What Are Dentures?
Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are created by your dentist as a replacement for your missing teeth. Dentures can be taken out and put back into your mouth and it’s always custom designed to fit and match the missing teeth.
While dentures will never feel exactly the same as your natural teeth, nowadays, they are more comfortable and natural looking than ever.
There are 2 main kinds of dentures: Partial and Full.
A Partial Denture is a removable dental appliance that is used to replace one or more teeth. It is usually used when the surrounding natural teeth are not strong enough to support a dental bridge. Partial dentures are fitted to the part of the gum line that they will sit on and fasten to your natural teeth to keep from falling out of place.
A Full Denture, or Complete Denture, is a removable dental appliance that is used to replace all of your natural teeth. They are held in place by suction and/or an oral adhesive.
Both types of dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth, meaning that your denture will be made to match your natural teeth, giving you a natural look. Also, they can be easily taken out at any time for cleaning.
Your dentist will help you choose the type of procedure that’s best for you based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and the cost involved.
Why Do I Need Dentures?
As we know, dentures are used to replace missing teeth (whether you need to replace a few – partial denture, or all teeth – full denture). Of course, it is always preferable to keep your natural teeth. However, sometimes that is not a viable option. You could lose your teeth from gum disease, tooth decay or even an accident/injury. Whatever the reason is, if you lost teeth, replacing your missing teeth will improve your appearance and your health.
Here are some benefits of having dentures:
Improves your smile and your confidence by having healthy looking teeth again;
Keeps the structure of the mouth by supporting the structures around the cheeks and lips. It will also keep your facial muscles in place, avoiding it to sag and, consequently, making you look older.
Gives you the ability to eat foods that require chewing and speak better than without teeth.
What to Expect With New Dentures
New dentures may feel awkward/uncomfortable for a few weeks or months. Dentures may feel loose, eating and speaking might take a little practice and your saliva flow may increase. As soon as your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away.
Talk to your dentist about your reactions to the new dentures and always express your concerns if any problem persists.
Expect to have a few follow-up appointments to check if everything is fitting as expected and/or to adjust it. Follow all the instructions given by your dentist.
Caring For Your Dentures
Regardless of what kind of dentures you may have, all dentures need to be cleaned daily, just like regular teeth to avoid bacteria and stains.
When handling your dentures (whether partial or full), try to stand over a folded towel or a sink/basin of water. Dentures are delicate and may break if accidentally dropped.
To clean your dentures, start by taking them out of your mouth and then rinse them with running clean water. After rinsing your dentures, brush them with a soft bristle toothbrush.
Do not use toothpaste / abrasive cleanser, since it can be too harsh for cleaning dentures. Ask your dentist what would be a good dentures cleanser.
Don’t forget to clean your gums, cheeks, the roof of the mouth and tongue to remove plaque.
Don’t let your dentures dry out. Place them in an appropriate cleanser soaking solution (recommended by your dentist) or in plain water when you’re not wearing them, i.e., at night time. Never use hot water, which can cause them to warp.
Do NOT try to adjust your dentures by yourself. If they become loose, chip, crack or even break, call your dentist promptly. Do-it-yourself kits and over-the-counter glues can damage your dentures beyond repair.