Kyle Taylor, DDS

Tranquil Bay Dental

2415 Penny Road Suite 203

High Point, NC 27265

336-884-8989

At Deep River Pointe

Bridgework, Dentures & Partial Dentures

Bridgework, Dentures, Partials and Prosthetic Teeth in High Point, NC

People lose their teeth for many reasons, but the most common are periodontal disease and severe tooth decay.  Whether you are missing all of your teeth, or just several teeth in one area, bridgework and dentures will help improve your ability to chew and speak naturally.  In addition, they provide support for the lips and cheeks in the areas where teeth are missing, improving your appearance and self-esteem.

An example of a fixed bridge is below:

Replace Missing Teeth with a Fixed Dental Bridge

If you are missing a tooth or teeth, not only may your appearance be affected, but you may have difficulty chewing or speaking normally. Your remaining teeth may drift out of place causing problems with your bite. In the worst cases, the shape of your face may be affected due to missing teeth. So you can see it’s important – both aesthetically and physically – to fill the space left by missing teeth.

Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, or a “bridge,”—is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Typically, it’s constructed by making crowns for the teeth, called abutment teeth, on each side of a space where you are missing a tooth. An artificial tooth, known as a pontic, then is fixed to the two crowns, and this “bridge” is cemented permanently to the abutment teeth.

The difference between a crown and a fixed bridge is that a bridge replaces a missing tooth, whereas a crown replaces the “clinical crown” of a tooth that is currently present.

The most natural alternative to replace missing teeth is with a dental implant. A metal cylinder is surgically implanted in your jaw and serves as an artificial root on which the new tooth is placed. The main advantage of the implant over the bridge is the teeth next to the space do not need to be altered or otherwise affected. In comparison, the advantage of a bridge over an implant is that the time it takes to achieve a final result is lessened.  However, this has to be weighed against whether the teeth that must be prepared really need full coverage protection or if it is just being done as part of the necessity of a fixed bridge. We can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both procedures as they apply to you personally, which is what really counts.

Removable Full and Partial Dentures

Unlike fixed bridgework and dental implants, which are not removable, both types of dentures—full and partial dentures—are removable.

Full Dentures

Full dentures are used to replace all the teeth in an upper or lower arch. They may be entirely supported and retained by the gums, or supported by dental implants, which are surgically placed in the bone for support.

Even if you do not know much about basic physics, almost everyone has heard of the “Snowshoe Effect.” A snowshoe is a wide tennis-racket-like shoe that lets the wearer walk on top of even deep powdery snow by distributing the forces over a wider area.  So it is with the distribution of forces with a full or “complete” denture.  As we have previously discussed, the jaw not only loses bone over time with the absence of teeth, but it also loses bone with the addition of daily pressures being placed upon it. A correctly made denture distributes these forces for not only that purpose, but also to achieve the greatest amount of security to the wearer.

There is a great difference between an upper denture and a lower denture as relates to security, stability, and fit.  A good upper denture on most patients stays in place without any adhesive and “suctions” into place.  A good lower denture on most patients is a balancing act where gravity plays a role as well as the tongue in order to keep it in place during chewing a meal.  With complete dentures, food should be chewed in small bites and should be chewed on both sides of the mouth at the same time to keep both dentures in place.

Partial Dentures

Removable “partial” dentures replace teeth when only some of the teeth in an arch are missing. They may be supported by gums and teeth, and they typically consist of natural-looking replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base, with a cast metal frame underneath.

Sometimes there is not a back tooth onto which we can connect a bridge. If the patient does not want to have implants for whatever reason, then the only other alternative is a removable partial denture.  As seen in the picture below, the patient has a back tooth present. The partial has a clasp that will fasten to this tooth, providing greater stability than on the patient’s right, where the partial has a “free end extension.”

Why are we showing you this? To emphasize that every tooth matters!  While we can still make a removable partial denture with as few as two teeth (preferably the canines), the secure fit and ability to chew with confidence goes up as the number of teeth remaining increases.

The importance of the flat top of the metal clasps (called a “rest seat”) perched solidly on tooth structure is not to be underestimated in its ability to keep biting forces away from the gums and bone underneath!  The more rest seats on a partial, the less destruction occurs to the underlying jawbone over time.

Flipper Dentures

A temporary partial denture, sometimes worn during the healing phase with front teeth implants, is called a “flipper denture.” An example is in the photo to the right.

How Long Do Dentures Take to Make?

From patient to patient, no two partial dentures are exactly alike in design and stability.

Most bridges require two office visits. First, you’ll come in to our dental practice in High Point to have your teeth prepared and have impressions made – these impressions of your teeth will serve as a model for the bridge, which will be custom made for you. The dentist will make a temporary bridge for you to wear until your next visit – that will help protect your teeth and gums. At the second visit, you’ll receive your permanent bridge, and the dentist will adjust it as necessary to make sure it fits comfortably.

In most cases, removable dentures are made 8-12 weeks after teeth are removed, allowing time for the gum tissue to heal.  The team at Tranquil Bay Dental will make a series of impressions of your jaw and take detailed measurements of your mouth.  Then, a model denture will be made for you to try for fit, color, and shape.  Once the dentist is sure your denture(s) are accurate, a final denture will be made.

Please call us today at 336-884-8989 to discuss your dental needs. We are conveniently located in the High Point, Piedmont, Triad, Deep River NC area.