Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing or all of your natural teeth and help restore your smile and improve your quality of life. If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and health. You can smile freely without feeling embarrassed. Dentures can make eating and speaking easier than you could without teeth – things that people often take for granted.
Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Full dentures may even give you a better smile. Dentures also support the cheeks and lips so the face muscles do not sag and make you look older. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.
At Cathedral Dental we will help you to restore your smile. Our experienced dental technicians will provide you with a natural looking and well fitted denture that will have you smiling again and regain your confidence and comfort. There are several types of dentures we do. Depending on your wants and needs, these will be discussed at your consultation with one of our dentists, and the best solution for you will be resolved.
TYPES OF DENTURES:
1. CONVENTIONAL COMPLETE DENTURES
A conventional complete denture is made and placed in your mouth after the teeth are taken out and the tissues have healed. This can be done in the surgery under local anaesthetic (LA) or at a hospital as a day procedure under general anaesthetic (GA). Healing may take several months. Complete dentures have replacement teeth fitted into a plastic base. The base is made to closely match the colour of your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of the mouth). When the base of the upper denture rests against the gums and palate, it makes a seal to hold the denture in place.
The lower denture has a horseshoe shape so there is room for the tongue and muscle attachments. It rests on the gum and bone tissues of the dental ridge. A thin film of saliva holds it in place. The cheek muscles and tongue also help hold the lower denture in place.
2. IMMEDIATE DENTURES
Some patients may have the option to get immediate dentures. These dentures are made before the remaining teeth are removed. Once the denture has been made in the laboratory and is ready for you at our clinic, your dentist will remove your teeth and the denture is placed right away. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to go without teeth during the healing time. Once healing is complete, the dentures may need to be adjusted or relined. Sometimes a new denture may need to be made.
3. REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES
Partial dentures usually have replacement teeth fixed to a plastic base that matches the colour of your gums. The plastic base may cover a metal framework. Partial dentures often have some form of clasp that attaches to your natural teeth.
Your dentist may also recommend crowns, or caps on your natural teeth as they may improve the way a removable partial denture fits your mouth.
It takes practice to put in and take out a removable partial denture. It may feel odd or tight for the first few weeks. But in time, you should get used to it. Never force it into place by biting down as this could bend or break the clasps. Your partial denture should never be worn 24 hours a day. Take them out at bedtime and put it back in when you wake up.
A follow up appointment with our dentist is usually required for all dentures so they can check for pressure points or sore spots. Your denture may need some adjusting so as it fits comfortably.
Once missing teeth are replaced, eating should be a much more pleasant experience. Since missing teeth can make it difficult to speak clearly, wearing a denture can help that too.
Over time, as you age and your mouth changes, your denture may no longer fit well. It also could break, crack or chip. Sometimes your dentist can make the repairs, often on the same day. Complex repairs take longer.
The normal lifetime of dentures is about 5 – 10 years, but this can vary widely depending on the patient. Over time, dentures may need relining, rebasing, or replacing. Relining is when the dentist adds new material to the underside of the denture base to fit to your gums. Rebasing is when a new base is made using the existing denture as a model. The artificial teeth from the old denture are used on the new base.
The mouth changes naturally with age. Jaws may line up differently as bones and gum ridges recede and shrink. These are the natural part of the ageing process. At some point your dentures will no longer fit well and they will have to be remade. It is important to replace worn or ill-fitting dentures before they cause problems. Your dentist will let you know when it is time to replace your denture.
AFTER YOU GET YOUR DENTURE
You are the key to your new smile’s success. Follow these simple tips to help you adjust to your new dentures:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get used to your dentures. It is normal for them to feel odd or uncomfortable for the first few weeks.
- Some soreness should be expected for the first week or two.
- Eat a balanced diet for good health.
- Practice eating and speaking with you new denture.
- See your dentist regularly.
- Begin by eating soft foods cut into small pieces
- Chew on both sides of the mouth to keep the pressure even.
- Do not eat very sticky or hard foods or chew gum.
- Do not wear your dentures around the clock because tissues (your gums) that are covered with denture material all the time can become irritated.
- If your denture slips out of place when you laugh, cough, or smile, bite down and swallow to reposition them.
CARING FOR YOUR DENTURES
Like natural teeth, dentures require daily oral hygiene.
- Clean your denture every day. Take it out of your mouth and carefully rinse off loose food particles. Wet the brush and put the denture cleaner on it. Brush all the surfaces gently to keep from damaging the plastic base.
- It is best to use a special brush made for cleaning dentures, but you can use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Using hard-bristled brushes can cause damage to the denture base and teeth.
- Your denture is very delicate and can break if dropped. Stand over a folded towel or sink filled with cool water when holding your denture.
- A liquid soap used with a denture brush is an effective way to clean your dentures.
- Do not use toothpaste to clean your dentures as some toothpaste has abrasive particles that can damage the denture base and teeth.
- Keep your denture in water when you are not wearing it. Do not let it dry out or it can lose its shape.
- Keep your denture away from curious children and pets when you are not wearing it.
CARING FOR YOUR MOUTH
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. This increases the circulation in your tissues and helps remove any plaque.