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Dentures – Collierville, TN

Take Back Your Life with Personalized Dentures

An older woman smiling outside.

While it’s possible to make your original teeth last a lifetime, millions of Americans experience extensive tooth loss as a natural result of aging. This includes missing teeth in the top arch, bottom arch, and even both arches entirely! When you need a quick and affordable solution for replacing teeth, dentures in Collierville are a great way to take back your smile and life! Simply call Dr. Holcomb and his team today to set up your very first consultation! As an expert in full-mouth reconstructions, you can expect a highly personalized prosthetic that feels comfortable day-to-day.

Who’s a Good Candidate for Dentures?

older woman smiling while looking at dentist

Dentures offer a viable solution regardless of the extent of your tooth loss. During your consultation, Dr. Holcomb will carefully assess your oral health. If necessary, he’ll recommend preliminary procedures to address any existing conditions, such as gum disease or tooth decay. Additionally, we'll determine if extractions are necessary to accommodate your new denture. Continue reading to find out if dentures are the right fit for you!

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Effects of Missing Teeth

patient with gap in smile

Tooth loss stems from various causes, and if left untreated, can pose a serious risk to your oral health. Common culprits include tooth decay, gum disease, and accidental facial injury. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, some disadvantages of missing teeth include facial sagging, speech impediments, chewing difficulties, and lower self-confidence.

Thankfully, dentures are an excellent solution to consider! By restoring both the appearance and functionality of your teeth, these oral prosthetics will allow you to speak, eat, and smile with complete confidence once again.

What Qualifies You for Dentures?

patient looking at dentist with X-ray

For patients suffering from significant tooth loss, dentures are a wonderful solution to consider. However, you must have a strong commitment to properly caring for your new teeth and solid oral health before moving forward with this treatment. Addressing any existing dental issues, such as tooth decay or gum disease, is also incredibly important before proceeding with dentures.

It’s worth noting that the type of denture you'll receive will be determined by the extent of your tooth loss. The good news is that dentures are a more budget-friendly option compared to traditional options. Even with budget constraints, you can still achieve a complete smile!

Alternative Tooth-Replacement Options

patient smiling in dental mirror

Not a good candidate for dentures? That’s okay! Dr. Holcomb will recommend other options, such as dental bridges or implants:

  • Dental Bridges: These prosthetics fill the gap left by a missing tooth, supported by adjacent teeth. Ideal for patients missing one or a few teeth, dental bridges require healthy surrounding teeth.
  • Dental Implants: This involves inserting a titanium post into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth. Dental implants require a sturdy bone structure for secure anchoring. While they’re more expensive and involve surgery, dental implants offer unparalleled stability and lasting results.

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Your Tooth Replacement Options

A series of denture types.

No single denture is designed to fit all mouth shapes and sizes. In addition, some patients are missing more teeth than others and therefore require a denture that fits these needs. Below, you can learn about our office’s different options so you can better determine the best solution.

Partial Dentures

Do you still have healthy remaining teeth? Partial dentures are likely the best selection for your needs. We start by capturing an impression of your mouth, which is then used to create a denture that matches your mouth’s shape exactly, much like a puzzle piece. The foundation is made of a metal framework which holds a gum-colored base and series of prosthetic teeth. The denture stays in place by wrapping around existing teeth using hooks.

Full Dentures

We use a full denture to replace an entire top or bottom arch. Once Dr. Holcomb captures an impression of your mouth, the acrylic base can be designed and the replacement teeth can be placed. The denture stays in place through natural suction of your gums, but denture adhesive can make the process easier during the first several weeks of use. Thanks to advancements in dental materials and planning software, dentures are more comfortable and natural-looking than ever before.

Implant Dentures

While many patients find traditional dentures to be sufficient, you can also take the extra step of having dental implants placed, which then hold the denture more effectively. Depending on the condition of your bone volume, anywhere between four and six implants are placed inside of the jaw and then given time to heal before the implant denture is attached. This ensures your denture does not shift out of place or loosen while speaking or eating your favorite meals!

How Dentures are Made

Blue gloved hand holding a full upper arch of dentures

Many patients are surprised to learn that being fitted with dentures can take some time and are frustrated by the delay. Knowing more about the process can help you better understand why it’s worth the wait. Plus, understanding the steps involved can help you appreciate your restoration that much more. Continue reading to learn what goes into creating your dentures. If you have additional questions or are ready to schedule your initial consultation, please feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to accommodate you.  

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What Are Dentures Made Of?

Birds eye view of several sets of dentures on a light blue background

Regardless of how many teeth you need to replace, your dentures will include two main components; the base and the artificial teeth (pontics). Below is a more detailed description of each section:

  • Denture base. This is the foundation used to hold your artificial teeth in place. It can be made from a variety of materials like acrylic, nylon, porcelain, resin, or metal. If you’re getting a full set of dentures, they’ll likely have an acrylic base because it so closely resembles the look and feel of your gums, although in some cases nylon is used in its place. Partial dentures typically include metal clips that attach to your remaining teeth to stabilize them in your mouth.
  • Artificial teeth. The base will contain the appropriate number of pontics to refurbish your grin. They’re usually made from porcelain or composite resin because both can be customized to match your natural smile, though porcelain is often preferred for its durability. That said, it can be abrasive on neighboring teeth if you have any so if you’re getting partial dentures, they may be made of resin, instead.

The Denture Creation Process

Technician with white gloves sculpting a set of dentures

Your dentures will be customized just for you and so there are many steps involved to ensure they look and feel exactly as intended. The step-by-step process generally includes:

  • Step 1: Dr. Holcomb will take impressions of your upper and lower gums using a thick paste. You’ll bite into this firmly and remain still while it hardens around your teeth to create a reverse mold. This will be used to create a plaster model of your mouth to ensure your dentures fit correctly.
  • Step 2: This cast is sent to a dental laboratory where technicians will start creating your dentures by placing a wax version of your gumline over the plaster.
  • Step 3: Artificial teeth are built and placed into the wax with a mechanical device called an articulator. Then the technician will shape and carve the wax to look like your gums.
  • Step 4: These wax dentures are sent back to Dr. Holcomb so that he can schedule you for a fitting. If everything looks good, they’ll be sent back to the lab to be finalized.
  • Step 5: Back at the lab, the technician heats the dentures to melt the wax away. This is done by placing them into a flask that’s filled with plaster to capture the shape of the dentures. Then the entire flax is placed in hot water to boil the wax away.
  • Step 6: Holes are inserted into the artificial teeth so the material can attach to them. A liquid separator is added to the plaster layer to keep the acrylic from sticking to it. Then acrylic is injected into the flask to replace the wax.
  • Step 7: Using specialized lab tools, the plaster is carefully removed to reveal the dentures underneath. They’re cleaned in an ultrasonic bath to ensure none is leftover.
  • Step 8: Any excess acrylic will be trimmed off and the dentures will be polished.
  • Step 9: These will be sent to Dr. Holcomb for a final fitting with you to ensure the dentures fit and work properly.

Adjusting To Your New Dentures

Woman with brown eyes holding green apple next to her smile

You can anticipate a certain level of discomfort when you first get your dentures because your mouth isn’t used to having them in yet. For example, you may notice that your gums feel sore from the pressure of supporting them all day. You might also develop a lisp or other minor challenges speaking until your tongue and muscles become accustomed to them.

It’s important to be patient with yourself during this time because you’re having to relearn basic skills with a new oral appliance. It might help to stick with softer foods or try a denture adhesive until you’re more comfortable wearing them. After about a month, you’ll have adjusted and will be able to eat and speak more naturally.

What are the Benefits of Dentures?

Dentist showing an older patient dentures in Collierville.

