Dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever! They are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. Dentures make it easier to speak and chew, maintain the shape of your face, decrease stress on your jaw and the risk of periodontal disease and prevent teeth from shifting in your mouth. A Loudoun Smile Center dentist will help you choose the type of denture that’s best for you based on the number of teeth are going to be replaced and your budget.
2 Types of Dentures
Full dentures are used when teeth are missing in your upper (maxillary) and lower (mandibular) jaws. A flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.
- Immediate Full Denture – Inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be relined several months after being inserted. The reason is that the bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.
- Conventional Full Denture – A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth.
Partial dentures are used on patients who have some missing teeth on either jaw. Partial Dentures rest on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.
- Fixed Partial Denture – Permanently attaches artificial teeth directly to the jaw with a dental crown or under the gum tissue with dental implants. Is also commonly called a dental implant bridge.
- Removable Partial Denture – Fills the gap between two healthy teeth and consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. Removable partial dentures are connected by a metal framework that helps keep them in place. It is also known as a removable dental bridge.
New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few weeks or even months. Eating and speaking with dentures might take a little practice. A bulky or loose feeling is not uncommon, while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold your dentures in place. Excessive saliva flow, a feeling that the tongue does not have adequate room, and minor irritation or soreness are also not unusual.
Over a period of time, your dentures will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear. Rebasing means making a new base while keeping the existing denture teeth. Also, as you age, your mouth naturally changes. These changes cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. Oral Wellness Visits are important for continued denture examinations.
Caring for Your Dentures
- When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or basin of water. Dentures are delicate and may break if dropped.
- Don’t let your dentures dry out. Place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water when you’re not wearing them. Never use hot water, which can cause them to warp.
- Brushing your dentures daily will remove food deposits and plaque, and help prevent them from becoming stained. An ultrasonic cleaner may be used to care for your dentures, but it does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
- Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
- Contact Loudon Smile Center immediately if your dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Don’t be tempted to adjust them yourself — this can damage them beyond repair.