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Dentures – Ann Arbor, MI

Complete Your Smile with Beautiful Dentures

Woman holding model for dentures in Ann Arbor If you’ve lost several or all your teeth, you don’t need to live with the challenges of an incomplete smile. Patients who are suffering from severe tooth loss can benefit from customized dentures in Ann Arbor. Dr. Olsen can provide reliable and affordable restorations to rebuild a beautiful, complete smile. He’ll create the personalized plan you need to replace your missing teeth.

Who’s a Good Candidate for Dentures?

Hand holding upper denture

Every tooth is invaluable to your oral health and quality of life. If you’ve lost most or all your natural teeth in one or both arches, it’s best to replace them right away to protect your dental and overall health from any additional complications. Dentures are a suitable solution for patients who have significantly damaged teeth, such as from decay or infection. They are also recommended for patients with extensive tooth loss. Generally, you’ll need to be in good oral and general health to benefit from them; however, if you have any untreated dental issues, your dentist in Ann Arbor can resolve them to ensure your dentures have a healthy foundation. Here’s what you should know about being a good candidate for dentures.

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Effects of Missing Teeth

a woman smiling after getting dentures in Ann Arbor

If you’re struggling with moderate to severe tooth loss, it’s important to know how this typically occurs as well as the consequences of not replacing your lost pearly whites. Firstly, the most common reasons for missing teeth include decay, accidental injury, gingivitis, and poor oral hygiene. Other systemic conditions can also result in major tooth loss.

Even if you’ve lost a single tooth, it’s crucial that you replace the gap in your smile. If left unaddressed, you can end up experiencing several kinds of complications. These can include dental shifting, jawbone deterioration, gum recession, facial sagging, trouble speaking, difficulty eating, and reduced self-confidence.

What Qualifies You for Dentures?

a man smiling with dentures in Ann Arbor

Fortunately, anyone who’s missing any number of teeth can be considered a candidate for dentures. This treatment is incredibly versatile and can help patients who are struggling with tooth loss, decay, or even sensitive teeth. For them to work, you will require healthy gum tissue and strong jawbones.

The type of denture that you’ll receive will also depend on the number of teeth that you’re missing. Based on what we find, we can provide you with partial dentures, full dentures, or implant dentures. This treatment is also one of the more cost-effective methods for replacing missing teeth, making them a great choice for those who are working with a budget.

Alternative Tooth-Replacement Options

a patient smiling after receiving his dentures in Ann Arbor

If dentures aren’t a good fit for you, then our team will walk you through your other tooth-replacement solutions. These will typically include:

  • Dental bridges – If you’re only missing one or several teeth in a row, then a dental bridge will be your ideal solution. By anchoring two crowns (with pontics connecting them) to the healthy adjacent natural teeth on either side of the gap, you can effectively restore your full smile.
  • Dental implants – For a more comprehensive and stable foundation, we can embed titanium posts into your jawbone that your restoration(s) will connect to. Not only will this rebuild your teeth from the roots up, but the implants will also help preserve your jawbone, preventing deterioration and dental shifting.

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Types of Dentures

Model of a partial denture

Not all dentures are the same. There are multiple types depending on your degree of tooth loss. Dr. Olsen will perform a thorough consultation and discuss your options, which can include:

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are custom-crafted dental prosthetics used to treat consecutive and nonconsecutive tooth loss. Replacement teeth are set in a gum-colored base that has metallic attachments that allow them to be held in place by your remaining teeth.

Full Dentures

Full dentures combine replacement teeth with a gum-colored base that rests on top of your gum tissue to treat an entire arch. It is held in place using suction or an adhesive to provide the support you need for speaking and eating.

Implant Dentures

As an alternative to traditional dentures, you can add the security of dental implants. Titanium posts are surgically placed into your jawbone to serve as tooth roots to anchor your denture in place. You’ll enjoy an option that looks and feels natural while having the potential to last for decades with the right care.

How Dentures Are Made

Close-up of woman holding denture in Ann Arbor, MI

Virtually everyone is familiar with dentures and how they’re used to replace missing teeth. However, considerably fewer people know about how they’re made. Our team is more than happy to explain what steps need to be taken in order to create your completely personalized dentures. Here’s a brief summary of what the process usually entails. If there’s anything you’re unclear about, please let us know when you visit our office.

