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Dentures – Virginia Beach, VA

Enjoy Your Complete Smile Again

Loss of teeth can happen for several reasons, such as dental injuries, severe tooth decay, or advanced gum disease. No matter why you have missing teeth, our dentists can fill the gaps with dentures. At Smile by Design of Virginia Beach, we use advanced techniques, excellent biocompatible materials, and years of restorative dentistry experience to create your new smile. If you’re tired of living life with the inconveniences of missing teeth, contact us today to learn whether dentures in Virginia Beach are right for you!

What Are Dentures?

gray-haired woman admiring her smile with dentures in Virginia Beach

A denture is a custom-made set of prosthetic teeth designed to bring back a patient’s full smile after tooth loss. While you may have grown up hearing your grandparents complain about their awkward and poorly fitting dentures, dental technology has advanced significantly since then. Today’s dentures are personalized to ensure a comfortable, secure fit. Plus, they are made to look completely natural. No one outside of our dental team should even be able to tell that they’re not your “real” teeth!

Who’s a Good Candidate for Dentures?

a man smiling with dentures in Virginia Beach

Dentures are much more versatile and lifelike than they were decades ago, especially with the addition of dental implants. This restoration treatment is best used for patients who are struggling with moderate to severe tooth loss and need help renewing the function and appearance of their smile. This can help make eating more comfortable and boost their self-esteem in the long run. If you wish to know if you’re a good candidate for dentures in Virginia Beach, our team can evaluate your situation, review your medical history and smile goals, and walk you through the process before moving forward with your treatment.

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Effects of Missing Teeth

a woman smiling with dentures in Virginia Beach

Missing teeth can be caused by several various reasons. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, the most common causes may include tooth decay, gum disease, and accidental oral trauma/injury. Additionally, specific systemic conditions (typically inherited disorders) can lead to tooth loss.

If you chose not to replace any gaps in your smile, this can result in multiple negative impacts on your oral health. Some of these complications involve trouble speaking, difficulty eating, facial sagging, and lower self-confidence. Moreover, your natural pearly whites nearby can start to move to fill the space, increasing the risk of further tooth loss, and your jawbone can begin to deteriorate.

What Qualifies You for Dentures?

a mature woman smiling with dentures in Virginia Beach

Almost any person who’s struggling with missing teeth may be a good candidate for dentures. This tooth-replacement option has been a reliable solution for countless patients for decades, allowing them to enjoy their fully functional smiles again! This treatment is a great choice for those with missing, sensitive, and even decayed teeth.

It’s good to note that you’ll need to have sufficient bone density to make the most of dentures. This will help ensure that your facial structure can be preserved for as long as possible. The number of missing teeth can also influence the type of denture you’ll receive. These can include full, partial, and implant dentures.

Alternative Tooth-Replacement Options

a woman learning about dentures in Virginia Beach

Even if you aren’t a good candidate for dentures, it doesn’t mean there aren’t alternative options that you can look into! Other reliable tooth-replacement treatments include:

  • Dental bridges – Are you only missing one to three teeth in a row? If so, you might consider getting a dental bridge to close the gap. This option can work as long as you have strong and healthy teeth on either side of the space. You can expect your restoration to go as far as 10 to 15 years with proper care.
  • Dental implants – These metal posts are considered the gold standard of tooth-replacement options, as they can rebuild your missing teeth from the roots up! With minimal dental care, you can expect your results to last several decades to a lifetime.

Learn More About Dental Bridges

Learn More About Dental Implants

Types of Dentures

implant-retained full denture on bottom arch

If you’re interested in replacing your lost teeth, you’ll first have to schedule a consultation with us. Based on your specific needs, we may recommend one of the following types of dentures:

Partial Dentures

Even if you’re only missing a few teeth throughout your mouth, smiling and eating can prove difficult. Fortunately, a partial denture can rebuild your smile in a way that makes it virtually impossible for anyone to distinguish between your natural and artificial teeth. Partials are made of prosthetic teeth attached to a gum-colored base. The appliance is secured by metal clasps that subtly fit behind your remaining teeth.

Full Dentures

For patients missing all of their original teeth, we offer full dentures. This solution also consists of a pink acrylic base, but they stay in place due to the gums’ natural suction. For added security, you can also purchase some denture adhesive.

