Dentures – Benefits | Types | Steps | Care | Alternatives

Dentures – Benefits | Types | Steps | Care | Alternatives

Dentures are removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues, helping you to restore your smile. Dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth so there should be only a small noticeable change in appearance. However, with the modern advancement, your dentures look more natural than ever. If you’ve lost your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. So, dentures not only improve your smile and fill out your facial appearance but also has other restorative benefits.

Benefits of going for dentures:

  • Helps in improving your facial appearance which would otherwise sag because of missing teeth
  • Since it resembles your natural teeth, your appearance does not look artificial
  • Dentures also make it possible to eat food that require chewing, making it possible to keep your diet the same and ensure that you are properly nourished

Types of Dentures:

  1. Complete dentures
  2. Partial dentures

Complete dentures

Full dentures, otherwise known as complete dentures, are dentures that replace all of your natural teeth. You can have them fitted for your top or bottom gum line, and are held in place by suction and/or the help of an oral adhesive. This can be either conventional or immediate. In order to get this done, whatever teeth are present needs to be extracted and wait for tissues to heal. A conventional denture is ready for replacement after 8 to 12 weeks of teeth extraction. Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are extracted. There is no need to wait for a long period of time. Your dentist will take measurements and make models of your jaw during a preliminary visit. This helps the patient to not be without teeth during the healing period following tooth extraction. However, during the healing period, bones and gums shrink over time. Therefore, a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures are often used instead of other tooth replacement methods when the surrounding natural teeth are not strong enough to support structures such as dental bridges, or when more than one or two teeth are missing. A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. A fixed bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Partial dentures also help in preventing other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural appliance.

How are dentures made?

It is a time-consuming process taking several appointments spanning a number of weeks. In the past, the artificial teeth that makeup dentures, were made out of porcelain or plastic, but more modern dentures are generally made out of a hard resin. The materials used to make denture teeth are known to be more fragile than natural teeth and can easily chip or crack if dropped or otherwise uncared for.

Once your dentist recommends dentures and you move ahead with the process, the following steps are present:

  • You dentist will make a series of impressions of your jaw and take measurements of how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them.
  • Post this, they will create models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made. You will “try in” this model several times and the denture will be assessed for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is cast.
  • Cast a final denture.
  • Any adjustment if needed will be made.

What do dentures feel like?

Initial few weeks will have little to no discomfort. New dentures may feel a little odd or loose for a few weeks until the muscles of the cheeks and tongue learn to keep them in place. After the initial period, you start getting comfortable inserting and removing them. There might be a minor irritation or soreness, and increased saliva flow when you first start wearing dentures. But these problems will go away as the mouth adjusts.

It usually takes a couple of weeks to eat naturally with the new dentures. Start with soft food cut into small bite pieces, to get used to your denture. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to your dentures, slowly and steadily start returning to your normal diet. Be cautious with hot or hard food and sharp-edged bones or shells. Avoid food that are extremely sticky or hard. You should also avoid chewing gum while you wear the denture. Don’t use toothpicks while wearing dentures.

After getting dentures, you may have difficulty pronouncing some words. In order for your pronunciation to be normal you need to practice daily and loudly. With practice and time, your speech will become normal.

When should you wear your dentures?

During the initial days, after receiving your denture, you may be asked to wear it all the time, even when you are sleeping. Although this may cause you some discomfort, it is the fastest way to identify the areas on the denture that may need adjustment. After the initial days of adjustments, you should remove dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. The denture can be put back in the mouth in the morning. Your dentist or prosthodontist will instruct you as to how long you should wear dentures and when to remove them.

When to visit your dentist after your procedure

  • Follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted so that the fit can be checked and adjusted. Your dentist will inform you about the time frame for your next appointment.
  • If dentures “click” while you’re talking, contact your dentist.
  • Dentures may occasionally slip when you laugh, cough, or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If any speaking problem persists, consult your dentist or prosthodontist.
  • If irritation and soreness continue for long.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups. The dentist will examine your mouth to see if your dentures continue to fit properly.

How to take care of your dentures

  • Like your teeth, your dentures should be brushed daily to remove food particles and plaque. Brushing can also help keep the teeth from staining.
  • Rinse your dentures before brushing to remove any loose food or debris.
  • Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser to gently brush all the surfaces of the dentures so that they don’t get scratched.
  • When brushing, clean your mouth thoroughly—including your gums, cheeks, the roof of your mouth and tongue to remove any plaque. This can help reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath.
  • When you’re not wearing your dentures, put them in a safe place covered in warm water to keep them from warping.
  • When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or basin of water. Dentures are delicate and may break if dropped.

What is the alternative to dentures

An excellent alternative to dentures are dental implants. It can be used to support cemented bridges, eliminating the need for dentures. Implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel and look of real teeth. However, you should consult your oral surgeon to understand whether you should go for dental implants or dentures.

If you still aren’t sure whether dentures are right for you or if you have other questions or concerns, talk to your dentist at your next regular dental check-up to discuss the right path for you. If you are looking for a dental professional who specializes in dentures and can best address your specific needs, check out Dr Mohamed Ali’s dental practice which gives every patient the best care possible from the tremendously talented and caring staff.

During the initial visit, Dr. Mohamed Ali will thoroughly examine your mouth and will present different options and also advise you on the best option, suited for you. The billing experts will check your insurance benefits and present a complete treatment plan with the financial arrangements. We accept all major dental and medical PPO insurance plans. We also have an in-office Plan For Health for those who don’t have an insurance. Additionally, we have partnered with various financial institutions like Care Credit, The Lending Club, Healthcare Finance Solutions to make your treatment extremely affordable. We will be happy to answer all your questions. So just sit, relax, and let us fit your dentures to get back the beautiful facial appearance you once had. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 415.391.7751.

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