible. This appointment takes about 15 minutes.
After you leave, the lab technician pours up this final impression and trims the resulting model to remove any imperfections. Once the model is trimmed, a bite block can be made on top of it. This is a tray that sits over your ridges, in much the same way that your denture will. A thick piece of wax it secured around the edge of the tray, in alignment with your bone structure underneath. When inserted in the mouth, these bite blocks will fit together like toothless dentures. The lab time involved after your appointment takes about 2 hours.
This appointment is to determine the relationship between your upper and lower jaw. With a detailed study of your facial structure, Dr. Turner can find what's called your 'natural plane of occlusion' -- the place where your teeth should come together when you close your mouth. To do this, he'll use the wax bite blocks the lab technicians made after your previous appointment. You'll insert them into your mouth, he'll shape them accordingly, then he'll melt a piece of soft wax in-between the upper and lower bite block, so that they remain in the same closed position, even after they come out of your mouth. During this appointment, the assistant will also help you decide what shade of tooth color you would like the teeth in your new dentures to be. This appointment takes about 45 minutes.
After you leave, the lab technicians secure your bite registration to the models of your mouth that the bite blocks were made on, then mount your models on an articulator. The articulator is designed simulate the opening and closing movements of your jaw, so that, once closed, the wax bite blocks come together in the same place your teeth would come together when you bite down. Now the teeth can be set into the wax and shaped to resemble a set of dentures. The lab time involved in this process takes about 6 hours.
In this step, you get to have a preview of what your final denture will look like. All of the teeth are set into the wax bite block (that was used in your last appointment) and dressed up to resemble final dentures. You will try them in, take a look in a mirror, and consider the color, size and shape, and position of the teeth. Let us know if you like your new smile, or if there are questions or concerns you have about how things look, before we go ahead and process them! This appointment takes about 10 minutes.
Once you give us permission to move forward, our lab technicians will remount your wax try in dentures on the models of your mouth and invest them into stone inside brass flasks. Once secure, we can boil out the wax around the teeth without fear of the teeth moving position. The space left vacant by the wax can now be filled with acrylic denture material. The flasks are machine pressed closed, so that the acrylic material spreads evenly around every tooth and along your ridges. Then the flasks are boiled at various temperatures for 2 hours. After they have cooled, the flasks can be broken open and the models removed. All of the stone and extra acrylic must be ground away from the denture. It is professionally shaped and polished, and ready to become your new smile. The lab time involved in this process takes nearly 7 hours!
This is the day that you've been waiting for! Before you try in your new dentures, a member of our staff will educate you on what to expect and how best to care for your new smile. We will answer any questions you may have and will provide you with everything you need to get started on your new journey as a denture wearer. Then Dr. Turner will help you try them in. He will make any adjustments necessary so that they fit comfortably before you leave our clinic. We provide additional help and service for up to 90 days after this appointment, to ensure that you are satisfied with your new smile! This appointment takes about 30 minutes.
What if I've never worn dentures before?
Adjusting to your new dentures or partials can be a very difficult task. But don't worry! Like with any new thing, it just takes the right mindset. A positive attitude and lots of practice will get you feeling comfortable and confident in your new smile before you know it!
Dentures and partials are just like any other prosthetic device. you've lost a natural part of your body and are trying to replace that with something artificial. When a person loses a leg, they must first re-learn how to stand, and then walk, and then they can start to run. Our teeth may not be as big as an arm or a leg, but we use them just as--if not more--often, and the process in adjusting to new ones is much the same. Start out slow. Get used to them in your mouth, learn how they work when you're just resting, when you're talking, and then when you're trying to eat.
Cut your food, take small bites, chew slowly. Remember, this won't be an overnight transition; some patients say it takes even as much as six months before their dentures feel like a more comfortable part of them. So don't give up! Be patient, practice every day, all day, and stay positive!
We understand that new dentures and partials can be a big investment. Here are some tips to help ensure you keep yours lasting a very long time!
- Take your dentures out when you're sleeping at nightThis helps to give your mouth a break and allows oxygen to revitalize your gum tissue.
- Don't use toothpaste or other abrasive cleanersThe gritty particles in toothpaste will cause scratches on the acrylic material that bacteria will start to grow in
- Rinse your dentures every nightBrush your dentures with a plain bristled toothbrush (no toothpaste) to remove any food debris or heavy saliva that can harbor bacteria
- Store your dentures in water If left dry for too long, dentures and partials can become brittle, and will fracture or break more easily
- Soak dentures in a denture-approved cleanerA product like Efferdent or Polident, (the generic brands work fine, too) should be used at least once per week to reduce the amount of bacterial growth or staining that develops over time.
- Keep out of reach of pets!Animals tend to be drawn to the smell of the human mouth, so be sure your furry friends can't get to your dentures or partials when you're not wearing them. We'd hate for your new smile to become someone's chew toy.
If my denture or partial breaks, can you fix it?
Although dentures are quite durable, even the most well cared for eventually require repair. Acrylic material can become brittle after time, resulting in increased likelihood of chipping, cracking, or breakage.
Superglue might seem like an appropriate quick fix, but it really causes more harm than good. The chemicals in glues can have a negative effect on the acrylic material, causing it to become more brittle, and encouraging further breakage in the future. The glue also coats the denture or partial, which prevents new repair material from adhering to the old acrylic.
Allow a broken denture or partial to be properly repaired by your denturist.
Over time, its common for dentures or partials to become loose and no longer fit comfortably in the mouth. A reline may be a cheaper alternative to replacement, and will help the denture or partial achieve its desired level of comfort.
- If a denture or partial was made too soon after extractions, over gum tissue still swollen or inflamed from surgery.
- If a patient had bone growths or bone spurs removed after the denture was already made to fit around them.
- Inevitable bone loss due to age or prolonged lack of natural teeth.
Can I call you if I still have questions?
The staff here at TDC can't wait to meet you! Give us a call, and we'll get you scheduled for a consultation appointment. We'd love the opportunity to address all of your removable dental prosthodontic needs.
Directions From Ellensburg:Follow I-82 E to E. Yakima Ave. in Yakima. Take exit 33B from I-82 onto Yakima Ave. Follow E Yakima Ave for about 2 miles. Turn left on S. 12th Ave. Destination will be on your right.
Directions From Toppenish: Follow I-82 W or US-97 N toward Yakima. Take exit 33 to merge onto E. Yakima Ave. Follow E. Yakima Ave for about 2 miles. Turn left on S. 12th Ave. Destination will be on your right.