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Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and their adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth in an upper or lower arch. Partial dentures fill the spaces created by missing teeth, and prevent other teeth from changing position.

Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and their adjacent tissues, used to improve smiles and lessen the effects of aging.

Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate”. A conventional denture can be a replacement for an older denture, or a new denture placed in the mouth about a month after all of the teeth are removed (giving new extraction sites time to heal).

Immediate dentures are placed immediately after teeth are removed, meaning less time must be spent without dentures. The drawback of immediate dentures is that they may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.

Who Needs Dentures?

Candidates for complete dentures have already lost most or all of their teeth, or need all of their teeth extracted due to damage or decay. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles, improving your smile and lessening the effects of aging.

What to Expect

A full conventional denture takes approximately one month and five separate appointments to be created and placed after all teeth have been lost or removed and all extraction sites have healed.

After the initial diagnosis is made, an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position. After the denture is created, a “try-in” is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit. Finally, the patient’s final denture is placed and the process is complete.

Getting Used to your Denture

New denture wearers will have to expect a time period of becoming accustomed to their new “teeth”, because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort when eating for several days or even a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. Denture wearers may also notice a slight change in facial appearance as well as increased salivary flow or a minor speech difficulty that lessens over time.

Caring for your Denture

Your denture is breakable, so it is important to handle it with care. Remove and brush your denture daily, preferably with a brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures, using either a denture cleanser or regular toothpaste. Never use harsh, abrasive cleansers, including abrasive toothpastes, because they may scratch the surface of the denture. Don’t sterilize your denture with boiling water because it will cause it to become warped. If you wear a partial denture, be sure to remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When not in use, soak your denture in a cleanser solution or in water. Form a habit of keeping your denture in the same location to reduce the chance of misplacement.

Wearing your Denture

While we will advise you to wear your new denture almost constantly during the first two weeks – even while you sleep – after that period it is considered best to remove it at night. Research has shown that removing your denture for at least eight hours out of every 24 hour period allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. This promotes better long-term health of your gums.

Long Term Denture Wear

It is important to make and attend your normal dental checkups so your gums and soft palate can be monitored for signs of disease or cancer. As you age, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself, and do not use denture adhesives for a prolonged period because it can contribute to bone loss.

Wondering if dentures are right for you? Contact us for a consultation.