What Are Dentures?

When a patient is missing one or more teeth, dentures can be used to replace those missing teeth. Dentures allow a patient to restore a beautiful smile and to have all of their teeth for speaking and eating.

What Denture Options Are Available?

While each patient’s case will vary, it is possible to receive a full set of dentures to replace all of a patient’s teeth or to receive a set of partial dentures. Full sets of dentures are divided into two types:

  • Conventional Full Dentures – In this situation, all of a patient’s teeth are removed. The patient is then given a few months for the gum tissue to heal completely. While the tissue is healing, the patient is completely without teeth. Once the gums have healed, the full set of dentures is placed.
  • Immediate Full Dentures – In this situation, the dentist will make measurements and have the set of dentures prepared before removing the patient’s teeth. When the teeth are removed, the dentures are immediately placed. While the patient will enjoy the benefit of not spending any time without teeth, there will be more follow up visits to make sure that the dentures continue to fit properly. This is necessary because the jaw bone will change slightly in shape as the mouth and gums heal.

Partial dentures are an option if a patient still has some of their natural teeth. Partial dentures are very similar to a bridge. However, they are not a permanent fixture in the patient’s mouth.

Are Dentures Uncomfortable?

Dentures definitely take a patient a little time to adjust to. The base of the dentures will fit right over the patient’s gums. There are patients who say that the base feels bulky in their mouth. Other patients say that the base seems to leave little room for their tongue. Some patients report that the dentures feel loose at times. All of these different sensations can have an impact on the way that you speak and eat for at least a short period of time. Eventually, your mouth will get used to the new sensations and the patient begins to function better with the dentures. It is possible that the dentures will never feel completely comfortable, but most patients prefer the slight uncomfortable feelings to a life with missing teeth.

How Are Dentures Cared for?

A patient should take care of his dentures as if they are real teeth. They must be thoroughly brushed and flossed on a daily basis. This should happen before removing the dentures. Even after they have been removed each night, they should be placed either in room-temperature water or a special cleaning solution. The use of hot water to soak your dentures can possibly warp them. Since dentures tend to be delicate devices, the patient should take care not to drop them. It is also not recommended that a patient try to personally adjust his dentures. This can lead to mistakes that may ruin them. Ask a dentist for help if your dentures need to be adjusted.