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Missing some or all of your teeth can hinder your ability to live a normal life. It can also be embarrassing and cause a great deal of stress for patients. Dentures have a long-standing reputation for helping individuals with missing teeth regain confidence and functionality of their mouths. With several options available depending on your treatment need, dentures can help you get back the smile you’ve been waiting for.


Dentures are a restoration option for patients looking for full or partial replacements of their teeth. Candidates for dentures are patients who have minimal natural teeth left or have had to extract all of them due to infection or decay. Dentures are not bonded to teeth but sit on the gums. If there are any teeth remaining, dentures can be created to sit around these teeth as well.

Unlike implants, dentures are not exactly replacement teeth. Dentures serve as an option for lack of teeth and do not possess the abilities to function as your natural teeth would. There are lifestyle changes that must occur if choosing dentures as a restoration option, including changing your chewing habits and your daily oral hygiene routine. Dentures also require a period of physical therapy as does any prosthetic.


Creating dentures that fit your mouth appropriately and comfortably can be a lengthy process, but one that is worth it in the end. Completion of your dentures will depend on the style and type of treatments you had done prior to beginning the dentures process (ex: tooth extractions). For traditional full or partial denture cases, here are the steps to be expected in getting fitted for your dentures:

  • Impressions: In order to make sure your dentures fit properly, your dentist use impressions of your gums to create your prosthetic. In cases where patients are required to extract one or multiple teeth prior to getting dentures, waiting until the gums have fully healed is essential to get a proper impression.
  • Wax Rims: Your dentist will need to establish how you bite and what type of placement is needed for the teeth in your dentures. By placing wax rims on the mouth, your dentist can capture accurate measurements of how the dentures should be made for the best fit. Patients are able to participate in choosing the size, color, and shape of the teeth to ensure they are happy with the result. Once all the information has been gathered, the dental lab is responsible for creating the best matching denture possible.
  • Trial Fit: A mock-up version of your dentures will be created for your approval of the look and overall feel of the appliance. The mock-up denture contains plastic teeth, placed in wax to get the idea of how they will look in your mouth. The fit should be comfortable and feel natural. If there are any concerns with your dentures, this appointment will determine what adjustments need to be made prior to the creation of the final product. Bringing a family or friend with you to the trial fit is highly encouraged to assist you in making this important decision.
  • Final Fit: When a mock-up has been approved and the dental lab completes the final denture, your dentist will contact you to return to the office for the final fitting. The final denture will include plastic teeth securely placed into a strong acrylic base. Slight adjustments may need to take place before you leave with your dentures to ensure a proper fit.
  • Check-Ups: If there are any concerns with your dentures after leaving the office, your dentist will encourage to return for a check up to make further adjustments necessary for comfortable daily wear. Sore spots or pain on your gums may indicate a fit issue, so do not hesitate to contact the office for a denture check-up whenever needed. 


Unlike permanent tooth replacements, your dentures will not be worn 100% of the day. You should wear your dentures during the hours you are awake and stored appropriately away when you are sleeping. Dentures will feel more natural the more often you wear them. If you are finding issues in wearing them too often, you may require an adjustment by your dentist. Upper dentures tend to fit a bit tighter than lower sets, but should still be comfortable. If you are finding either set moves too often, adhesive products are available to keep dentures in place.

Dentures can be very helpful, but not everyone gets used to them quickly. Some areas individuals may struggle with in the beginning include eating, speaking, and coping with their change in appearance. It’s important to remember that having something sitting on your gums for most of the day is not natural, so it’s ok to feel strange as it will take patience and consistency to feel comfortable with your new dental routine.


Many patients require tooth extraction prior to getting dentures for either a full or partial set. The healing process of the gums after an extraction can take weeks, prior to having to wait weeks for the dentures themselves! As an alternative to bare gums, some dentists offer immediate dentures which serve as a form of practice prior to your permanent appliances. An impression will be taken prior to the extraction of your teeth for an estimated fit of the practice denture. This denture will be available for you to wear directly after your extraction, with some adjustments needed if the shape of your gums have changed.

Dentists Winston-Salem, NC


Drs. Leal, Spangler, and Johnson in Winston-Salem, NC provide the highest quality dental care with a personal touch, thoughtfully considering each patient and their needs.  We offer comprehensive family and esthetic dentistry and love helping people achieve a healthy smile.

We are accepting new patients.

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As illustrated above, the process for dentures is not typically quick. However, if there are cases where you are not able to wait weeks for denture replacements, there are alternative products for receiving a quicker solution.


Like most dental treatments, costs for dentures will depend on various factors pertaining to your insurance plan and treatment needs. In the case of dentures, there the amount of coverage that can greatly affect the overall cost. Once your treatment plan has been determined, your dentist and insurance provider will guide you in making decisions best for your budget and in line with your treatment goals.


For patients who are looking for a dental replacement option but do not like the idea of dentures, there are a few more options available to explore for restoring teeth to the mouth:

Bridges and Crowns

In cases where patients have dental implants and plan to continue adding implants in the future, fixed dental bridges or crowns can be placed on existing teeth. These alternatives function like real teeth and are excellent options for individuals working on a full mouth restoration.


For patients would like in get dental implants, but are not interested in filling the entire mouth, overdentures can be fitted over the top of implants to fill in the spaces where teeth are missing. These are removable similar to traditional dentures, but provide the patient more functioning with strong, permanent teeth in some areas of the mouth.

For more information on your denture options, visiting your dentist for a consultation is the best place to start planning your dental restoration.


I have been a patient of this practice for several years and cannot say enough great things! Though I typically see Dr. Spangler, all three doctors are extremely knowledgable, thorough and attentive to detail. The staff as a whole combines professionalism with genuine concern for the patient to provide individualized care. Scheduling or being seen in a timely manner has never been an issue as the administrative staff members are kind, caring and extremely helpful! I recommend this office to all of my friends-- my family members are already patients 🙂

Brianna Robinson

My daughters and I went for a new client appointment today and were thrilled with their staff and level of service provided. Would highly recommend their office to anyone looking for top quality dental service.

Angie Mauldin

Absolutely fantastic dental practice - I have been a patient of Dr. Leal's for years and have received top notch dental care. The business side of the practice is great too. I could not be more pleased with my total care - dentists, hygienists and office staff. They genuinely care about me, are very respectful and have always run on time for my appointments.

Will Miller


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