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Dentures are a way to replace missing teeth that could be lost due to trauma, decay or advanced gum disease. The main benefit is that you will have a set of fully functioning teeth that are custom fit to you. Today’s dentures are more natural looking and comfortable. Dental technology has advanced with the use of new materials, which means a vastly improved set of dentures. There are two main types of dentures- full and partial. Both types are made in a lab, based on a mold of your mouth.

Traditional Dentures

This is when all the teeth have been removed and the tissue is given time to heal before a full denture is placed. The healing time is usually 6-8 weeks before the gingiva is fully healed. During this time you would be without teeth. This method has not been used as much in recent years.

Immediate Full Dentures

Prior to having your teeth extracted, your dentist will take measurements to have dentures fitted for your mouth. After removing the teeth, the dentures are immediately placed. After the appointment, usually, dentures will be left in your mouth, undisturbed, for 24-48 hours. After that time, you will need a follow-up visit with your dentist to access your healing progress. Adjustments to your denture over the next 4-6 weeks are typical and expected as the mouth heals.

Partial Dentures

This option is available when all teeth do not need to be extracted. A partial denture can replace multiple missing teeth if other options are not feasible.

How to Care for Dentures

Keep your dentures clean! Plaque builds up on dentures just like natural teeth. Unless plaque is removed from your dentures, it can spread to your natural teeth and gums causing gum disease and cavities.

  • Remove your dentures every night.
  • Brush your natural teeth and your gums with a soft toothbrush.
  • Soak your dentures overnight in a special cleaner (a denture cleanser), in warm water, or in a half-and-half mixture of warm water and vinegar. If your dentures have metal clasps, soak in warm water only.

See your dentist regularly because your mouth is always changing, therefore your dentures will need some adjusting from time to time to make sure it fits well. If you have a partial denture, regular check-ups are important to make sure that your natural teeth and gums get the care that is needed.


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Over time, our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and wear. If you feel that your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked, a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this, a filling or bonding will not be sufficient. Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, zirconia, or a full gold crown. A consultation with the dentist is the first step to determine what would be the best option for your particular needs.

The process of a crown takes two visits to the dentist. On the first visit, the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic so that you do not experience any discomfort. Sometimes, if the tooth was broken or the inside of the tooth was compromised, a new filing will be put in to ensure a solid foundation for the crown to sit on. This is called a build up. Once the tooth has been reshaped, an impression will be taken of that tooth and surrounding teeth. This impression will be sent to a dental lab so that your new custom crown can be made. Before leaving the dental office, we will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.

The crown takes one week to be returned to your dentist. At this time, you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will again have the local anesthetic to numb the area, and the crown will be placed using a cement to ensure that it sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would for your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing.


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A dental bridge is a restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth. It extends across an area that has no teeth and is typically made up of an artificial tooth fused between two crowns. Bridges are made from gold, metal alloys, porcelain or a combination to ensure that they are strong and durable. The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. This process is identical to how crowns are prepared (see crowns). The dentist will often remove and replace any old restorations in these teeth to ensure that there will be no decay present underneath the bridge. These are called build-ups. After the abutments have been created, a mold is taken of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a custom bridge that will fit properly and will feel like your natural teeth. The bridge consists of two crowns on either end to place the abutments, and a pontic – a solid tooth shaped piece – that is the new tooth replacing your missing one.

We will then fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutment and exposed gum area and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, we will have a follow-up visit to seat the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments, and the dentist will then use an adhesive for the final placement of the bridge.

The bridge may take a while to get used to, but after a few days, it should feel like your own teeth. You should eat soft foods for the first few days. After a short while, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues. If you are missing a tooth, you should strongly consider having it replaced, because missing teeth can cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.


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Composite fillings are also called “white” fillings. Getting this type of filling used to depend on where the tooth is in your mouth. We bite down hard on our back teeth, so a white filling was not a good choice in the past. The technology associated with the new composite fillings, in recent years, has made this type of material, both acceptable and even preferable for both large and small restorations. To place this filling, your dentist cleans all decay from the tooth, and puts a glue (or bonding material) on the inside of the prepared area. Composite resin is then put into the preparation in thin layers. Each layer is then set with the help of a special blue light that your dentist holds over the tooth. When the last layer of the filling is hard, the dentist shapes the filling so it looks and feels natural.

Contact our office at (559) 637-0123 to find out how you can help prevent tooth decay or visit our preventative care page.


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