What Can I Expect When Getting Dentures?

I think I am to the point where I need to get dentures. How does the procedure work? Will my dentist put me to sleep and pull out all my teeth and make the dentures all at one time?

Sylvia in California


If you are in need of dentures, your dentist will extract all of your teeth at one time. Most patients have the option of IV or oral sedation, but if you want to just have local anesthesia and be awake for the procedure, you can do that, too. Keep in mind that not all dentists are certified in IV and oral sedation, so if this is something you prefer, be sure your dentist offers it.

When it comes to dentures, you have several options. An immediate denture is the most common type of denture and it is placed right after your teeth are extracted so you can leave the office with a new smile. Another benefit of an immediate denture is that it helps reduce swelling and bleeding. They are, however, more expensive than conventional dentures because they take more time to make and you will need more follow-up visits for adjustments after initial placement.

Conventional dentures are placed about eight weeks after healing, but the advantage is that you will likely have a better fit then with an immediate denture. During the healing process your gum tissue shrinks and the immediate becomes loose, requiring a soft temporary reline material to be placed on the denture for refitting. After about six months, when your mouth is completely healed, you will need a more permanent reline or possibly a new denture.

Before you make any decisions, talk with your dentist or specialist and discuss all your options. Dentures don’t always stay put in the mouth, and that is a problem for some patients. There are options to make dentures more permanent, such as snap on dentures that snap onto dental implants. Be sure to learn as much as you can before determining the type of denture that is right for you.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about Find out why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

What are the chances of all-on-4 implant failure?


My teeth have caused me nothing but trouble my whole life. I don’t have very many left and my dentist has agreed to pull them so I can get dentures. He mentioned all-on-4s as an alternative to removable dentures because it will be more permanent. I do like the idea, but am concerned because a friend of mine had all-on-4s and something went terribly wrong with one of the implants. I’ve had enough trouble with my teeth and don’t want to risk going through what she did if this is something common that can happen. — Sharon


You are right to do your research and ask questions up front. While the all-on-4 procedure has been a hot topic recently for the reasons that you mention, you can relax a little bit and know that the problems your friend experienced are very rare. Implant failure happens in a very small percentage of patients.

Your success mostly hinges on the skill level of your dentist. To ensure you have a good outcome with the procedure, find a dentist who is educated and experienced with all-on-4, and ask the following questions:

  • Where he/she learned the procedure
  • If he/she has had any continuing education on all-on-4s
  • How long he/she has been performing the all-on-4 procedure and how many patients they have treated
  • Has there been any failures and what is the most common complication his/her patients have experienced

As with any medical procedure, your health will also play an important role.  Be sure your dentist thoroughly reviews your medical history to determine if you are at risk for implant failure. And if you are aware of any risks in your medical history, such as periodontal disease, bone loss, diabetes – or if you smoke, be sure to discuss all those risk factors open and honestly.

All-on-4s have a very high success rate, but asking questions and educating yourself before the procedure will put your mind at ease and ensure the best outcome possible.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about Find out why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

What can be done for tetracycline stains?


I am in need of a solution for covering the dark tetracycline stains on my teeth. A friend of mine had veneers put on several years ago for the same reason, but hers look bulky and fake. The dentist said that opaque veneers were best for covering dark stains. How can I cover my dark stains, but still have a natural-looking smile that doesn’t look fake?

— Anne


Tetracycline stains can be difficult to cover, but it has been successfully done for many years. Unfortunately, there are many dentists who claim to be skilled in cosmetic dentistry who have just never taken the time to learn the techniques and the results patients achieve are exactly as you describe. Another common issue with dark stains is that when dentists bond the veneers, the teeth are not covered at the edges, resulting in a halo effect.

The first step in getting the smile you want is choosing the right dentist – one that is an expert in cosmetic dentistry, who, like Dr. Delaune, has mastered the techniques required to cover tetracycline stains. You won’t find these types of dentists simply by opening the phone book. You must do your homework. When interviewing potential cosmetic dentists, ask for testimonials from patients who have achieved the results you are looking for as well as before and after photos of their work. Any cosmetic dentist who takes pride in their work will be happy to show you why they are the best choice for your smile makeover.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about Find out why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Tinnitus caused by TMJ?

I am looking for an answer to the ear pain/noises/tinnitus that I have been experiencing in my left ear. It is difficult to pinpoint because the sounds and volume are not consistent, but it seems that the clicking gets louder and more bothersome late at night because my muscles tend to tighten up, causing head spasms. I work out regularly and also notice a throbbing or vibrating on the right back side of my neck when I run and it feels like something is not aligned. I recently had an MRI to rule out sinus issues or a tumor, so I think my next step is to see a dentist to determine if TMJ is causing my tinnitus.

Mark in Los Angeles

What is unfortunate about TMJ is that the symptoms can vary from person to person and many times other dental conditions can cause the same problems. The symptoms you describe – the tinnitus, as well as the bothersome noises/clicking in your ear, tightening of your muscles and general feeling of something being out of alignment – do sound very much like TMJ.

While diagnosis of TMJ is an important first step, it can be an extensive process and treatment can be quite expensive. That is why it is imperative to find a dentist, like Dr. Delaune, who specializes in TMJ that can study your medical history and perform a thorough examination your face and jaw, including x-rays or other imaging studies and tests.

Do your homework… any dentist can claim they are a TMJ specialist, but they might not have much expertise at all. The only way to receive an accurate diagnosis is to visit a dentist who is trained in TMJ treatment and diagnosis. When you find a potential dentist, ask about his or her credentials or extra training/education in regards to TMJ as well as for testimonials from other patients who have been successfully treated. You will want to keep all of this in mind before spending a lot of money on a dentist who may not even solve your problem.

Read more about TMJ disorder on our website, plus learn about Botox, which is a new treatment for TMJ.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune.