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Everything You Need to Know About Dentures

Everything You Need to Know About Dentures

Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.

There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Dr. Jaleel will help you choose the type of denture that’s best for you based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and the cost involved.

How do Dentures Work?

With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.

Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. When you visit Dr. Jaleel, she will determine which of the three types of dentures described below is best for you.

  • Conventional Full Denture
    A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth.
  • Immediate Full Denture
    An immediate full denture is inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. our team will take measurements and makes models of your jaw during a prior visit.) While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be relined several months after being inserted. The reason is that the bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.
  • Partial Denture
    A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.
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Image Credit: tec_estromberg via Flickr

How Long Before I Get Used to My Dentures?

New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place.

It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. One or more follow-up appointments with the Fairlawn Dental Clinic are needed after a denture is inserted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to speak to Dr. Jaleel immediately.

Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells.

Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will help. If your dentures “click” while you’re talking, speak more slowly.

You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If a speaking problem persists, consult Dr. Jaleel.

How Long do Dentures Last?

Over a period of time, your denture will need to be relined or remade due to normal wear. Also, as you age, your mouth naturally changes. These changes cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. At a minimum, you should see Dr. Jaleel annually for a checkup.

Here are tips for caring for your dentures:

  • When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or basin of water. Dentures are delicate and may break if dropped.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water when you’re not wearing them. Never use hot water, which can cause them to warp.
  • Brushing your dentures daily will remove food deposits and plaque, and help prevent them from becoming stained. An ultrasonic cleaner may be used to care for your dentures, but it does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
  • Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
  • See Dr. Jaleel if your dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Don’t be tempted to adjust them yourself — this can damage them beyond repair.