Effective and reliable replacements for missing teeth
A denture is a removable prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. Commonly referred to as ‘false teeth’, a denture is usually made of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal. A partial denture is fitted to replace some missing teeth whilst a complete denture is used when all natural teeth are missing. A good set of dentures helps you to eat, speak, function, and often improves your appearance.
What does the process for making and fitting dentures involve?
Making and fitting dentures can be quite an involved process so you may have to attend several appointments to ensure the final set of dentures are a secure and comfy fit.
Following a comprehensive consultation, impressions of your mouth will be taken so a wax model can be produced and checked for fit, bite and comfort. A final set of dentures will be manufactured in a laboratory and, when ready, you will be invited in for a fitting.
Complete dentures will be fitted in the top or bottom of your mouth. This will consist of a gum coloured arch with a set of prosthetic teeth
Partial dentures will be used if you only have one or a few missing teeth and may be held in place with metal hooks attached to existing teeth.
What can I expect with my new dentures?
New dentures always feel strange when first placed in your mouth. Several days or weeks will be required before you get accustomed to them. Adaptation varies with different persons and often time and experience are essential before dentures can be worn comfortably and function effectively.
Useful suggestions to help you adapt to your new dentures
Eating – Eating will take a little practice. Starting with soft foods and foods cut into small pieces will help. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent dentures from tipping. Once you become accustomed to chewing, include other foods until you return to your normal diet.
Increased salivary flow – You may experience an increase in salivary flow when the dentures are first inserted. This is a natural response of the salivary glands that will return to normal after a few weeks. You can improve the situation by swallowing more often.
Speech – New dentures may alter your speech initially. Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will speed up the adaptation process. This problem rarely persists beyond two weeks.
Sore spots – Minor irritation caused by surface irregularities or pressure spots on the denture-bearing areas is quite common. Your dentist will relieve the discomfort by adjusting the denture surface. Stop wearing the denture if the irritation is very painful. Consult your dentist immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
During the first few days you are advised to wear them most of the time except when sleeping. Always remove the dentures before going to bed. This will allow your gum tissues to rest and promote oral health. Gentle massaging of the gums with a soft toothbrush is encouraged.
Your jawbones and gums naturally shrink over time and this can cause the dentures to fit less securely. Ill-fitting dentures can give rise to chewing difficulties, soreness, infections and changes in facial support. It is important that you visit your dentist to have your dentures and oral tissues evaluated yearly. Your dentures may need to be adjusted, relieved or even relined from time to time to ensure an optimal fit. Do not attempt to adjust the denture yourself as this could cause damage.
You need to clean your dentures using a special brush and denture cream. It is best to do this after every meal if possible, but definitely twice a day. Make sure you brush your gums and any remaining teeth too. At night, you should remove your dentures (unless advised otherwise) and store them in cold water or denture fluid to prevent them from drying out.