Complete Dentures

Nothing can be the same as having healthy, natural teeth.  However, complete denture care, when combined with specialized knowledge, skill and experience can restore for most people a natural appearance, reasonable chewing ability, normal speech, health and comfort.  Successful dentures require not only the technical aspects of a well made denture but also appropriate evaluation and treatment of the gums and bone.  Oral physiology such as saliva and mouth movements such as speech and mastication (chewing) should all be taken into account.  Your health, comfort and appearance are dependent on all these factors. Your comfort and ability to function with dentures is also dependent on the amount of your remaining jaw bone or ridge and your ability to accommodate to new dentures. While proven techniques and extensive efforts are used, the final result can not be known in advance and no guarantee of success can be made.  We will, however, use our best efforts to provide you with the finest dentures possible.

Denture Treatment Appointments

To help you understand what is involved in providing proper complete denture care in our office, we have outlined the appointments and some of the many procedures we use to help you obtain better dentures.

  1. Examination, radiographic interpretation, treatment planning, pre-prosthetic procedures and soft tissue conditioning when required
    Examination of your mouth includes assessing the jaw joints, muscle function and coordination, the extent of jaw bone resorption (shrinkage) and irregular bone contours, the condition of the gums, an assessment for oral (mouth) cancer or any infection as well as many other conditions that can affect denture success.
    A radiograph (x-ray) of your upper and lower jaws and jaw joints will be evaluated to rule out pathology (disease) and other complicating factors such as unremoved teeth or tooth fragments.  If dental implants are to be considered, it is critical to know the shape of the jaw bone.
    The shape of the jaw bone or gum can become very distorted when poorly fitting dentures are worn.  Sometimes it is possible to restore a normal shape by temporarily removing the dentures but sometimes soft tissue conditioning is required (a type of temporary soft denture liner) and in severe cases a minor surgical procedure is necessary.  Proper correction is necessary to ensure a snug fit and to avoid unwanted compromises of your new dentures. If your dentures could be made to fit better, be more comfortable or look better, you would probably want to know about this.
    Based on clinical and radiographic examination, recommendations will be made outlining the prosthetic options and any other procedures required that will best address your situation.
  2. Preliminary impressions
    Preliminary impressions of your jaws are an important start to obtaining a proper fit for your dentures.  These impressions are carefully made to capture the basic shape of the entire jaw. It is from these preliminary impressions that a customized tray will be specially made to fit your jaw which will facilitate the making of an accurate final impression.
  3. Final impressions
    An improved fit of the new dentures can be achieved if you remove your existing dentures as much as possible for the 24 hours prior to making the final impressions.  If you normally leave your dentures in your mouth during sleep we highly recommend removing the dentures during sleep for at least the week prior to your final impression.  In general, dentures are best not worn during sleep at any time.
    The better the final impression, the better the fit of the denture.  Your final impression is made using a custom made tray, which is far superior to the common use of a standard tray.  Your final impression is then made in several steps, carefully ensuring that the planned new denture is the correct size and shape and has the best fit in all the different areas of the mouth.  Your final impression is also made ensuring that your lips, tongue and mouth can make normal movements without interfering with the denture. Making your impression in this manner requires additional time and expertise but will result in a much better denture.
  4. Determination of denture base shape and tooth position using facial dimensions, bite relationships, aesthetic (appearance) and phonetic (speech) evaluations.
    You are encouraged to bring photographs of yourself, such as graduation or wedding, that clearly show your natural teeth to aid in our understanding your natural jaw and dental alignment.  These photos can be used to help regain this appearance or if you prefer, to better understand the challenges to alter your appearance. Consider bringing photographs of family members who have a similar appearance to yourself.  You can also bring pictures of friends or from a magazine that you feel shows the kind of smile you want.
    During this appointment, the general position and alignment of the teeth will be determined as well as the approximate height of the teeth.  The position of the teeth will influence your facial appearance and your opinion and preferences are reflected in how the denture is made. The tooth position is also determined by phonetics, or how you speak and the natural alignment of your jaws.  Muscle movement and activity must also be properly assessed during tooth positioning to avoid muscle soreness.
