What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable appliances with artificial teeth and gums. They are made of plastic (acrylic), plastic and metal (cobalt chromium), flexible plastic and titanium. Besides traditional plastic dentures, there are also flexible dentures that are softer. This biocompatible flexible material allows for constant movement and flexibility in your mouth.
Your dentist will evaluate your suitability for dentures as well as discuss other teeth replacement options, such as dental implants.
What are the types of Dentures?
There are two types of dentures:
Partial dentures: If you’re missing a few teeth
Full dentures: If you have lost all your teeth on your upper or lower jaw.
What is the procedure for making Dentures?
Upon confirming your suitability by your dentist, creating your dentures will take approximately five dental visits. During these visits, your dentist will:
- Measure your bite and make impressions of your mouth and teeth
- Send the impressions to a lab for them to be made into intermediary wax
- Get you to try on the wax dentures to check the fit and aesthetics
- Create a final set of dentures according to the wax mould. Once you and your dentist are satisfied with the fit
- Finally, fit on the dentures. They will be checked and adjusted to ensure a good fit in your mouth.
Are Dentures uncomfortable?
For first time users, you may experience some discomfort in the first few months and experience symptoms like excessive salivation, difficulty in eating, difficulty in pronouncing certain words and minor irritation in your mouth. However, you should not experience these once you become more comfortable with your dentures. To shorten the adaptation period, it is recommended to wear them most of the time during the first few days except when sleeping. Start off by eating a soft diet and read aloud.
If you experience ulcers, it may mean your dentures may require some adjustment. Get them checked with your dentist.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dentures?
- Cheapest teeth replacement method, especially for multiple missing teeth.
- Can be troublesome
- Might be bulky
- Daily maintenance
- Potential for breakage is higher
How to care for my Dentures?
As dentures are used daily and undergo wear and tear faster than our natural teeth, it is important we take good care of them. Taking care of your dentures ensure them from getting dirty and smelly and growing mouldy. To keep your dentures well maintained, be sure to:
- Brush or wash your dentures after every meal
- Do not wear your dentures to sleep but soak them in water or denture cleansing solutions overnight.
- Avoid dropping your dentures as this may lead to cracking or chipping. If you find yourself dropping your dentures while brushing them, fill a basin of water underneath to soften the impact
- Avoid adjusting the dentures on your own
- Do not soak your dentures in hot or boiling water
- Store your dentures in room temperature water instead of leaving them out to dry as this may cause your dentures to lose their shape
How often should I replace my Dentures?
As a rule of thumb, dentures should be replaced once they don’t fit anymore. But generally, partial dentures last about five to eight years before they need to be replaced. However, we recommend complete denture wearers to visit the dentist at least once every year to ensure that the dentures are well fitting and their gums are healthy. New dentures especially for the elderly can support facial tissues better.
What are implant-retained dentures?
As dentures sit on the gum tissues and move slightly during talking and eating, root-like titanium posts or screws can be surgically placed into the jawbone to as a foundation for dentures to be clipped onto. Implant-retained dentures may be a good alternative for patients having difficulty adapting to dentures.
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