What are dentures?
Dentures are custom-made replacements for missing teeth that can help replace your smile. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as natural teeth, dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth. If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth with dentures will benefit your appearance and your overall health.
What are the benefits of dentures?
Replacing missing or damaged teeth will help to improve your appearance and smile. They may also boost your confidence as the denture can help you eat and speak more comfortably. Without support from the denture, facial muscles can sag, making a person look older. Full and partial dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance changes very little.
Types of Dentures
After consulting with your dentist, they will determine which of the three types of denture solutions would be best for you.
- Conventional Full Denture: A conventional full removable denture is placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and your mouth fully heals, which may take several months.
- Immediate Full Denture: An immediate full removable denture is placed in your mouth the same day any remaining teeth are removed. With this option, you don’t have to worry about being without teeth while your mouth heals. However, you will need to get the dentures relined several months after being inserted, due to the jaw reshaping as it heals.
- Partial Denture: A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Crowns may be placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges or implants.
How long do they last?
The best way to prolong the life of your denture is to practice good oral hygiene. However, over a period of time, they will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear. Rebasing means making a new base while keeping the existing denture teeth. You may also need to have your dentures adjusted as you age as your mouth naturally changes.
Here are some tips for caring for your denture:
- When handling your denture, stand over a towel or basin of water. Dentures are delicate and may break if dropped.
- Rinse your denture before brushing to remove any loose food.
- Brush your denture daily with a soft-bristled tooth brush and a non-abrasive cleaner. This will prevent them from getting stained and also remove food deposits and plaque.
- Before your insert your denture in the morning, brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
- When you’re not wearing your denture, place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or plain water. Never let them dry out.
- If your dentures break, chip, crack or become loose, contact your dentist. Be sure to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist, too. Your dentist will examine your mouth to ensure your denture fit properly.