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Dental treatments

Dentures

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What are dentures?

Dentures, or "false teeth", are removable prosthetic appliances made of acrylic or even a combination of acrylic and metal to replace teeth. Partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth while complete dentures replace all teeth. Properly formed and fitted dentures work like natural teeth for eating and speaking while improving personal appearance.

How long do dentures take?

The length of time for dentures varies and depends on each specific case. Several appointments may be required and often include initial examination, taking impressions, creating the dentures, and fitting the dentures

What to expect from new dentures

The new dentures will feel different when they are first placed in the mouth. It will take several days or up to a few weeks to get used to wearing dentures as time and experience are essential in order for dentures to function effectively with any degree of comfort. The following suggestions will help you to adapt to dentures:

Eating: It will take a bit of practice and patience to return to normal eating habits. It is best to begin with soft foods and foods that have been cut into small pieces. You should learn to chew slowly while chewing on both sides of your mouth, keeping the bite even to help prevent your dentures from tipping. Slowly add other foods until you are able to resume your normal diet.

Saliva: The salivary glands will produce excess saliva when dentures are first worn. This natural response will last several weeks before returning to normal. More frequent swallowing can help.

Speech: When you first wear dentures, it will be more difficult to speak clearly. Although this will typically resolve itself in a couple of weeks as you adjust to having dentures in your mouth, you can make this transition easier by practicing troublesome sounds and reading out loud.

Soreness: Development of sore spots on the gums is normal in most cases. Any soreness should be reported to the dentist, who can make adjustments to the surface lining of the denture for comfort. If you experience intense pain, do not wear the dentures and see your dentist immediately.

How to care for dentures:

Dentures are very similar to natural teeth in that they accumulate bits of food and plaque. This is especially true in the areas where dentures may make contact with the gums or other teeth. Keep up with regular dental hygiene, such as brushing your teeth. In addition, the dentures will need to be cleaned regularly. It is necessary to clean your dentures after each meal whenever it is possible.

  • Use a toothbrush specifically designed for dentures, or a soft brush
  • To prevent damage to the dentures, avoid using very hot water
  • Use a mild cleaner and do not use abrasive toothpastes or cleaners that can roughen the smooth surface of the dentures
  • Avoid using bleach on dentures to prevent damage and whitening of the pink acrylic
  • It is important to hold the denture firmly during cleaning as dropping it may cause chipping or breaking
  • Clean your dentures over a basin filled with water in case of accidental dropping
  • Dentures should be soaked weekly to remove stains, then rinsed thoroughly before placing back into the mouth
  • Dentures should be stored in water when not in use to prevent them from drying out and losing their shape

How long should dentures be worn?

Wear your dentures at all times, except for when you are sleeping, to promote appropriate oral health and to allow resting of gum tissue. Before going to bed, place the dentures into a container and cover them with water. Gently massage your gums with a soft toothbrush to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Denture review

The gums and jawbone will shrink over time after teeth are removed. This shrinkage is natural but will affect the fit of your dentures. When dentures do not fit properly, it can lead to pain, pressure sores, trouble chewing, change in facial support, and infection. Dentures may need to be adjusted or realigned over time to get the best fit. Always have any adjustments performed by your dentist.

All you need is time, patience, and practice to use your dentures the same as your natural teeth to eat, talk, and smile with confidence.

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