Dentures are used to replace lost or missing teeth and are either full dentures, which replace all of the original teeth, or partial, which are used as an alternative to a bridge to fill gaps in your teeth. There are a range of alternatives to removabale dentures which are fitted to a set of dental implants. These implants hold a special denture firmly in place or are used to attach a permanent, hand crafted set of porcelain teeth which look, feel and act just like real teeth.
A full denture is a removable acrylic base, or plate, which sits over the gums and onto which are crafted a set of acrylic teeth which will be made to look as natural as possible. A partial denture is attached to the teeth either side of the gap.
Alternatives using dental implants must be fitted by a dentist who is trained in this technique. If you are interested to find out more about this procedure, ask your dentist.
Whether you have worn dentures for some time or are about to wear them for the first time, you probably have many questions.
Why should I replace missing teeth?
Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean that greater strain is put on the teeth either side. A gap can also mean your bite is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes both decay and gum disease.
What is a denture?
A denture is an appliance which is worn to replace lost or missing teeth to enable you to enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence.
A complete or full denture is one that replaces all of the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaws.
A partial denture fills in the spaces created by lost or missing teeth and is attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.
Replacing lost or missing teeth has substantial benefits for your health and appearance. A complete or full denture replaces the natural teeth and provides support for cheeks and lips. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person appear older and reduce their ability to eat and speak.
What is the difference between conventional and Immediate Dentures?
Conventional dentures are made and inserted after teeth have been removed and the tissues have healed. Healing may take several months.
Immediate Dentures are inserted immediately after teeth have been removed. To do this, the dentist takes measurements and impressions of your mouth during a preliminary visit
An advantage of Immediate Dentures is that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bone and gums can shrink over time, especially during the first six months after teeth have been removed. When gums shrink, Immediate Dentures may require relining or even replacing to fit properly.
What will dentures feel like?
New dentures may feel awkward or even uncomfortable 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. Should this continue, consult your dentist.
It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness during this period. You may also find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. If any problems persist, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist as soon as possible and not wait for your regular check up. Do not take your dentures out though, leave them in, that way the dentist will be able to see where it is sore and sort the problem out quicker.
Should I take my denture out at night?
Dentists recommend removing your dentures at night to give your mouth a chance to rest. If you remove your dentures, it is important to leave them in water to prevent any warping or cracking.
Can my dentures come loose when eating?
Yes. In some cases implants can be used to securely fix dentures in place.
How do I look after my denture?
The general rule is brush, soak, brush. Always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them. Brush your dentures before soaking, to help remove any food debris. The use of an effervescent denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher. Then brush the dentures again, as you would your own teeth, being careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves in the surface. Make sure you clean all the surfaces of the dentures, including the surface which comes into contact with your gums.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Over a period of time, dentures will need to be relined or re-made due to normal wear or a change in the shape of your mouth. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink causing jaws to align differently. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections not to mention discomfort. A loose or ill-fitting denture can also make eating and speaking more difficult. It is important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures before they cause problems.
Is there an alternative to dentures?
Dental implants can be used to give a more secure/fixed solution.