What Are Dentures?
Dentures are a removable replacement option for all or some of your missing teeth. Your dentist will custom-fit dentures for your mouth and consult with you on how to properly clean and maintain your dentures. Dentures are often used for replacing your teeth, when dental implants are not an option. If you’ve lost all of your teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing your teeth will not only benefit your appearance, but also your overall health. Dentures can make it easier to eat and speak, which will improve your quality of life.
Partial dentures are a basic option to replace multiple missing teeth in your mouth. A partial denture rests on a metal framework that is attached to your natural teeth. Your natural teeth serve as an anchor for the partial denture to stay in place. A partial denture is a removable alternative to a bridge.
When you lose all of your teeth, the facial muscles around your mouth will begin to sag and loose strength. Missing teeth can cause facial collapse and dramatically age a patient. A full denture can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. It will help to slow down the aging process that was caused by the missing teeth.
A conventional denture is a full removable denture that is made and placed in your mouth, after the teeth have been removed and the surrounding tissues have healed. It may take several weeks or months for the surrounding bone and tissues to heal after the teeth have been removed.
An immediate denture is a full removable denture that is made prior to your teeth being removed. It is placed into your mouth the same day your teeth are extracted. You won’t have to be without teeth during the healing process. However, you may need to have the denture relined and even remade once the jaw has healed.
How Are Dentures Made?
Dentures are custom-made specifically for each patient. A dental impression is taken of your mouth and is sent to a dental laboratory for your denture to be made. It is common to have a few follow-up adjustment appointments. You may need some time before you are completely adapted to your new full denture. Your dentist will check your speech and adjust any spots that may be irritating your gums. Some patients require practice eating and speaking, before they are comfortable with their new denture.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
Throughout your lifetime, your denture will need to be relined, remade or rebased, due to wear that occurs each day. Relining or rebasing is the process of reshaping the denture to make sure that it is comfortable and functional for your needs. As you age, your mouth naturally changes and reshapes which may cause your dentures to loosen. Loose dentures may irritate your gums and wiggle when you are chewing. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist for your recommended checkups when you have dentures.
How Should I Care for My Dentures?
To ensure that your dentures last and look their best, please follow the instructions below:
- If possible, remove and rinse your dentures every time after eating, to remove food debris.
- After removing your dentures, make sure to also clean your mouth. Brush your natural teeth and wipe your tongue and palate with gauze.
- Brush your dentures twice a day to remove food, plaque and bacteria from their surface. This will also help prevent them from staining.
- Scrub your dentures with denture cleaner and a denture brush to remove plaque and bacteria. Avoid harsh toothpaste and toothbrushes, since they can damage your dentures. Do not use whitening pastes with removable dentures, since they can permanently damage them.
- When cleaning your dentures, stand over a full sink of water or a towel to prevent dentures from breaking, if dropped.
- Brush your gums, roof of your mouth and tongue to prevent any bacteria from building up in your mouth. Fungal infections are common with denture wearers, if the mouth clean is not kept clean.
- During the cleaning process, make sure that you do not bend the plastic or the clasps of your denture or partial denture.
- In order to keep their shape, most dentures need to stay moist. Make sure you place your dentures in water or a soaking solution overnight. Ask your dentist about how to make your dentures last and stay fresh looking.
- Rinse your dentures after you have soaked them and before you put them in your mouth, in order to remove chemicals.