What Are Dentures?
Dentistry is all about smiles, and having a confident, healthy, beautiful smile is important even for patients wearing dentures. Our practice provides personalized denture services that meet the needs and comfort levels of our patients. All of our patients are unique and we create one-of-a-kind dentures that feel good and look natural.
Dentures are natural-looking replacement teeth that are removable. They are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear. There are several types of dentures:
- Complete Dentures: Removable replacement for an entire arch of missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth made of acrylic plastic. A complete denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. Complete dentures can be coupled with implants to increase retention and give a more secure fit.
- Immediate Dentures: An immediate denture is a complete denture that is inserted immediately following the removal of any remaining natural teeth. The immediate denture acts to protect the tissues and reduce bleeding after tooth extraction. After adequate healing of the extraction sites, the immediate denture is rebased to better fit the healed tissues, or in some cases, a new complete denture will be made.
- Partial Dentures: A partial denture is a removable replacement for patients who are only missing some of their teeth. There are several types of partial dentures to choose from. Our dentists will make you aware of your options and help you decide which will work best for you.
- Implant Dentures: Implants have been a wonderful adjunct to traditional denture treatment. As few as 2 implants can greatly increase the retention of a denture, thereby dramatically improving eating and functioning. Our dentists will discuss implants with you, and how they can be incorporated into your denture treatment.
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
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.
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks or months. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments will 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.
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.
Full dentures are not intended to be worn for 24 hours. Full dentures need to be removed every night, brushed, and then placed in water or a cleansing solution.
Your gum tissues that support your dentures need to rest, and removing your dentures at night allows this. Plus, your tongue and saliva stimulate and cleanse the gums when the dentures are out at night.
If by chance your dentures do break, please contact our office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Many repairs can be completed in our office the same day, while you wait. Broken dentures that don’t fit properly can cause irritation to your gums and mouth. Also, remember to continue scheduling regular dental checkups at least once a year to make sure that your smile stays healthy for many years to come.