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. Our doctors will help you choose the type of denture that's best for you. This decision is based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and what you feel is best.
How do Dentures work? With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the 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. Our doctors 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. Then new impressions are taken and a custom fit denture is made to fit your mouth.
Immediate Full Denture An immediate full denture is inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. (Our doctors take measurements and make models of your teeth and jaws on a previous visit.) While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be relined several months after being inserted. These relining appointments are vital because the bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.
Partial Denture A partial denture is used to replace a few missing teeth. It is removable like a full denture but it uses clasps from a metal framework that hook to your existing healthy 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 to replace multiple teeth.
How Long Before I Get Used to My Dentures? New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few months. It will take time and practice to learn how to do simple tasks like eating and speaking with your new dentures. A bulky or loose feeling is not uncommon while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold your dentures in place. Excessive saliva flow, feelings that the tongue does not have adequate room, and minor irritation or soreness are also not unusual. We will have multiple adjustment appointments after delivery to verify that they fit excellent.
How Long do Dentures Last? Over a period of time, your denture will need to be relined or remade 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 your dentist annually for a checkup.
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 (roof of your mouth) every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
- Call our office immediately (405) 708-6644 if your dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Don't be tempted to adjust them yourself as this can damage them beyond repair.