Implant-Retained Dentures

If you’re looking for a solution that is more stable and lasts longer, we can see whether you’d make a good candidate for an implant-retained denture. Your dentist in Virginia Beach can anchor a full or partial denture on top of just four to six of these titanium posts that have been strategically placed throughout your jaw. Because dental implants act as the roots of the teeth, they will keep your jawbone strong. With the right oral hygiene routine, they can last for several decades or even for the rest of your life!

How Dentures Are Made

Lab technician carving dentures

If you’re thinking about getting dentures, you may be wondering what the process looks like. By understanding how your replacement smile is made, you will be able to appreciate your new pearly whites even more! Here is what the process generally consists of.

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What Are Dentures Made Of?

Lab technician painting replacement teeth

Dentures are made of two parts – the base and the teeth:

  • Denture Base: This is the foundational structure that gives the artificial teeth support. It can be made from a variety of materials, including acrylic, nylon, porcelain, resin, or metal. Full dentures are usually made from acrylic because it can be tailored to match the natural gum tissue. Partial dentures may use metal clips with an acrylic base.
  • Artificial Teeth: Often made from resin or porcelain because they both have a natural appearance. However, porcelain is the most popular option because it looks and feels just like natural teeth. It is also a very durable material. Since porcelain can be abrasive on adjacent teeth, it’s typically only recommended for full dentures.

The Denture Creation Process

Lap technician making dentures

Each denture is customized for the patient’s mouth, so it requires a multi-step process. Here’s what this usually looks like:

  • Step 1: The dentist takes impressions of the patient’s upper and lower gums using a thick paste. It is used to create a plaster model that is essentially a replica of the patient’s mouth. This model is then used to ensure that the final denture is of the appropriate size and shape. Measurements of the jaw are also taken at this time.
  • Step 2: The cast is sent to the dental laboratory where the dentures are crafted. A wax version of the gumline is created.
  • Step 3: Artificial teeth are set in place. A mechanical device, called a articulator, is used to attach the teeth with wax. The lab technician makes minor adjustments by shaping and carving the wax to ensure that it matches your gums. The wax base is used for your finished dentures.
  • Step 4: The wax dentures are sent to the dental office for a fitting. After being approved by the patient and dentist, the dentures are sent back to the dental lab to complete the process.
  • Step 5: Once they have been returned to the lab, the technician will boil the dentures to get rid of the wax portions. To do this, the dentures are placed in a holding device and plaster is poured to maintain the shape of the dentures. The entire flask is placed in hot water to melt the dentures.
  • Step 6: Holes are made in the teeth so the material can attach to it. A liquid separator is also added to the plaster layer to keep the acrylic from sticking to it. Acrylic is then injected into the flask to replace the wax.
  • Step 7: The plaster is carefully removed using special lab tools to reveal the denture. The acrylic dentures are placed in an ultrasonic bath to remove any remaining plaster.
  • Step 8: Excess acrylic is trimmed off the denture, and then it is polished to perfection.
  • Step 9: Once the denture is ready, it is sent to the dental office and the patient returns for a fitting. If necessary, adjustments can be made to ensure everything fits and looks as it should.

Adjusting to Your New Dentures

Woman smiling with dentures

Dentures take a little bit of time to get used to, so it is normal to feel some discomfort at first. Mild soreness and difficulty speaking and eating are common. However, with time, the mouth will adjust to your new smile, and your replacement teeth will feel very similar to natural teeth. It’s a good idea to stick to soft foods at first and exercise your facial muscles. If discomfort persists, give us a call so we can help.

Benefits of Dentures

smiling woman biting into red apple

When you’re missing multiple teeth, it can be challenging to complete daily tasks, like eating, speaking clearly, and smiling with confidence. Dentures are a life-changing tooth replacement option for patients who are missing several, most of, or all of their teeth because of the restoration’s ability to improve the quality of life. If you’ve suffered from tooth loss, dentures can give your smile another chance by providing the following benefits.

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Psychological Benefits

Woman smiling

People who are missing teeth can lead to a variety of psychological downsides. When there are obvious gaps, it’s common to feel insecure. This can make individuals less inclined to engage in social activities. By restoring the appearance and function of one’s smile with dentures, patients are likely to experience an increase in confidence. Ultimately, dentures can reduce anxieties surrounding appearance, speech articulation, chewing ability, and more.

