A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for dentures:
Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch.
Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.
What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
What are some of the different types of dentures?
Below are some types of dentures that might be available to you. Even though there are many options, not all patients are good candidates for every type of denture. During your appointment, we will let you know which options may work best for you.
Conventional Complete Dentures
Conventional complete dentures consist of an upper denture and a lower denture.
The upper denture is made to replace all of your teeth in your upper jaw. It covers the roof of your mouth and fits securely on your upper gums and palate.
The lower denture is made to take the place of all your teeth in your lower jaw. It sits on the lower gums and stays in place with the help of your tongue, saliva, and cheek muscles.
Your mouth must be clear of all natural teeth before conventional complete dentures are placed. If some of your teeth need to be removed, the dentures will be placed once your gums have healed.
Implant-Supported Complete Dentures
Like conventional complete dentures, implant-supported complete dentures replace all of your natural teeth. Instead of relying solely on the structure, tongue, saliva, and cheek muscles, this type of dentures uses implants to keep them secure.
Implant-supported complete dentures are placed on healthy gums that have fully recovered from teeth extractions and/or implant placements.
Immediate dentures are put into place right after all of your remaining teeth have been removed. You do not have to wait for your gums to heal before the immediate dentures are placed. The dentist may need to make adjustments once your gums have fully healed.
Partial dentures are also comprised of synthetic teeth attached to a plastic base made to look like your natural teeth and gums. Below the plastic base they usually have a framework that attaches to your teeth. Unlike complete dentures, partial dentures cannot be placed in a mouth with no teeth.
How do I take care of my dentures?
Dentures require special attention to keep them working well and looking good.
Dentures are fragile and should be handled very carefully at all times. They can break after being dropped just a few inches.
When they are not in your mouth, handle your dentures over a folded towel or sink of cool water. Never place your dentures in hot water since the heat can warp them.
When not in your mouth, dentures need to be stored in water so they will not dry out and lose their shape. Alos, be sure to keep your dentures out of the reach of pets and children.
Like your natural teeth, your dentures need to be cleaned well.
Remove them from your mouth and rinse with cool water to remove loose food particles. Use a denture brush or soft bristled toothbrush with denture cleanser to clean them. Once you have finished cleaning your dentures, rinse them with cool water in case there are chemicals in the cleanser that are not meant to go into your mouth.
Since dentures are more delicate and not made of the same materials as natural teeth and gums, do not use toothpaste or hard bristled toothbrushes to clean them. Such cleaning materials may be too abrasive and scratch your dentures. This can leave them less attractive, more susceptible to stains, and harder to clean. Use denture cleaners that meet the American Dental Association’s standards for effectiveness and safety. These products have the ADA Seal of Acceptance on them.
You should continue to clean all parts of the inside of your mouth daily as well. Brushing your palate, tongue, and gums every morning with a soft brush increases the circulation in your tissue and helps get rid of plaque.
To keep your dentures in place and properly supported, you should maintain a healthy mouth. Along with cleaning your mouth daily, a balanced diet can keep your mouth strong. Also, avoid foods that may discolor or damage your dentures.
Visit the Dentist
You should visit the dentist to make sure your dentures and mouth are functioning together correctly. Besides checking the fit of your dentures, the dentist will also look for any signs of oral diseases.
How do I know if I should get dentures?
When teeth are missing, there are many different ways to help your mouth function optimally and look great. Making an appointment with a dentist is the best way to determine what type of treatment is best for you.
At Fullerton Dental Associates we work with the top denture lab specialists in Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, Placentia, Anaheim, and nearby areas to get you the best dentures possible in CA.
Give us a call at (714) 671-0300 to schedule an appointment.
Let’s us help you feel great with an awesome looking smile!
In need of immediate care?
We offer emergency phone consultations to our existing patients. Call us anytime at (714) 671-0300.