Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures: complete dentures that replace all teeth and partial dentures that replace only specific missing teeth while the rest of the natural teeth remain. Missing teeth can cause facial muscles to droop, and dentures will help you to prevent that.

Complete dentures

After the teeth have been extracted, it can take up to 12 weeks for the gums to heal before conventional dentures can be placed in the mouth. Immediate dentures, as the name implies, are made in advance and can be placed as soon as the teeth are extracted. The benefit of immediate dentures is that the patient doesn’t have to walk about with missing teeth. However, immediate dentures need to be adjusted over time as the gums heal – the process causes the gums and bones to shrink which means that the immediate dentures won’t fit as well anymore. Immediate dentures are a good temporary solution to use until conventional dentures can be fitted.

Partial dentures

A removable partial denture is a removable alternative to bridges. It usually consists of replacement teeth that are attached to a gum-colored base. Partial dentures are used when some of the natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth adjacent to the space and attaching artificial teeth to them and then cementing the artificial teeth into place. Partial dentures have the added benefit of preventing other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments as opposed to clasps that attach to adjacent crowns, providing a more natural look.

How are dentures made?

It can take several appointments over a period of a few weeks to get your dentures in place. Your dentist first has to determine what kind of dentures will be right for you. He’ll start by creating a series of impressions of your jaw and determine how your jaws relate to each other and how much space is available. He’ll create models that you can try on, and they will be checked for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is made. Some adjustments may be necessary at the final fitting.

Will I ever get used to my dentures?

New dentures often feel uncomfortable in the first few weeks. You may find it a little difficult to eat and speak certain words. Sometimes the dentures may feel a little loose; this feeling will disappear when your cheek and tongue muscles figure out how to hold your dentures in place. You may find an increased flow of saliva or the feeling that there is not enough room for your tongue. If you feel irritation, you’d best see your dentist.

Will Eating With New Dentures Be Difficult?

It takes a bit of practice to effortlessly eat with dentures, and it will be a little uncomfortable in the beginning. It’s best to start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Practice by chewing slowly on both sides of your mouth. Add other foods to your diet, bit by bit, until you’re comfortable to return to your normal diet. However, hot, hard and sticky food can be tricky to eat.

Will Dentures Change How I Speak?

Initially, you’ll have difficulty to pronounce certain words. If this is the case, the best solution is to practice saying those words out loud. If you practice, it will later become second nature to speak difficult words properly with dentures. Sometimes dentures “click” while you’re speaking. This is not supposed to happen, so you have to speak to your dentist if it does happen. If your dentures slip when you laugh, cough or smile, reposition it by gently biting down and swallowing. If you regularly have to readjust your dentures, you should follow up with your dentist.

Should I use Denture Adhesive

You can use denture adhesive to give you peace of mind and a sense of security. Denture adhesive only works for well-fitting dentures so if your dentures don’t fit perfectly; it’s best to stay away. If you use denture adhesive correctly, it is perfectly safe. If you use it for ill-fitting dentures, you run the risk of damaging the underlying gums and oral tissues.

How do I take care of my dentures?

Here are some handy tips for taking care of your dentures:

  • Avoid breaking your dentures when you drop them by standing over a folded towel or basin of water while you handle them.
  • Keep your dentures from drying out by placing them in a denture cleansing solution of just plain cold water.
  • Brush your dentures to remove food particles and plaque and to prevent them from staining.
  • Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled toothbrush before you put in your dentures.
  • See your dentists if your dentures chip, break or loosen. Don’t adjust them yourself – you may ruin them.