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What Are Dentures Made Of?

Close-up of a completed denture in Ann Arbor, MI

The foundation of your dentures is known as the base. When you get full dentures, you’ll find that the base is often made out of acrylic that can blend in with the nearby gum tissue. The base of a partial denture can also be made out of acrylic, but nylon might be used in certain cases, and the clasps that attach the prosthesis to the rest of your smile may be made of metal. Other materials might be used for the base depending on your needs.

The artificial teeth will be made out of a material that can closely mimic the appearance of real enamel; this typically means resin or porcelain. Don’t forget that not all dentures support the same number of artificial teeth. 

The Denture Creation Process

Close-up of hands working with dentures in Ann Arbor, MI

At the beginning of the process, we will need to scan your mouth to create a digital impression. This is to help ensure that the dentures are precisely the right size. We’ll then get in touch with a trusted dental laboratory and send them the impression so that they can start crafting your dentures.

A model of your gumline will be created out of wax. Then, using a special instrument called an articulator, a lab technician will set artificial teeth in the appropriate areas. Small adjustments might be made as needed.

The lab will send us the wax dentures so that we can confirm that they fit properly. After we send them back, the lab technicians will put the dentures in a flask with a layer of plaster. The flask will be exposed to boiling water to melt away the wax so that it can be replaced with acrylic.

After the plaster is removed (which may involve an ultrasonic bath), the completed dentures will be given a final polishing before they’re sent back to our office.

Adjusting to Your New Dentures

Senior man in grey shirt resting on couch

Dentures do tend to feel a little odd when you first start wearing them, but they’ll feel a lot more like your natural teeth once you have had a chance to get used to them. Early on, it’s a good idea to mainly eat softer foods that don’t demand as much chewing. Reading aloud is also recommended, as it can help teach your tongue how it needs to move to make certain sounds while accounting for the presence of dentures.

The Benefits of Dentures

Pair of complete dentures

As a tried-and-true solution for missing teeth, you can rest assured you’re making a smart decision for your smile. When choosing dentures, you’ll enjoy many benefits, including:

  • Rehabilitate your ability to eat a variety of foods without any pain.
  • Affordable and convenient solution.
  • Customized to meet your exact needs for a comfortable fit.
  • Long-term option with the right aftercare.
  • Easy maintenance and care.
  • Maintain a youthful appearance.
  • Closely look and feel realistic.
  • Made of durable, high-quality materials.

These examples barely scratch the surface!

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Psychological Benefits

Compared to living without teeth, replacing them with dentures provides a significant boost to your self-esteem. Not only can you feel more confident in yourself, but you can allow yourself to smile more frequently, which has been shown to improve mental health. Because of your dentures, you don’t have to hide when someone takes a photo or stay quiet when someone talks to you. You can live a fuller life!

Clearer Enunciation

Have you ever tried to talk with fewer, or even no, teeth? Some sounds, like s, z, th, f, and v, require teeth to say them clearly. Otherwise, communication can become challenging and frustrating to say the least. When you replace missing teeth with dentures, however, you can pronounce sounds with greater ease, allowing others to understand you better. As a result, you can speak with more confidence and share your thoughts more freely.

Improves Nutrition

If you’ve spent any amount of time without a complete smile, you may have experienced the difficulty of eating with missing teeth. For many, nutritious foods like raw fruits and vegetables are automatically off the table, and softer and more processed foods become a regular part of the menu. Unhealthy diet has been linked to many serious health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and much more. On the other hand, replacing your lost teeth with dentures, especially implant dentures, can give you the biting power to maintain a healthy diet and improve your quality of life.

Preserves Oral Health

If you are considering implant dentures, this option comes with an extraordinary benefit—keeping your jawbone strong. You see, when teeth are extracted or lost, the root is no longer there to stimulate the bone tissue. Over time, the body simply resorbs nutrients, making the jawbone weaker and weaker. However, implant dentures replace the entire tooth structure—even the root. Because of this, the jawbone remains stimulated and well nourished.