Getting a denture does both your smile and your long-term oral and overall health a big favor. For example, you can expect many benefits that enhance your quality of life and give you newfound confidence, including:

  • The ability to consume more foods comfortably
  • A more balanced diet and better nutrition
  • A natural-looking smile made from lifelike materials
  • A denture that lasts between five and seven years (depending on how well you care for them)
  • A cost-effective solution for severe tooth loss

How to Care for Your Dentures

A person cleaning a denture.

While your denture will need to be replaced eventually, there are ways to make it last for as long as possible. For example, you should make sure to:

  • Always rinse your denture after meals or snacks
  • Handle your denture with care, especially over a sink
  • Place a towel in the sink while cleaning them to prevent cracks from accidental drops
  • Soak them in cold water or denture cleanser when not in use
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove food debris and plaque twice a day
  • Always clean your mouth after removing your denture
  • Stay on top of routine dental checkups and adjustments

Understanding the Cost of Dentures

Model showing the cost of dentures in Collierville

If you’ve experienced significant tooth loss, don’t let the cost of dentures in Collierville deter you from replacing your missing teeth. They are an affordable and convenient option to restore a beautiful, functional smile. Our office will help you invest in a denture that fits your needs and your budget, so you can chew, speak, and smile confidently.

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Factors that Affect the Cost of Dentures

Woman holding dentures at dental office

There isn’t a set price for dentures because their cost is based on several factors. Your denture dentist in Collierville will provide you with an estimate during your initial consultation. On average, you can expect the fees to include:

  • Additional Procedures: It’s not uncommon to need a little prep work before receiving your dentures, like tooth extractions. Any additional procedures will be included in the price.
  • Type of Acrylic: The base will be made from acrylic and dyed to match the color of your gums. There are several materials that can be used to create the base, each with different costs.
  • Replacement Teeth: Your new teeth will be made of acrylic or porcelain, which have different fees. It’s best to consider their appearance and durability when choosing a material.

Although everyone wants to save money, you shouldn’t necessarily choose the cheapest dentures in Collierville. As the saying goes, “you’ll get what you pay for.” It’s best to choose a high-quality denture that will offer a comfortable fit and serve you for many years with the right care.

Are Implant Dentures More Expensive?

Model of implant denture

Typically, implant dentures are more expensive up front; however, they are most cost-effective long-term. With the support of implant posts, you’ll enjoy a nearly perfect replica of your natural teeth to eliminate any slipping or irritation. Dental implants have over a 95% success rate to last for decades, unlike a traditional denture that will need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. Although you’ll pay more initially, implant dentures can save you money down the road.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?

Insurance claim form for dentures

Every dental insurance policy differs, but most plans offer coverage for dentures. They are considered a major procedure, so you can expect your policy to cover about 50% of the costs depending on your plan. After reaching your annual deductible, you can use your benefits to offset the amount you need to pay. We know dental insurance can be confusing, which is why our team is here to help. We’ll file the necessary paperwork to maximize your coverage to keep your treatment affordable.

Other Options for Making Dentures Affordable

Dentures and oral hygiene products

If you have any out-of-pocket expense, our office accepts a variety of payment options to keep a complete smile within your budget, such as:

  • Traditional Payments: We accept traditional payment methods, including cash, check, and most major credit cards.
  • Third-Party Financing: We work with third-party financing. You are given the funds you need, which you’ll repay using a flexible payment plan.

A member of our team will explain your options for payment and help you find the solutions you need to treat your tooth loss without breaking the bank.

Dentures Aftercare

Senior man with hat outside and smiling

Dentures may not be exactly the same as your natural teeth, but you still need to give them excellent care if you want to get as many years of use as possible out of them. Obviously, you should continue to pay our office a visit once every six months so that we can confirm that your dentures are in good shape and address oral health issues early on. That said, you also need to make sure that your dentures are well cared for on a daily basis. Our team is more than happy to offer some important tips for helping your dentures last.

