Dentures have been around since as early as the 7th Century, BC. They are a wonderful option for those who have suffered from tooth loss due to gum disease, tooth decay or trauma. Dentures are removable appliances that replace your missing teeth and restore your smile. They also help with chewing and speech. There are two main types of dentures available, complete and partial. Complete dentures are used when all your natural teeth are missing; partial dentures are used when some healthy natural teeth remain. When possible it is always best to save and use your natural teeth.
Complete dentures can be either conventional or immediate. Conventional dentures are placed several months after remaining teeth have been extracted and tissues have had time to heal. An immediate denture is inserted the same day as the teeth are extracted, so you don’t have to be without teeth during the healing period. Immediate dentures are made in advance so more adjustments need to be made for them to fit properly, and more relines are done as tissues shrink during the healing process.
Partial Dentures usually consist of replacement teeth that are attached to a pink or gum colored plastic base, which sometimes is connected by a metal framework that helps hold it in place. These dentures are usually the best options when you have more healthy remaining natural teeth.
New dentures naturally will feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. They may feel loose while your cheek and tongue muscles learn how to keep them in place. You may also experience areas of soreness and irritation. If this happens be sure to contact your dentists for a denture adjustment. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the denture, and adjustments are made for a better fit, these problems should decrease and eventually go away.
Dental Hygiene is still very important when you have dentures. It’s important to brush your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth every morning and every night. This will help stimulate tissues and help remove plaque & bacteria. Denture homecare is also very important. I have listed some good tips to follow:
- When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or basin of water so if you drop them you decrease the risk of cracking them as they are very delicate. *If you do crack or chip them see your dentists, do not try to repair them yourself.
- Rinse them before brushing to remove any loose food debris- brushing also prevents staining
- Use a soft bristle brush and a non- abrasive cleaner to brush them to prevent scratching
- Remove before bed- this allows tissues to rest and decrease risk of irritation
- See your dentists every 6 months or 12 months (if you have complete upper and lower dentures) for an oral tissue exam and check up on your dentures.
- When you’re not wearing them store them in a safe place, covered in water or a denture cleaner soaking solution (Polident or Efferdent) to keep them from drying and becoming brittle. (Do not use hot water) * Denture cleaners are important because they help control the growth of microorganisms on your dentures.
Choosing to have your teeth extracted and having a denture made can be a difficult decision but we are here to help and guide you to make the best choice for you and your overall health and appearance.
Link on how to clean your dentures from Polident: