In cases where you have lost a number of even all of your teeth, or need to have them removed to protect your health, full or partial dentures (false teeth) will be required.
How They Work
Once we’ve removed your unwanted teeth and the area has healed, we take an impression of your gums for lower dentures, or the entire roof of your mouth and gums for an upper denture. We send this impression to a denture lab where they will make your dentures.
In some cases, we may provide an immediate denture, which will be placed as soon as your natural teeth have been removed. In this case, we will have made a mold of your mouth on a prior visit.
3 Types of Dentures
Conventional Full Denture.
This is the most common type of denture. A mold is made of your mouth after it has healed from the removal of your teeth. The complete healing process may take several months, during which time you will be without teeth. Your dentures will be equipped with a gum-colored acrylic base that fits over your lower gums, while the upper denture has a base that fits over the gums as well as covering your upper palate. Dentures are held on with a denture adhesive.
While dentures will never feel like your natural teeth, you’ll get used to them in time, and modern dentures are more comfortable and secure than ever.
Immediate Full Denture.
Inserted on the same visit that your teeth are removed. As mentioned above, we’ll have already made a mold of your mouth on a prior visit. These have the advantage that you will not be without teeth while your gums heal. However, they will need to be relined after a few months. During the healing process, the bone supporting the teeth will have changed shape. This will cause the original base of the denture to fit improperly.
Somewhat like a bridge, a partial denture is used where you’ve only needed to have some of your teeth removed. Just as with a bridge, crowns may be placed on the supporting teeth on either side of the denture. Unlike a bridge, though, a partial denture is removable.
How Long Before I Get Used to My Dentures?
It will take at least several weeks, and sometimes a few months, before your dentures start to feel normal. In the meantime, a loose or bulky sensation is not uncommon. Eating or speaking may take some practice, while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to move without dislodging your dentures. Some irritation, excessive saliva production and a feeling that your tongue doesn’t have enough room are also common. All of these will pass in time. If you do experience irritation or soreness in your mouth that becomes uncomfortable, come and see us.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
This will vary from one individual to another. While the dentures themselves are very durable, the base will need to be periodically relined. This is because the shape of your mouth will change as you age. This will cause your dentures to loosen. You may experience increasing difficulty chewing or have renewed irritation as this occurs. Both of these are signs that you should come and see us for a refit, although we strongly recommend annual checkups. If we see you regularly, there’s a good chance we’ll notice the need for a relining before you do.
Caring for Your Dentures
- When removing or cleaning your dentures, hold them over a folded towel or other soft surface. While very strong, your dentures may crack or break if dropped.
- Never use hot water when cleaning your dentures. It may cause them to warp.
- Never let your dentures dry out. When not in your mouth, they should be in plain water or a denture cleaning solution.
- Brush your dentures daily to remove food deposits and plaque (yes, plaque builds up on dentures too). This will help to prevent staining, as well as keeping your mouth free of bacteria that could cause bad breath or an infection.
- Use a soft bristled brush to clean your gums, tongue, and palate every morning. This will help to keep your mouth tissues healthy by stimulating circulation and protect you from getting foreign particles caught between your gums and your dentures. This can be painful and even lead to an infection.
If you notice anything wrong about your dentures, such as cracking, breaking or just that they don’t seem to fit as well as they used to, come and see us as soon as possible. Don’t try to adjust your dentures yourself. This can damage them beyond repair, and they’ll need to be replaced. They may also not be wearable while you wait for a replacement.