Clearer Enunciation

Older couple on date

Without a complete smile, it can be much more difficult to speak. In order to pronounce words, your lips and tongue need to be positioned properly. Without being about to touch your tongue to teeth, some words are very difficult to say. Because dentures replace your missing teeth, they allow to you enunciate more clearly while speaking. After a short adjustment period and a little bit of practice, speaking will come naturally.

Improves Nutrition

Man eating healthy meal

Many nutritious foods are tough in texture. This includes fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins. When you can’t chew your food thoroughly, you can experience things like indigestion and malnutrition. With an improved ability to chew, dentures allow for a more expansive diet full of nutritious foods. Ultimately your body will receive more of the essential nutrients it needs for optimal overall health.

Preserves Oral Health

Woman smiling in dental chair

If you still have some remaining teeth, dentures can help to prevent them from shifting around to other areas of the mouth. Also, dentures bear some of the weight of chewing, therefore reducing the wear and tear of the existing teeth.

Expands Opportunity

Woman smiling and hugging friend

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. When it comes to job interviews and getting promotions, it’s crucial to make a great first impression, and a complete smile is certainly an advantage. When you feel more confident about your appearance, it will show in the way that you present yourself. This can mean greater opportunities in your professional and personal life.

Schedule Your Dentures Consultation Today!

Dentures and partials improve speaking and chewing abilities and allow you to smile confidently for years to come. At Smile by Design of Virginia Beach, Drs. Santos and Dr. Folck serve the restorative dentistry needs of Virginia Beach and all surrounding communities. Please make your appointment today!

Understanding the Cost of Dentures

Older woman point to her smile

A new set of teeth isn't as expensive as you might think. Various factors affect the cost of dentures in Virginia Beach, but we strive to keep a beautiful, functional smile affordable for everyone. We won't cut corners to save you money. We'll create the high-quality denture you need without draining your bank account.

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Factors That Affect the Cost of Dentures

Dental instruments on stack of cash

No two mouths are identical, so there’s no one-size-fits-all denture. Your denture is custom made to fit your mouth like a glove. As a result, several things will influence the amount you'll pay, like:

  • Preliminary Treatments: It’s not unusual to require a little prep work, like tooth extractions or gum disease therapy.
  • Type of Denture: Depending on your severity of tooth loss and preferences, you have several options to choose from.
  • Materials: You’ll find discounted materials but they can be low quality. You could pay more in terms of comfort, durability, and aesthetics.

After examining your mouth and learning more about your goals, your denture dentist in Virginia Beach will create a personalized strategy to rebuild your smile.

Are Implant Dentures More Expensive?

Digital model of an implant denture

Implant dentures are more expensive upfront, but for good reasons. As the only solution to replicate the roots and the crowns, they provide a nearly perfect replica of your real teeth. Your new smile will look and feel natural. Dental implants also improve your oral health to avoid many issues caused by tooth loss, so you’ll save even more money down the road. Not to mention, they can last for decades, so you’ll never have to budget for replacements. Although dental implants are associated with a hefty price tag, they are more affordable than you might realize. In addition, you don’t have to pay the entire amount at once because the process takes several months, which can make it easier to budget for your new denture.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?

Insurance claim form on desk

Dentures in Virginia Beach are considered a major service, so they are covered by about 50% after meeting your annual deductible. You can also use your yearly allowance to offset the costs of additional steps in your treatment, like the consultation, tooth extractions, or imaging. A member of our team will work on your behalf with your dental insurance to maximize any applicable benefits. We’ll explain how your coverage is being used and if you owe any out-of-pocket expenses.

Other Options for Making Dentures Affordable

Older woman in dental chair smiling

We will review all your payment options during your initial consultation, which can include:

  • Traditional Payments: Our office accepts all traditional payment methods, including cash, checks, and credit cards.
  • Dental Financing: Based on your credit approval, you can pay for any out-of-pocket expenses using monthly payments with little or no interest through a third-party financing company.

If you have any questions about the cost of dentures, or you’re ready to enjoy a complete smile again, contact our office today. We look forward to helping you achieve your best smile without spending your life’s savings.

Dentures Aftercare

dentures in a glass of water

Taking care of your new dentures in Virginia Beach is the key to extending their lifespan and enjoying them for as long as you can. Our team will be happy to guide you through these maintenance tips during your appointment, but we’ve also outlined some important practices for you below. With the proper maintenance, your removable dentures can last for anywhere between five and 10 years with possible adjustments being made during that time.  

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Removable Dentures

Removable traditional dentures can either be designed to replace several missing teeth across on arch, or an entire row of missing teeth. Partial dentures, which fit like a puzzle piece between existing teeth to replace those scattered throughout your arch, don’t require the same extent of up-keep as full dentures. For example, they won’t need to be stored in water as you sleep. However, just like full dentures, with the proper care, they can last for over five years.

Remove Them After Eating

Whether you have full or partial dentures, it’s good practice to remove them after you eat so you can thoroughly clean your gums and rinse your prosthetic. This will prevent food debris from building up on not only your replacement teeth, but also within the mouth, leading to inflamed soft tissue, gums, and other oral health problems.

Clean Your Prosthetic Twice a Day

Just like with your natural teeth, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean your dentures at least twice a day. You can do this by using either a soft-bristled or special denture-cleaning toothbrush and toothpaste. These products will keep them from becoming scratched or damaged, as they aren’t abrasive. Be sure to only clean your dentures using room temperature or cool water, because hot water can cause them to warp.

Safely Store Them

You should receive a hard, protective denture case from us whenever you pick up your new prosthetic. This is what you’ll use to store them in whenever they aren’t in your mouth to keep them from accidentally becoming lost or damaged.

Remove Dentures When Sleeping

After the first 24 hours, you will need to remove your dentures before you sleep each night. This will help give your gums and facial muscles a rest as well as prevent any sores and discomfort from developing on your gumline. It’s important you store them in room temperature water, as this will help preserve their shape as well as keep them safe whenever they aren’t in your mouth.

Notice Any Changes

With time, the fit of your dentures will gradually change as the soft and hard supportive tissues of your smile do, too. That’s why it’s important that you keep up with your routine dental visits and remain vigilant of any changes, like oral sores, your prosthetics rubbing against a part of your gumline it didn’t used to, etc. You can then bring them in so our team can inspect them, and if necessary, adjust their fit so they continue functioning properly for you.

Denture FAQs

patient smiling after getting dentures in Virginia Beach

Millions of Americans suffer from extensive tooth loss. It’s an issue that affects not only your appearance but your overall quality of life as well. Luckily, dentures can help you enjoy a complete smile once again. At Smile by Design of Virginia Beach, we want to be as helpful as possible throughout the process of rebuilding your smile, which is why we’ve decided to answer some frequently asked questions about this method of tooth replacement. If you don’t see your specific question below, feel free to give us a call !

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

On average, most patients have to wait between six to eight weeks after getting their teeth pulled to receive dentures. However, the exact amount of time will vary depending on your unique case and the type of denture in question. Even though two months sounds like a long time, it’s necessary to ensure your gums heal properly. Immediate dentures can be placed on the same day as an extraction, but they’ll need to be switched out sooner because the shape of the jawbone changes while you heal. If you’re getting implant dentures, you’ll need to wait between four to six months for the titanium post to fuse with the jawbone via osseointegration.

Can I Sleep with My Dentures?

When you first get your dentures, you’ll be asked to keep them in your mouth for an entire 24 hours, including while you sleep. After that initial period, it’s strongly recommended that you remove them every night before bed. Since wearing dentures restricts the circulation in your gums, it’s incredibly important that you take them out during the night. Additionally, sleeping with dentures is associated with poor oral hygiene and an increased risk of pneumonia.

What Qualifies You for Dentures?

There are three types of dentures and the requirements for getting each one are different. Let’s take a look at your possible options:

  • Partial Dentures – This option is ideal for patients who still have most of their teeth.
  • Full Dentures – If you’ve lost all of your teeth or don’t have enough healthy teeth worth saving, your ideal solution may be full dentures.
  • Dental Implants – The titanium posts can support dentures if there’s a sufficient amount of jawbone density to support them.

Will It Hurt to Get Dentures?

If you need oral surgery before receiving dentures, you’ll likely experience mild soreness and discomfort following the procedure. Luckily, you can manage it by taking your prescribed over-the-counter pain medication as directed and using a cold compress. When you first get your dentures, you may have some minor irritation while you adjust to the new oral appliances. Although it can take months to get used to your new smile, the exact amount of time varies by patient. If the pain persists or worsens, contact our team right away for assistance.

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