A denture is a removable dental appliance that serves as a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate”. A conventional type is made after all the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will either go without teeth or wear a temporary or transitional denture. Immediate dentures are made in advance and are placed immediately after the teeth have been removed. The immediate denture prevents the patient from having to go without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissue shrinks and the extractions sites have healed, adjustments to the immediate denture will have to be made. It is worth noting that the current thinking among dental professionals is that the fabrication of a complete lower denture without the use of implants to improve retention is below the standard of care. Our practice strongly suggests any patient considering or in need of a full lower denture to discuss the possibility of adding implants for an improved quality of life. Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for dentures include:
- Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch
- Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch
- Enhancing smile and facial tissues
- Improving chewing, speech and digestion
Dentures and Partial Dentures Reviews
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What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed dentures, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased salivary flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty during the early days with your new denture. As you become accustomed to the new appliance and adjustments are made, the appliance will begin to feel more natural. You will be given homecare instructions for your new dentures, as well as a new denture cup and denture brush. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new denture.
It is important to continue having regular dental check-ups so that a dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As you age, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself.
Dentures and Partial Dentures FAQ
How do I clean dentures?
Full and partial dentures should be removed and rinsed following eating, brushed at least once a day, and soaked nightly in a mild cleaning solution. Patients with full or partial dentures should also refrain from using a whitening toothpaste, abrasive cleansers, and hot water when brushing, rinsing, or soaking their dentures.
How long do dentures last?
According to studies and statistics, full dentures last approximately 5 – 10 years, while partial dentures may stay effective for up to 15 years. However, each patient’s experience may vary. Our Saratoga Springs Family Dentistry team will regularly check your full or partial dentures for signs of wear and less-than-ideal fit.
Can I sleep with dentures in my mouth?
Dentures must be removed each night before falling asleep in order to avoid causing damage to the mouth. This also applies to partial dentures, so if a prospective patient does not wish to remove them, the individual should probably evaluate other options.
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