My Blog

Posts for tag: dentures

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
October 02, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: oral hygiene   dentures  
DoThese2ThingsForYourHealthsSakeIfYouWearDentures

Today's dentures are more comfortable, more functional and more life-like than ever before—so much so that you might forget you have them in. Even so, dentures do have some downsides, and constant wear only amplifies those.

Our biggest concern is the effect dentures can have on bone health. Older bone is constantly replaced by newer bone, and the forces generated while chewing help stimulate this new growth. When a tooth is lost, however, this growth stimulus vanishes with it for that area of the bone. This may result in a slower growth rate, which can eventually lead to lost bone volume and density.

Dentures can't restore this lost stimulus, and may even make the situation worse. That's because traditional dentures rest on the bony ridges of the gums where the teeth once were. This can put pressure on the underlying bone, which can accelerate bone loss—and even more so when wearers leave their dentures in continuously.

Dentures can also contribute to disease if they're not regularly removed and cleaned. Besides oral yeast infections, bacteria-laden dentures can contribute to the production of a protein called interleukin-6 produced by the white blood cells. If a significant amount of this protein passes into the blood stream, it can increase body-wide inflammation and foster a systemic environment conducive to serious diseases like pneumonia.

If you wear dentures, then, it's good for your health (oral and otherwise) to incorporate two practices into your daily life. The first is to remove your dentures at night while you sleep. Not only will this help slow the progression of bone loss, it will also give your gums a chance to rest and recover from denture wear.

It's also important to regularly clean your dentures, either with an antibacterial soap or a special denture cleanser. During storage, keep your dentures in clean water or a peroxide-based solution designed for dentures. This will reduce the accumulation of bacteria on your dentures that can cause disease.

Dentures restore the dental function and smile appearance that a person loses with their teeth. Taking care of your dentures (and giving your mouth a daily rest from them) will help promote good oral and general health for you and a longer life for your dentures.

If you would like more information on denture care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleeping in Dentures.”

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
April 09, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants   dentures  

Which tooth replacement option is right for you? Know the pros and cons.

In the past, there weren’t a whole lot of options if you were missing one or more permanent teeth. Today, our Arlington, VA, dentist Dr. Bruce Hanley offers everything from dentures to dental implants, which can be tailored and customized to you and your smile. Of course, if you’re not sure which option is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. We break down the differences between implants and dentures to help make the decision-making process a little easier for you.

What are dentures?

Dentures are removable devices that hold one or more artificial teeth. There are two kinds of dentures, partial and complete. As the names suggest, partial dentures are used when you still have some natural teeth left and complete dentures are used in cases where there are no natural teeth.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants consist of two parts, a small screw and a dental crown. During a minor surgery, a small screw is inserted into the jawbone. Then it is given time to heal and fuse with the bones and surrounding tissue. This creates a strong base that mimics a natural tooth’s root. Once the healing period is over, your dentist will fit the implant with an artificial tooth that is designed to match the rest of your smile.

Which tooth replacement option is right for you?

From these descriptions alone, you can tell that both treatment options are vastly different, but you may still be wondering which one will work best with your smile. There are many deciding factors, but here are some of the most important ones:

The health of your smile: If you are dealing with weak or unhealthy gums, dental implants may not be a good match. This is particularly true for those dealing with severe gum disease that’s not been treated. Since gum disease often leads to tooth loss, it can cause dental implants to fail. It’s important that you are maintaining healthy gums and natural teeth before you have a restoration placed.

Plus, if you’re dealing with weakened gums, it can delay or cause complications during the healing process. This same logic holds true for those with jaws problems. If you have gum or jaw problems, dentures may be a better alternative.

The number of teeth you’re missing: If you are only missing a couple of teeth and your mouth is healthy, a dental implant is a popular choice for replacing these teeth. If you have good oral hygiene, your dental implants are meant to last a lifetime. 

The cost of treatment in Arlington, VA: While dental implants will cost more than dentures will upfront, maintenance and care costs will be low, so it’s considered a long-term investment in your oral health. If you are concerned about cost and want to keep expenses low, dentures are a great, cost-effective solution for replacing missing teeth. We would be happy to discuss costs and finances with you to help you get the tooth replacement option you want without worrying about the expense.

You could also have the best of both with implant-supported dentures. Call Dr. Hanley’s practice at (703) 524-7100 to schedule a consultation with our Arlington, VA, dental team. We would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options.

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
February 24, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dentures  
HelpYourDenturesandYourHealthbyTakingThemOutatNight

Dentures have come a long way since George Washington's time. Today, they're more comfortable, more secure and more lifelike than our first president's famous hippopotamus ivory appliance.

But one thing hasn't changed: Dentures still require regular care and cleaning. And one of the best things you can do for both your dentures and your health is to take them out at night when you go to bed.

Modern dentures are often so comfortable to wear, it's easy to forget you have them in your mouth. But setting a daily habit of taking them out when you turn in for the night will help you avoid a few potential problems.

