Dentures are probably the most common way to replace missing teeth around the world, especially when a patient is missing several. These prosthetic devices are affordable and easy-to-use, making it no wonder that they’re often preferred to their more costly counterparts like dental fixed bridgework or implant-supported restorations.
What’s the Purpose of Dentures?
People with several missing teeth will inevitably experience immediate issues with eating and speaking, and the face will appear sunken where the teeth are missing. Over time, facial muscles will begin to atrophy and sag. Dentures are a cure-all for these issues, helping to enhance cosmetic appearance and restore normalcy to patients’ lives.
“As a senior (over 70) I’ve had a life-long battle with soft, decay prone teeth. I was at the point of my 3rd set of crowns (or implants which I could not afford) and had been to four other dentists (including specialists) for consults. They all gave me a different treatment plan which was confusing and disheartening. Then I met with Dr Curtis who gave me “straight talk” and various options to save my teeth at this stage of life. Both he and his daughter, Dr. Kelly, are skilled, patient and informative with their patients and staff. Additionally, during procedures, the staff receives the benefit of what I call “on-going” continuing education through the generous, instructional dialog by both Doctors. Plus, Dr Curtis has a fine, well-tuned sense of humor!”
Types of Dentures
Dentures can be full or partial, and can be placed at any time after teeth are removed. Full dentures are used when all of the patient’s teeth are missing. These may even be custom made to look exactly like your natural teeth did!
When only some teeth are missing, partial dentures are anchored by being attached to a metal framework that fits over or around the natural teeth that remain. Dentures can have a considerable variation cost and quality. Generally speaking, more expensive dentures tend to last longer and looking more natural.
Wearing dentures can take some getting used to, as the mouth needs to adapt to them before they feel comfortable. The muscles of the tongue and cheeks learn to keep the dentures in place and the gums get accustomed to the way they feel. Adhesives may be used to keep the dentures in place to keep them from slipping or clicking when the patient eats and talks.
Full dentures come in two parts: the top and bottom. The top dentures cover the roof of the mouth (similar to a standard retainer after braces), while the bottom dentures are crescent-shaped to allow room for the tongue. Partial dentures may cover any portion of this and generally contain metal brackets in the area where the natural teeth still reside.
To prevent them from drying out when they’re not in use, dentures should be kept in water – preferably a cleaning solution. They should be brushed regularly with a special toothbrush to prevent plaque buildup. They should be stored, removed, and inserted into the mouth carefully, as they may break if dropped or handled roughly.
Speak with one of our team members today for more details, and get ready to smile!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you clean dentures?
Just like teeth, dentures should be cleaned thoroughly every day. However, don’t use traditional toothpaste on your dentures as the prosthetics don’t respond to the chemicals in toothpaste the same way that teeth do. Instead, brush them with denture paste using a denture brush or a soft toothbrush.
Do dentures cause pain?
It’s normal to feel a small amount of discomfort the first few days wearing your dentures as it takes time for your gums and tongue to get used to them. This should only be considered a problem if the pain is severe or lasts longer than one month.
Will my dentures look natural?
Dr. Standish has over 40 years of experience sizing and creating natural-looking dental molds for patients. We’ll be able to not only match the correct size of your teeth and mouth but also match the shape of your teeth so that it’s a seamless and natural transition.
Will my dentures affect my speech?
During the sizing process, our dentists will determine how the position of your teeth are already affecting your speech and create your denture mold accordingly. You may still struggle with a few words, but you’ll be back to speaking normally in no time.
In fact, if you’re already missing teeth, dentures will likely improve your speech.
Do you sleep with dentures or take them out?
When you first get your dentures, it’s common for us to recommend sleeping with them in for the first night, especially if you’ve had teeth extracted the same day that they were placed.