There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for dentures:
- Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.
- Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch.
- Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
- Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.
What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
How do I know if dentures are the right choice for me?
Dentures are not for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about dentures and want to know if they are the right choice for you, please schedule an appointment. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you might have, and can determine the best course of treatment for your ongoing dental health.
Caring for your dentures
Dentures, just like natural teeth, require daily maintenance to stay clean and keep bacteria from growing inside of your mouth. Keep your dentures clean and your smile healthy:
- When handling your dentures, stand over a clean, folded towel or a sink full of water. This way, if you accidentally drop your dentures, they are less likely to break.
- Your dentures are not immune from plaque and tartar build-up, so it’s important that you brush your dentures every day. To brush your dentures, use a soft-bristled brush and gently brush the surfaces of the dentures, being careful not to break or bend the plastic. Between brushings, it’s important to rinse your dentures after each meal.
- Use a gentle cleanser to clean your dentures. Many toothpastes, household cleaners, and mouthwashes can be too hard on your dentures, so it is recommended that you use a mild hand or dish soap to get your dentures clean. Be sure to check for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval to choose products that are safe for your dentures, or ask your dentist about which products may be best for you.
- When you are not wearing your dentures, they need to be kept moist. Dentures that are not kept in a denture cleaning solution or in water can dry out, lose their shape, or even crack and break. Certain styles of dentures require certain soaking solutions, so be sure to ask your dentist which solution is best for you.
- Even if you have a full set of dentures, it’s important to keep your gums and tongue clean. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean your gums and tongue every day.
If by chance your dentures do break, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Broken dentures that don’t fit properly can cause irritation to your gums and mouth. Also, remember to continue scheduling regular dental checkups every six months to make sure that your smile stays healthy for many years to come.