Dentures can be removable or fixed to teeth or implants. Sometimes removable dentures can be retained with implants or tooth roots with clips so they can be removed for cleaning and sleeping. Please note that all removable dentures must be removed when sleeping.
These can be made from Acrylic base or Cobalt Chrome base and can clip onto other teeth to fill a gap where a tooth or teeth have been extracted. We now have flexible dentures that fit natural teeth undercuts so that metal claps don’t have to show. These are becoming the preferred denture for people who have favorable jaw shapes.
A full Denture is used when a whole upper or lower arch of teeth are missing. When people are making a transition from remaining teeth to full dentures they usually prefer to have the denture placed once the teeth are removed rather than wait six to nine months for bone healing to occur before the denture is constructed.
Waiting six to nine months can save the initial cost of the first denture reline to take up the looseness of the healing shrinkage. An advantage of an immediate denture is that the denture acts as a bandage that helps with healing and there is time to familiarise yourself with the feeling of dentures rather than delaying for six to nine months.
It is most important not to remove the immediate denture(s) before the dentist removes it for you at your first denture check visit, otherwise healing and adaptation will be delayed significantly.
Are dentures suitable for you?
While you may have no or little choice about getting a denture there are risks involved. Some people cannot tolerate denture at all and a percentage cannot wear them. This may be where a patients needs to consider implant supported dentures (link) in order to be able to chew. If dentures cannot be worn or tolerated or are painful, eating is still possible but food may have to be cut into small pieces or blended. There are many disadvantages to wearing dentures.
Disadvantages to wearing dentures
Dentures are loose, they will drop and move around. This reduces with time as you work out what and how you can eat. The tongue and cheeks have to relearn to function, gag reflexes also may take a long time to abate, if at all.
Caring for your dentures
- Always remove your denture when sleeping, unless the dentist has instructed you otherwise. Place the denture into a mug of water when they are out of your mouth.
- Always wear denture for at least 12 hours prior to an adjustment appointment otherwise any sore spots will never be found.
- Refrain from making adjustments to your dentures yourself, always visit the dentist for an adjustment
- Don’t remove dentures with your tongue, use your fingers. The tongue can memorise simple actions and then turn them into an unfavorable habit, like “playing” with dentures. If you ever want to see an example of this go for a ride on a bus or train and you will see other passengers playing with their denture. They will not be aware they are doing it as it has become a learned habit. You will then choose not to do so.
- It is advised to balance chewing your food on each side of the back molars to avoid flipping the denture out.
- Avoid chewing on the front teeth as it can as you run the risk of flipping out the denture. If you want to eat a whole apple with dentures ask your dentist how to simulate this movement, otherwise cut the apple into small pieces.
- There are certain foods you will not be able to eat with dentures including tomato skins, nuts and hand toffees
- It is advised you remove your denture(s) if you are ill and need to vomit. Many dentures end up being flushed before a person realizes they are missing.
- Consider removing denture before swimming especially in the surf. Many dentures have been lost when water enters the mouth and suction is lost.
- Use a tooth brush or denture brush with soap and water to clean dentures. Rinse well before putting them back in. Avoid shaking the water off dentures, they can slip and smash in the basin or on the floor. To remove stains place a table spoon of vinegar in the denture water over several nights, and clean them as usual before putting them back in. Stain removal is dependent on the amount of stain you are placing on them. Some stain cannot be removed.
- Do not get into the habit of clenching or grinding on your dentures. This will cause significant, noticeable wear.
- Dentures will need to be relined or replaced from time to time. Relines other than the first one are commonly needed every two to five years. Replacements are usually every five to eight years.
- Other than the first two or three denture adjustments for ne dentures, these attract a charge. Some people require more adjustments. It is helpful to make a list over a few weeks as it is difficult for the dentist to interpret what you feel. The more detail you can provide the better the outcome will be. Remember if you have pain or a sore spot you must wear the denture for at least 12 hours before the appointment or the sore spot cannot be adequately assessed.
Remember, it takes time for the gums to “toughen up” to dentures.
If you’d like to find out more about our range of dentures, call today to book a consultation. Please contact the Wendouree Dental team on 03 5339 3770.