Dentures are removable prostheses made to replace natural teeth that have been lost due to accident or disease. Dentures are complete if there are no remaining teeth. If there are some teeth remaining then a partial denture can be made to fit around the remaining teeth.
With the improvements in dental implants and other techniques in recent years, dentures are not as common as they once were. However, they can still be very effective for many people.
The denture is less costly than non-removable solutions, such as bridges and dental implants. For some patients, because of physical health or economics, it is the only option available to them.
A removable prosthesis, such as complete dentures, can restore function and appearance in the mouth as well as the surrounding facial tissues. Your Prosthodontist can provide top quality new dentures for you. Success with dentures depends on a good fit and a well-made denture, and on the amount of bone and soft tissues available to support the dentures.
Denture wearers gain confidence about how their dentures look and feel as they adjust to them over time. They usually learn to speak and eat more confidently as time passes. With a good daily cleaning routine and regular visits to the dentist, dentures can help you lead a healthy and natural lifestyle.
Of course, even with the best of care, it may be necessary to have dentures remade after a number of years. This is because the bony ridge in the mouth that dentures rest on goes through natural changes over time, causing dentures to fit improperly.
Whenever you sense any change in the way your dentures work or feel, your prosthodontist can provide new dentures or reline your existing dentures to improve their level of fit.
Comfort is a major factor in the success of removable dentures. Appearance is another. Initially, a removable denture can look aesthetically pleasing and function effectively. However, bone loss in the jaws can cause dentures to lose their fit after a while.
The emphasis in dentistry has shifted to providing edentulous patients with dental implants to support their dentures while there is still enough jawbone available, rather than waiting until large amounts of bone have been lost.
Removable dentures are simply an interim solution for many patients who eventually opt to pursue dental implant treatment.
Partial dentures are used as an alternative to fixed bridges in replacing missing teeth. They are often simply an interim solution for many patients who eventually opt to pursue dental implant treatment.
The partial denture has clasps that fit around the remaining teeth to help stabilise it, and utilises both the remaining teeth and the soft tissues for support during chewing.
Temporary partial dentures are usually made from acrylic, while long-term partial dentures are made from acrylic teeth fitted onto a cast metal framework. The clasps can be made from a tooth-coloured material so that no metal is visible when you smile.
Contact us today to request additional information or to make an appointment with our dentist.
Getting used to your new denture
Many of our denture patients need a bit of time to get used to wearing dentures, especially if they are wearing dentures for the first time. In our experience, it can take longer to adjust to complete lower dentures, as there is usually less retention and the tongue may feel constricted for while. It will take your tongue, lips and cheeks several days or even weeks to get used to the shape of your new dentures. Any problems usually resolve themselves within a short time.
• Appearance - It is normal for your mouth and face to look and feel different. After a few days this feeling will disappear and you will enjoy new confidence in your appearance.
• Speech - As your tongue and lips get used to the shape of your new dentures, any initial difficulties you experience will soon subside. Reading aloud is very effective and can help speed up the process. Try counting from 65 - 70, as these sounds can be the hardest to get used to. It is common to salivate more (which can affect speech) when your new dentures are fitted. As your mouth gets used to presence of the dentures, this will soon subside. Try sipping water to thin down your saliva and try swallowing more often.
• Eating - Getting used to chewing can take more time and practice until your cheeks, lips and tongue adapt to their new interaction with your new denture base. When wearing your new dentures for the first time, begin eating with small bites of finely sliced foods. This will help you begin to control your new bite and tooth position. Avoid tough, hard and sticky foods until you become more accustomed to your replacement dentures. Biting on the front teeth of even the best made denture can cause your denture to lever away from your gums. Biting slightly to the side more towards your back teeth causes less leverage.
• Everyday wear - When it comes to the period of time you wear your new dentures, it is a matter of personal choice. However, we do recommend that you leave your dentures out at night, as this is often the most convenient time to allow your mouth to rest. If this is not possible, we suggest that you remove your dentures whenever you are in private, as even a short break will allow your mouth to rest. Whenever you remove your dentures, make sure you keep them soaked in water as the acrylic component of the denture can become brittle and break eventually if it dries out too often.
• Sore Areas - Your mouth may have changed a great deal since your last set of dentures were fitted. The size and shape of your new dentures will be created to fit precisely with the contours of your mouth. As a result, pressure points and sore spots can develop under and around your new dentures during the first few days of wear. This is perfectly normal but should it continue, we can alleviate any discomfort you experience by adjusting the denture surface. If the irritation is very painful, stop wearing your dentures and consult your dentist who can usually make a small adjustment to alleviate the problem.
Handling and storing your denture
• Denture Care – Most dentures are constructed from a highly durable impact resistant resin, which reduces the likelihood of breakage in the event of your dentures being dropped. This will allow you extra confidence when you are handling and maintaining your dentures. To further reduce the risk of breakage, we recommend that whenever you are cleaning your dentures you hold them just above a full basin of water. This way, if they are dropped, your dentures will hit the water and not the hard sink, which could fracture the denture acrylic and mean an unnecessary emergency denture repair.
• Denture Storage - Your dentures are designed specifically to function in a moist environment. Therefore, we advise that you do not allow them to dry out. Try soaking your dentures in a glass of water prior to insertion. If you do remove them at night to allow your gums to rest, please store your dentures in water or your preferred denture soak.
Cleaning your denture
Many denture wearers suffer from problems caused by microorganisms present on dentures. These germs can aggravate infection and cause oral inflammation. Unless they are eliminated from the denture on regular basis denture intolerance can occur.
Conventional toothpaste is not suitable for cleaning dentures as it can abrade and permanently damage your dentures. Instead you should use one of the many denture cleaners available. To remove food debris, we recommend you use a cream or gel with a special denture brush.
Clean all the surfaces of your dentures, including the surface which comes into contact with your gums. This is especially important if you use any kind of denture adhesives, which need to be removed daily. Then soak your dentures in a specialist solution to keep them fresh. Never use bleach or boiling water to clean your dentures. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for use.
Leaving your dentures out at night will allow your gum tissues to rest and benefit from normal stimulation by your tongue and saliva. However, we know that many patients feel embarrassed about removing their dentures in front of their partner and prefer to wearing dentures at night. Any denture worn overnight must be spotlessly cleaned to avoid decay to any remaining teeth or irritation. Try to soak your dentures in a denture cleaning solution before you go to bed to ensure that you sleep with clean dentures.