Expands Opportunities

Would you like to get a better job? Are you interested in finding that special someone? Do you need to feel better about yourself so you can chase a dream? Having a complete smile can open doors and help you reach your goals, no matter what they are!

Understanding the Cost of Dentures

Cost of dentures in Ann Arbor

As you embark on the pursuit of replacing your missing teeth, you’ll come to understand the cost of dentures in Ann Arbor varies greatly from patient to patient. Because of the various factors that are considered when formulating an estimate, it is essential that you schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Olsen. It is only during this appointment that he can evaluate your oral cavity and facial structures and recommend the appropriate course of action to put you closer to a new and improved smile.

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Factors That Affect the Cost of Dentures

Dentures in Ann Arbor

Before you can start the process of identifying how your denture will look and fit inside your mouth, we must evaluate your smile and create a personalized treatment plan. In this plan, you’ll not only learn about the process of receiving dentures, but you’ll also better understand the cost associated with your dentures in Ann Arbor.

Three important factors your dentist will consider when determining how much you’ll spend on your new prosthetics include:

  • Whether you need periodontal therapy, tooth extractions, or bone grafting before receiving your customized dentures (preliminary treatments)
  • The types of materials required to create the base and artificial teeth of your prosthetics
  • The type of denture you will need (partial, full denture, or implant denture)

You may discover there are cheaper materials available; however, you may not realize that cheaper isn’t always better. Some materials break more easily, and others do not offer the same level of comfort. You’re investing in your smile, so make sure you choose a denture dentist in Ann Arbor who is committed to providing durable and long-lasting prosthetics you can enjoy.

Are Implant Dentures More Expensive?

Implant dentures in Ann Arbor

When you consider the upfront expenses that come with these prosthetics, yes, implant dentures are more expensive. However, if you compare the additional components (i.e., products used and regular maintenance), you’ll find implant dentures are much more cost-effective. Traditional dentures do not fuse with the jawbone, so denture adhesive is commonly purchased to help keep them firmly in place while eating or speaking. Also, you’ll need a denture cleaner and specialized instruments to keep your prosthetics clean. Whereas, implant dentures function just like normal teeth, so you can take better care of your oral and overall health.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?

Dental plan blocks in Ann Arbor

Most dental insurance companies offer available coverage to patients seeking dentures. When you review your policy, you will notice these prosthetics are typically under minor or major restorative services and are covered at 50-80%. While your deductible and annual maximum will be considered, most dental insurance companies will step in to pay a majority of the cost, helping you to keep more money in your pocket. But you can count on our team to help you navigate your policy as well as identify ways to readily maximize your benefits and avoid additional, unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.

Other Options for Making Dentures Affordable

Couple smiling with dentures in Ann Arbor

For uninsured patients, you can apply for low or zero interest financing through CareCredit. As a third-party financier, our team works closely with them to ensure our patients can receive necessary treatment while remaining within their budgets. This unique payment plan allows individuals to break up the cost of care into manageable monthly installments. With a variety of plans to choose from, our team can help you apply for the one that is right for you.

Revitalize Your Smile Today

Model of implant dentures for lower arch

If you’re ready to fill the spaces in your smile, we’re here to help. We’ll perform the consultation you need to determine your best tooth replacement option. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment for dentures. We look forward to enhancing your smile and overall wellness using a personalized treatment plan.

Dentures Aftercare

Dentures soaking in a solution

Getting dentures can completely transform the appearance and function of your smile. However, even if you don’t have any remaining natural teeth, this doesn’t mean that you should stop seeing the dentist. Regular checkups are important for a variety of different reasons. Your dentist will continue to monitor any existing teeth and gum tissue. They will also keep an eye out for any abnormalities that could indicate oral cancer and other issues. When you wear dentures, it is very difficult to notice these changes on your own. Early detection is key to making a full recovery.

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Removeable Dentures

Woman holding dentures

Remove After Eating

After each meal, you should remove and rinse off your dentures with water. This helps to prevent the buildup of food debris and plaque. When rinsing, don’t use hot water, as this can warp the denture material and cause it not to fit properly.