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Removable Dentures

Remove After Eating

Food debris and plaque can build up on your dentures just as easily as they can accumulate anywhere else in your mouth. As such, whenever you finish eating, you should take your dentures out and gently rinse them off. Always avoid using hot water on your dentures; high temperatures might warp the material that your prosthesis is made out of.

Clean Your Restoration

It’s important to give your dentures a good cleaning at least once every day. Even with regular rinsing, harmful bacteria could still be living on your replacement teeth, and you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. Fortunately, cleaning dentures is actually quite simple; a soft-bristled toothbrush and some dish soap are often enough to do the job. (Do not use toothpaste, as it tends to be too harsh on artificial teeth and may cause lasting damage.)

Keep Your Dentures Safe

While we do design dentures to be durable, the fact of the matter is that they can break if dropped or handled improperly. Therefore, you need to be as careful as possible with them, especially when they’re outside of your mouth. When cleaning them, make sure to hold them over a towel or another soft object to minimize the risk of damage from falls. And when you store them, put them in a place where children and pets can’t get to them easily.

Remove Dentures When You Sleep

Wearing your dentures 24/7 might sound like a harmless decision, but as far as your oral health is concerned it’s simply not a good choice. It restricts the circulation of blood in your gums, which can cause your soft tissues to become irritated. Furthermore, keeping dentures in the mouth overnight has been shown to increase the risk of developing pneumonia.

As such, you should always take your dentures out before you go to sleep. Make sure that you keep them in a container that has been filled with a denture-soaking solution. This is to help them stay moist even while you’re not wearing them; dentures can potentially lose their shape if they’re allowed to dry out.

Notice Changes

Any problems that arise with your dentures should be dealt with as soon as possible. Call our office right away if:

  • Your dentures don’t fit correctly.
  • Your dentures have been damaged.
  • You are experiencing mouth sores, gum irritation, or other concerning oral developments that might be linked to your dentures.

Denture FAQs

If you think you might need dentures to replace some or all of your teeth, your first step should be to schedule a visit with Dr. Holcomb so that he can discuss the process with you and answer any questions you might have about the treatment. The answers to the common questions listed below should serve as a good starting point for learning more about your false teeth; we suggest writing down additional concerns so that you don’t forget to bring them up during your visit.

What is the Right Age for Dentures?

The exact answer is different for everyone since tooth loss can occur at any age. You are generally more likely to need dentures the older you get; according to the National Center for Health Statistics, around 66% of adults between the ages of 40 and 64 have lost at least one tooth, and the American Dental Association has found that 57% of patients over the age of 65 need dentures in some form. This is largely due to the damage your teeth can suffer from natural wear and tear over the years. That said, it’s possible that you may need dentures early due to an accident or as the result of poor oral hygiene.

How Will Dentures Change My Diet?

It will take some time to get used to chewing with dentures. Once you do, you’ll be able to enjoy a reasonably varied diet, but there will still be some foods that prove challenging. You should largely stay away from sticky foods like peanut butter that can pull dentures off the gums as well as overly hard foods like nuts and raw carrot sticks that might damage the restoration. Tough meats that are difficult to chew can put a lot of stress on your dentures and your gums, so make sure that you cut them into very small pieces first. If you have implant dentures, you can more or less eat anything you want without having to worry about restrictions.

Why Do I Need to Take Dentures Out at Night?

Your dentures will partially restrict the circulation of blood in your gums. When they’re worn for an excessive amount of time, they can cause tissue irritation and might even lead to the ridge breaking down. Also, the space beneath them is the ideal place for bacteria to breed; in fact, people who sleep with their dentures in have been shown to be at a higher risk for pneumonia. Removing your dentures every night is essential for a healthy mouth and good oral hygiene.

Can Dentures Be Claimed as an FSA or HAS expense?

If you rely on a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA) to pay for dental care, you should normally expect reimbursement for dentures since they are a necessary restoration. We’ll have to go over your account with you to confirm the extent to which dentures are covered. Please remember that FSA’s will most likely put a cap on how much coverage you are entitled to during the year.