For one, wearing dentures 24/7 can increase your risk for both oral and general diseases. Constant denture wear can cause greater accumulations of dental plaque, a thin biofilm responsible for gum disease and inflammation. The increase in bacteria could also make you more susceptible to pneumonia and other diseases.

Wearing your dentures non-stop can also worsen bone loss, a common problem associated with dentures. Normally, the biting forces generated when we chew stimulate bone growth in the jaw. A person loses much of this stimulation when they lose teeth, resulting in gradual bone loss.

Dentures can't replace this lost stimulation, and the pressure they exert on the jaw's bony ridges they rest upon can accelerate the process of bone loss. In time, any bone loss could affect the denture's fit as the bone beneath them gradually shrinks. By taking them out at night, you can help slow the pace of bone loss.

In addition to giving them and your mouth a rest at night, be sure you're also keeping your dentures clean: Take them out and rinse them off after meals and brush them with a small amount of antibacterial soap (not toothpaste) at least once a day. And don't forget to brush your gums and tongue every day with a soft toothbrush (different from your denture brush) to further reduce dental plaque.

If you would like more information on denture care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleeping in Dentures.”

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
August 25, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures  

Find out what dentures can do for you and your smile.

So, you want to get dentures? Or, at the very least, you want to determine whether dentures are the right way to restore your smile after tooth loss. Many adults turn to dentures for a variety of reasons. Here are the top benefits that have people turning to our Arlington, VA, dentist Dr. Bruce Hanley for dentures,

Restore functionality back into your mouth

You need your teeth and jaws to be able to speak and chew; however, if you are dealing with severe tooth loss then you will certainly notice issues with chewing and speaking.

Depending on the extent of your tooth loss, you may also deal with other complications such as a speech impediment, problems fully chewing food and nutritional deficiencies. By getting dentures you can improve how your mouth functions as a whole.

Boost your self-confidence

Who doesn’t want to feel more confident in their smile? Of course, if you have large gaps between your teeth then you may be hiding your smile or avoiding social activities as a result. Dentures can boost your appearance and your confidence, making it easier to smile again.

An inexpensive solution for tooth loss

If you need to replace several or even all of your teeth, then you may be feeling a bit nervous about the cost of your dental care. Our Arlington, VA, family dentist and his team can work with you to find an affordable solution that will make you happy. Many people choose to get dentures because they are the most inexpensive treatment option.

A more conservative treatment approach

Some patients are looking for the simplest way to get a full smile back. They don’t want to go through multiple procedures or wait months or even a year for their teeth. Their main goal when it comes to treating tooth loss is to get their new teeth right away. In this case, dentures are going to be the best option. Most patients can get their new teeth in about 3-4 weeks without having to go through invasive procedures or surgery.

Do you have questions about dentures? Want to discuss your treatment options with your Arlington, VA, restorative dentist. If so, call (703) 524-7100 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Bruce Hanley.

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
May 30, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dentures  

Find out which kind of dentures from your Arlington, VA, dentist would be the best way to replace your missing teeth.

If you are missing several or all of your teeth then you want to find a solution that will give you back a full smile as quickly as possible. We know how much your smile can affect your appearance and your confidence. Our Arlington, VA, dentist Dr. Bruce Hanley offers several ways to replace missing teeth, but many of his patients still turn to dentures. Here are the different types of dentures from which to choose.

Full: Just as the name suggests, this type of denture is designed to replace your upper or lower set of teeth. These dentures are custom-made to sit right on top of the gums, forming a pocket that helps the false teeth suction into place.

Patients may also use denture adhesives to stabilize their full dentures while speaking or chewing. Full dentures are a good option for anyone who needs to replace their entire upper or lower set of teeth.

Partial: Partial dentures can be fixed or removable, but most of the time it is fixed in place using existing teeth to support it (this is also known as a dental bridge). With removable partial dentures, special clasps or attachments are placed around existing teeth to hold it in place.

Placing partial dentures as soon as possible can also prevent natural teeth from shifting into gaps in your smile. Partial dentures are ideal for patients missing some teeth but who still have healthy teeth to support their partial dentures.

Immediate: This type of denture can be placed right after getting a tooth extraction. While you’ll have to wait up to 12 weeks to get your permanent dentures, immediate dentures can be placed right away so that you don’t have to go without teeth.

Of course, immediate dentures aren’t custom-fitted so they aren’t meant for long-term wear. Immediate dentures are ideal for anyone who needs to undergo a tooth extraction and wants to have teeth while their gums heal.

Overdentures: Some patients choose to get dental implants to support their dentures. Dental implants are placed into the jawbone, where they fuse together with bone and tissue, to provide a long-term post from which to support false teeth.

Implants will ensure that full dentures, particularly dentures meant to replace upper teeth, don’t shift, click or move around. Overdentures are ideal for patients looking for a more resilient and reliable way to support dentures to prevent them from moving around.

Are you dealing with tooth loss in Arlington, VA, and want to find out if you are an ideal candidate for dentures? If so, then it’s time to call our dental office to schedule a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Hanley.