Clean Your Restoration

Remove your dentures when you clean them. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of unscented hand soap, mild dish soap, or denture cleanser, gently brush your dentures. Don’t use regular toothpaste. Dentures aren’t made to stand up to abrasive products. If you won’t be wearing the dentures again right away, place them in a container of denture cleansing solution so they don’t dry out and lose their shape. Rinse your dentures thoroughly before putting them back in your mouth. These cleaning materials aren’t intended to go in the mouth.

Keep Your Dentures Safe

When you clean your dentures, you may want to place a towel beneath you. This way, if you accidentally drop them, they will be less likely to become damaged. Keep your dentures out of reach of

Remove When You Sleep

Take your dentures out at night when you go to bed. Wearing dentures restricts the circulation to the gums. This can lead to soft tissue irritation. Sleeping with dentures has also been associated with a higher risk of pneumonia as well as higher levels of gum and tongue plaque. Remember to keep your dentures in a denture-soaking solution overnight. If you allow your dentures to cry out, they can permanently lose their shape.

Notice Changes

Keep an eye out for changes so you can address them with your dentist. This includes mouth sores, gum irritation, or signs of infection. If your dentures become damaged, don’t attempt to repair them on your own. You could accidentally damage them further. Instead, give us a call. If your dentures are shifting, clicking, or showing other signs of not fitting properly, let us know. Your dentures may need to be relined or replaced.

All-on-4 Dentures

Man with dentures holding a toothbrush

If you have all-on-4 dentures, the aftercare process looks a little bit different. Remember to brush your dentures twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Stay away from toothpaste containing baking soda or stain-removing agents. Floss your replacement teeth once a day. You may want to consider investing in a water flosser to keep your smile clean. Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash every day to prevent the growth of tartar.

Denture FAQs

older woman smiling after getting dentures in Ann Arbor

Extensive tooth loss can affect more than just your appearance – it can significantly affect your quality of life as well. Luckily, dentures are an excellent solution to rebuild your smile and restore your confidence. However, before committing to the process, you probably want to know more about this method of replacement. To help you out, we’ve decided to answer some common questions we receive from patients. If you don’t see your specific question below, don’t hesitate to contact our team for an answer!

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How Long Will You Have to Wait to Get Dentures After Your Teeth Are Pulled?

After your teeth are pulled, the average wait time to get dentures is between six to eight weeks. It may seem like a long time, but it’s required to ensure your gums have a chance to heal properly, Of course, the exact amount of time needed depends on your unique case, meaning you could wait less or more. Immediate dentures can be placed on the same day as tooth extractions, but they’ll need to be switched out as the shape of your jawbone changes throughout the healing process. If you’re getting implant-retained dentures, you’ll need to wait about four to six months for osseointegration to occur before you can get your artificial teeth.

Can I Sleep with My Dentures?

Initially, you’ll be told to keep your dentures in your mouth for 24 hours, including. After that, it’s strongly recommended that you take them out every night before bed. By doing so, you give your gums and jawbone a chance to recover after the pressure of supporting your dentures all day. The dark, moist space underneath dentures is also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which is why sleeping with them is associated with a higher risk of pneumonia.

Will It Hurt to Get Dentures?

Do you need to have your teeth extracted before getting dentures? If so, you’ll likely experience discomfort after the oral surgery. To relieve discomfort, make sure you take your pain medication as directed and follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions diligently. It should improve within three to five days following your procedure. Once you receive your new dentures, you’ll go through an adjustment period where your gums may feel irritated. The discomfort should gradually fade with time. However, it could take months for some people. If your pain worsens, you should contact Dr. Olsen for treatment. The dentures may not have been fitted properly or there might be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

What Can’t You Eat with Dentures?

Once you get dentures, it’s a good idea to avoid sticky, chewy, and gummy foods. Peanut butter, caramel, and gummy candies can pull your oral appliances out of place, making it difficult for you to chew. Additionally, food particles can become trapped underneath the dentures and irritate the gums. Be cautious with hard foods like popcorn, nuts, apples, and corn on the cob as they can damage or dislodge the dentures. Although it’s okay to indulge in these items occasionally, you should avoid them for the most part.