What are dentures?
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 indicated when all natural teeth are missing. A good set of dentures helps you to eat, speak, function, and often improves a person’s appearance.
How long does it take to make dentures?
Depending on the complexity of each case, the duration of the treatment will vary. After the initial visit of examination and diagnosis, the subsequent visits will include taking impressions of the mouth, bite registration, try-in of the denture, fitting and review.
What to expect?
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 to adapt to the 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.
Sleeping – During your first few days you should wear your dentures all the time. But always remove them before going to bed. This will allow your gums to rest and promote oral health. Soak the dentures in water to prevent them drying out.
Increased salivary flow – You may experience an increase in salivary flow when the dentures are first put in. This is a natural response of the salivary glands and they will return to normal after a few weeks.
Speech – New dentures may alter your speech initially and pronouncing certain words may require practice. Speed up the adaption process by reading out loud and repeating troublesome words. This problem usually resolves with practice.
Sore spots – It’s quite common for your new dentures to cause minor irritation. This is the result of surface irregularities or pressure spots on the denture-bearing areas. Your dentist will relieve the discomfort by adjusting the denture surface. If the irritation is very painful stop wearing the denture and get in touch with your dentist immediately.
Caring for your dentures
If possible you should try to remove and clean your dentures after every meal, remembering the following:
- Use a soft brush or special denture brush
- Avoid very hot water as it may distort your denture
- Use toothpaste and mild detergent, avoid abrasive cleaners that can roughen the dentures‘ surface. Do not use bleach as this may whiten the pink acrylic.
- Always wash your dentures over a basin of water and hold them firmly while cleaning. Accidentally dropping them may cause them to chip or break.
Soak your dentures in denture cleanser once a week to remove stains and always rinse them thoroughly before using again.
When you are not wearing them store your dentures in water. They may lose their shape if left to dry out.
Your next denture review
Our jawbones and gums naturally shrink over time, this may cause your dentures to fit less securely. This can lead to problems with chewing, soreness and infections. A yearly check- up of your dentures means that we can help adjust them if needed. You should never try to do this yourself. During this appointment we will also take the opportunity to carry out our routine cancer check-up of your mouth.
With time and practice you be soon be eating, talking and smiling with your new dentures – just you would with your natural teeth.