- Commonly referred to as false teeth, dentures are removable prostheses which are used to replace missing teeth.
- Typically made up of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal, partial dentures can be fitted to replace some missing teeth while a complete denture is used when all your natural teeth are missing.
- As well as improving your appearance and confidence, dentures enable you to speak, eat and function much more easily and effectively.
The duration of your treatment will vary depending on the complexity of your case. After your initial examination and diagnoses, we can take an impression of your mouth and bite registration, fit your dentures and then carry out a final review to ensure you’re completely satisfied with the finished product. Generally, a couple of appointments are necessary in order to complete the process.
It’s perfectly normal for your new dentures to feel a bit strange and it may take a couple weeks to get used to them. Once you become accustomed to them however, wearing your dentures will become second nature.
Just like natural teeth, dentures can accumulate plaque and food debris. In addition to standard tooth brushing, dentures should be cleaned regularly in order to avoid staining and bad odours.
In order to help you adapt to life with dentures, below is some helpful advice:
- Eating – it will take some practice to get used to eating with dentures in so start with soft foods and cut them into small pieces. Also try to remember to chew slowly using both sides of your mouth to prevent your dentures from tipping. Once you start to get used to eating with them, you can begin to introduce other foods and return to your normal diet.
- Increased salivary flow – it’s perfectly normal to experience an increase in salivary flow when your dentures are fitted. This is a natural response and should return to normal after a few weeks. In the meantime, simply swallowing more often can help.
- Speech – as you get used to your new dentures, you may find that your speech is affected. This rarely persists for more than two weeks but reading out loud and practicing troublesome words can speed up the adaption process.
- Sore spots – minor irritation caused by surface irregularities or pressure spots on the denture-bearing areas are common. Your dentist will be able to relieve any discomfort by adjusting the denture surface. If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, stop wearing the denture and contact your dentist immediately.
If possible, clean your dentures after every meal using the following precautions:
- Use a soft hand brush or a special denture brush.
- Avoid using very hot water because it can distort the denture.
- Use a mild detergent. Abrasive cleaners can roughen the polished surface of the denture and bleach can whiten the pink acrylic.
- Always wash your denture over a basin and hold it firmly. Dropping it can result in it chipping or breaking.
- Soak your dentures in denture cleanser once a week to remove any stains and always rinse them thoroughly before putting them back in.
- When you’re not wearing your dentures, store them in water. They may lose their shape if they’re left to dry out.
- Your jawbone and gums naturally shrink over time which can lead to your dentures fitting less securely. This can make it difficult to eat as well as cause pain, infections and changes to facial support. It’s important to visit your dentist every year so they can adjust your dentures to ensure an optimal fit.