What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. While it takes a bit of time to get used to dentures, and while they will never feel the same as natural teeth, they are more natural looking and more comfortable then they’ve been in the past.
The two types of dentures are full dentures and partial dentures. The best type of denture for you is based on the cost as well as whether some of your teeth are to replaced or all of them will be.
How do Dentures Work?
Full dentures use a flesh-colored acrylic base fitting over your gums. The upper denture covers the roof of your mouth (the palate), and the lower denture uses a horseshoe shape to accommodate your tongue.
Using impressions taken of your mouth, custom made dentures are crafted in a dental laboratory. We will determine which of the following denture options is right for you right from our Gilbert dentist office.
Conventional Full Denture
After your remaining teeth are removed, and your tissues have healed, we place a conventional full denture. Please note that healing may take several months to complete, during which you would not have teeth.
Immediate Full Denture
After your dentist makes models of your jaw and takes measurements in a prior visit, an immediate full denture is inserted. Immediate dentures give you a tooth solution, however, they must be realigned after several months. As the bone supporting the teeth heals, the denture may become loose without realignment.
Much like an Immediate/complete denture, an over-denture uses implants placed with local anesthetic, and are fitted to the implants in the same visit.
The patient will never be without their dentures. Patients report improved chewing function and stability.
A partial denture utilizes a metal framework attached to your natural teeth. In some cases, crowns are used on top of some of your teeth, and act as anchors for the denture.
Partial dentures are a removable alternative to bridges.
How Long Before I Get Used to My Dentures?
For the first weeks or months, new dentures may feel uncomfortable or awkward. It may be necessary to practice eating and speaking with dentures. It is fairly common to feel a a bulky or loose feeling while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold your dentures in place. It is also not unusual to experience symptoms of excessive saliva flow, a cramped feeling in the tongue, and minor irritation or soreness. A follow up appointment is advisable if you experience irritation.
How Long do Dentures Last?
Your dentures will need to be relined, rebased or remade over time and due to normal wear. Rebasing means keeping the existing denture teeth while making a new base. In addition, your mouth naturally changes with age. Your dentures may loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. Schedule an annual checkup to avoid these issues.
Here are tips for caring for your dentures:
Stand over a folded towel or basin of water when you handle your dentures. Dentures are fragile and may break if they fall. Keep your dentures moist. Place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water when they’re not in use. Never use hot water, as it can warp your dentures.
To remove plaque and food deposits as well as to keep them from staining, brush your dentures daily. Use an ultrasonic cleaner to care for your dentures, as well as a thorough daily brushing. Using a soft-bristled brush, brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning before inserting your dentures. Brushing stimulates circulation in your tissues and removes plaque. If your dentures become damaged or loose, schedule an appointment. Adjusting dentures yourself can damage them beyond repair.