Dentures are removable sets of artificial teeth set into plastic or metal frameworks. They serve the purpose of replacing missing teeth and their surrounding tissues. There are several different types of dentures to suit specific needs. Modern-day dentures are comfortable and look and feel just like real teeth.
Dentures come with the convenience of being removable. This makes cleaning your dentures and your mouth simple.
At The Happy Tooth, we understand that life with missing teeth can be challenging. We’re here to help you and have several treatment options available to suit different needs, lifestyles and budgets. A consultation with our Prosthetist can help you determine if dentures are the right option for you, and if so, which type would suit you best.
If all your teeth on your upper and lower jaw need replacing, our dentists may recommend complete dentures. A complete denture for your top jaw has a gum-coloured foundation which gets held against the roof of your mouth by suction. A complete denture for your lower jaw is horseshoe-shaped and supported by your cheeks, tongue and surrounding muscles.
Both upper and lower complete dentures are removable.
If you have one missing tooth or a section of missing teeth, our dentists may recommend partial dentures. Partial dentures restore both aesthetics and function. A partial denture gets supported by metal clasps that attach to your surrounding natural teeth. The denture sits on top of your gum and jaw bone. Partial dentures help stabilise your remaining teeth, preventing them from drifting.
For partial denture work, your surrounding natural teeth need to be in good health. In some cases, the tooth/teeth supporting your partial denture may need a dental crown.
The Process For Getting Dentures
At The Happy Tooth, our dentists take the time to assess your oral health and understand your smile goals. After a thorough consultation and oral assessment, you and your dentist can determine if dentures are the right choice for you. At this point, your dentist will also identify and discuss with you the potential need for any extra dental work to accommodate your new dentures.
Once you’re ready for your dentures, the next step is having them made. The process for having dentures made needs several appointments. The number of which depends on the type of denture you are receiving.
Our Prosthetist will take impressions of the soft and hard tissues in your mouth. These impressions will form the basis for creating your dentures. Our team of dental technicians create beautiful dentures with high-quality materials. Once your custom dentures are ready, you’ll need to visit us for the initial fitting. Usually, you’ll need a few more visits after this to make adjustments for the perfect fit.
Wearing Your New Dentures
It does take time to adjust to new dentures. It is not possible to say exactly how long as it differs from patient to patient. However, over time, your dentures should become comfortable and functional for you.
At first, you may have some difficulty with your speech. We recommend practising talking at home in front of a mirror. This will help you adjust to talking with your dentures in.
As with speech, eating takes time and practice to master with new dentures. It is important to remember that whilst dentures are functional, they aren’t quite as functional as natural teeth. So, it can help to cut your food into smaller pieces. Give yourself time to adjust to chewing with your new dentures.
Like a pair of new shoes or jeans, dentures take time to ‘settle in’ and fit optimally. Your dentist will work with you to perfect the fit over time. This may require some minor adjustments to your dentures. Denture adhesives can help though we recommend you not use them during the first few weeks of wearing your new dentures.
Caring For Your Dentures
Taking good care of your dentures can extend their life. Here are some tips from our dentists on how to take good care of your dentures:
- Clean your dentures twice a day with a toothbrush specially designed for denture cleaning. You can find these at a pharmacy. Toothpaste is not necessary.
- Remove your dentures every night when you go to sleep. This eliminates bacteria in your dentures and allows the tissues in your mouth to breathe, preventing fungal infections.
- Soak your dentures once a week in dilute bleach or a denture cleaning solution for half an hour. This can help reduce fungal growth.
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash (without your dentures) at least once a day to keep your mouth clean. This helps reduce the number of bacteria and fungus in your mouth which can lead to bad breath, denture sores, and infections. If you have remaining teeth and are using a partial denture, ensure you clean your teeth thoroughly. Further loss of teeth often means needing a whole new denture.
- Maintain regular dental check-up appointments for your dentures
- It’s important that if you develop any sores or notice a change in the fit of your dentures that you make a dentist appointment as soon as possible.
Denture Follow Up Appointments
Regular check-ups for your dentures are essential. Dentures do not last forever. They need regular maintenance and servicing.
If your dentures need a deep clean, we can do this with ultrasonic cleaning during your appointment. Older dentures may need a reline to restore their fit. This is because the bone in your mouth is always changing and can cause your dentures to not fit as well over time. If you notice excessive amounts of food getting trapped under your dentures, or if they feel loose, inform your dentist at your appointment.
Keeping up with regular dental check-ups is also essential for ensuring your soft tissues, gums and remaining teeth are in good health. This is vital for the sake of your oral health, general well-being and the stability of your dentures.