    The reason most dentures look like dentures and not like real teeth is that the denture teeth are typically too small, too closely matched in shape, not aligned like natural teeth and the height of the teeth is too short making the person look older than they really are. Some patients know precisely what look they are after and some just like having an opportunity to see what we can come up with, the decision is yours. Many of our patients want their dentures to look completely natural but some want to have a ‘Hollywood’ or other ‘look’.  The decision is yours.
  5. Try in of wax denture prior to completion and patient approval
    Before the denture is actually finished, once the denture teeth are held in position by pink wax, they can be tried in your mouth to assess your appearance and phonetics (speech).  In many regards, what you see, is what you get and you can tell for yourself how the final denture will be. It is at this stage, that you have an opportunity to view and request changes to the appearance of your denture prior to processing (completion).
    Please feel welcome to bring your spouse, other family member or a friend from whom you might want an opinion at this time.  Small changes can be completed during this appointment, but if more significant changes are required, additional appointments will be arranged, as you require.  Because the teeth are held in position by wax, it is not possible for you to eat anything or leave the office with the dentures. Your approval of denture appearance and phonetics (speech) is necessary before the dentures are processed (completed) because it is not possible to alter tooth position or denture design after this stage.
  6. Processing, remount procedures and insertion
    During this appointment, the completed dentures will be checked for proper fit and any areas of increased pressure adjusted to reduce the chances of getting sore spots.  Most importantly, the denture bite will be adjusted by remeasuring and placing the dentures on a specialized machine for refinement of your bite. Denture stability is determined to a large degree by how even the bite can be made.
    During the time that the denture bite is being refined, information and instruction will be provided on how to care for your new dentures that will help you obtain the maximum enjoyment and minimize the adjustment period.  You will be provided with written instructions, a denture cleaning brush, denture cleaning sample and a storage container.
  7. One day and one week, post insertion evaluation
    The benefit of routine follow up one day after providing the new dentures has proved invaluable in providing required minor adjustment before sore spots become a problem.  This is also the perfect opportunity to answer any questions that arise.
    Although learning to fully use new dentures will take many weeks, at the one week point many areas of improvement will already be evident. By one week, any problems that are going to arise will usually have become evident and can be addressed.
  8. Denture adjustment
    Should the need ever arise, you are always welcome to return for assessment of any denture concerns.  Once you have worn the dentures for several weeks, adjustments are rarely required. Sore spots that might occur after this time, usually will be the result of a hard piece of food that got under the denture or excessively strong chewing of hard food and will usually go away in less than a week and no adjustment is recommended.  A cause of persistent sore spots is habitual heavy biting or clenching forces which requires you to eliminate these habits or removing the dentures during these clenching or grinding habits. Another cause of persistent sore spots is fragile gums especially when the jaw bone is very resorbed (shrunken). This situation requires eliminating the large forces if possible by modifying diet or improving denture stability through the use of dental implants.  A sore spot that doesn’t go away should be assessed. No fees are charged for routine denture adjustment.
  9. Annual denture and mouth reexamination
    Once a year you should have your mouth and dentures reexamined to ensure that the dentures fit adequately and the bite is still even.  The mouth will be examined for oral cancer, something which is unfortunately more common than most people realize, but can usually be treated successfully if detected early.  At the same time, your dentures will be professionally cleaned. You will also be advised of the need for any reline and eventually the need for new dentures.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your physical body, appearance and personality is different from all your friends and even your family, then you probably understand why you should have well made, custom dentures. Is there any other object that you wear or use all day long for many years and rely on for your appearance, speaking, self-confidence and reasonable chewing? Designing a well made denture is challenging because each person is unique and a lot of time, analysis and planning goes into coming up with the best design for each patient. There is also great benefit in you providing input as you are able to see and try the denture out as it is being designed. Unfortunately, most dentures made elsewhere are based on a one design fits all and look like a denture and not real teeth.

In addition to treatment during your appointments, your dentures are made in conjunction with our own in-house dental technician who understands and works closely with us to ensure attention to detail and far superior workmanship than that available in any commercial dental laboratory. Our laboratory technicians are fully trained and use only the highest quality materials, equipment and techniques. The biggest advantage of our office laboratory is the personal communication, training, and supervision with the technician as your teeth are being made that only an in-house dental laboratory can achieve.

The best results are obtained when patients are informed about the dental services they require, are provided with proper care and have an opportunity to participate in the decision making process. We will provide help and guidance to maximize your result. Learning to use new dentures will take time and patience. We will do everything possible to help you through the transition phase. You are always welcome to contact our office.

In addition to traditional dentures, implants can often be used to help better support, stabilize and retain a denture in either the lower or upper jaw. Depending on the number of dental implants, different improvements are possible, sometimes with the denture still removable from the mouth and sometimes with the teeth fixed so they are not removable.

Don’t be misled: Do not expect your general dentist or a denturist to obtain the results routinely obtainable in our prosthodontic specialty office. General dentists try to stay on top of all the general routine treatments patients need but can’t be expected to be capable of providing specialized treatment. A denturist is not a doctor or specialist and only completes about a 16 month trade course that allows them to provide a cookbook approach to making ‘one style suits all’ dentures. An attempt to obtain specialty treatment from those without the appropriate training and experience is likely to create problems and regret.

It is important to realize that dentures do not last forever. Changes are always taking place in the bone and gums under the dentures as well as with the support in the lips and cheeks. Experience shows that dentures need to be refitted or relined approximately every one to three years to help maintain stability and a good fit. When wear occurs more in one area, the bite can become uneven resulting in more movement or tipping of the denture. The bite can sometimes be made even again if it is not excessive. However, once the teeth wear down, the denture starts to deteriorate or the overall fit is significantly compromised, a new denture is needed.

Dentures can usually be worn for at least 5 years if they are made well. However, too often people wear old dentures that haven’t fit for many years because they have just got used to them. Unfortunately, over time, poor fitting dentures cause damage to bone and gum tissue and may also promote mouth infection, despite occasionally feeling comfortable. Most of the time old dentures or poor dentures are obvious to your friends who don’t want to say something. It is important to have your mouth and denture periodically evaluated.

  • …From the outset we had confidence in Dr. Neale and his staff, that has not been misplaced. The implants have provided stability for my lower plate and that I wouldn’t have thought possible. Dr. Neale and his team are business-like and efficient, while still maintaining a most cordial atmosphere. Costs were clearly defined before work began. Appointments were on time as promised. My home care responsibilities were fully detailed and materials provided. Costly? Perhaps, but the benefits of proper fitting, good-looking, functional dentures are important to me. And Dr. Neale did it in a very short window with an absolute minimum of discomfort. I highly recommend his professional services.
    Mr. J. T. Edmonton
  • …I want to take this occasion to commend you and your entire organization. Your own expertise in prosthodontics seems to surpass that of [deleted]. Your staff are more than equal to their tasks and operate in a very courteous and professional manner. Your office and waiting room must be the finest in Edmonton. All in all you are to be commended for the organization you head… Yours truly,
    Rev. B. B. NWT
  • It has been approximately 10 months since my lower hybrid restoration has been completed and I must tell you that I am 100% satisfied. I would highly recommend the process to anyone that has lost their lower teeth. It is a fairly long process but after having used a denture for a year and seeing the difference that the implant makes it is well worth it. I have to commend you for the attention to detail you make, and ensuring that everything is perfect. Also your staff’s professionalism is second to none. They certainly do everything to make you comfortable and feel relaxed. After having had the lower restoration, I will be calling on you to have the upper restoration done later this year. Again I would like to thank you and your staff for all you have done to make my life a more enjoyable one. Thoughtfully,
    Mr. J.S. Edmonton
  • …Since I have had my implants and new dentures, a day has not gone by when I think, “how did I manage before”! I would this again in a minute. My quality of life has changed drastically. I’m able to chew and eat better (I had avoided a lot of foods, as I was just not able to chew them). I’m healthier. My appearance is at least 10 years younger. Dr. Neale did a wonderful job for me. If I could afford it, I would have implant through my mouth. In conclusion, anyone who is thinking of having this procedure. I really do recommend it as the way to go. You’ll never be sorry.
    Mrs. B. H. Sherwood Park
  • I am very pleased with my implants. Having them make my bottom plate just feel like my own natural teeth... I am able to eat corn on the cob, apples, etc with no problems…
    Mrs. B. B. Edmonton
  • A note to say ‘Thank You’ again for all your time and hard work spent by you –for me. I have not looked back a day since my list visit to your office. These are great teeth are great – everything in place and working well. Can’t remember ever having teeth so nice! You did a lot more for me than you know and I appreciate all. Thanks! Wishing you all the best! Sincerely,
    Mrs. M. M.

Case Studies

Complete Dentures

Case Study

Ms. J.B. came to our office when she was 51 years old. Her first and only set of dentures were 25 years old and only the lower denture had been relined once, 24 years ago. She was complaining of constant sores in constantly different areas of her mouth, unable to eat or bite and a dislike of her facial appearance. She had been told that she had almost no lower jaw bone. She was aware of grinding and clenching her teeth, especially when she was tired and was wearing her dentures during sleep. We recommended the dentures be removed during sleep, that she try to stop her clenching and grinding habit and that once the inflamed and ulcerated gums had healed with the use of temporary soft liners, that new dentures be made and implant support then be considered. Mrs. J.B. has completed the new dentures and she agrees with her family and friends that not only her smile but her whole facial appearance is normal again. Mrs. J.B. still needs implant support to further secure her teeth but in the mean time is doing much better than before.

Case Study

Mrs. R.W. came to our office when she was 39 years old interested in dental implants because she had seen in the media that implants help to prevent bone shrinkage. She also felt that her dentures moved when she ate and she was self conscious that she didn’t have her natural teeth. She used denture adhesive and wore her dentures all the time, never removing them. Following examination, we explained that the dentures didn’t fit very well and that the gum was extremely swollen underneath because of the constant wear. We outlined a way to eliminate the gum swelling and explained that new dentures would then be required that fit properly. Following that, dental implants could be placed to provide further comfort and security. As we went through the process of designing the new dentures and getting the teeth properly lined up, it became evident that there would be a tremendous positive improvement on her profile and overall facial appearance. Her inner beauty was now evident visually. Mrs. R.W. is very happy with her appearance. She wants to proceed with the implants next.

Complete Dentures - Before
Before

Case Study

Mr. G.V. presented to us at age 59 wearing his second set of dentures that were then 20 years old and had never been relined. Mr. G.V. said the lower denture was loose, he felt his nose and chin looked like they were too close together and he had heard about the benefits of dental implants. Both his dentures had holes in them and he had crazy glued and taped fractured areas back together. He also thought that there wasn’t enough space for his tongue and this interfered with his speech. Examination revealed that the dentures fit so poorly that the gum under the dentures was very swollen, so much so that an extra fold of skin had developed in one area. The existing dentures were temporarily modified with temporary soft liners and the excess gum was removed. After a few weeks, the new dentures were fabricated incorporating a completely different design and incorporating the new denture teeth into the position that his natural teeth would have been. There was a big immediate improvement in appearance, but as normal, the speech and eating also improved but took a little longer to get used to. Mr. G.V. immediately arranged to proceed with dental implant support in the lower jaw. We received a call about a week after the dentures were completed from his neighbor wanting to see us for similar concerns.

Complete Dentures - Before

Case Study

Mrs. A.R was 79 years old and had received her first and only set of dentures in about 1947 which had never been relined. Her main concern was that she was getting shooting pains from the lower right jaw over the past month with the result that she couldn’t eat and had lost weight. She went to her dentist who started to make new dentures but she experienced lots of pain during her appointment and that is when she was referred to our office. It wasn’t difficult to determine that she in fact did need new dentures. Her facial appearance was compromised as was her speech, denture fit and bite. The new dentures were soon completed and Mrs. A.R. and her family were very happy with the pain having gone and the dentures working and looking much better.