What are dentures?
If you are missing some or all of your teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma a denture can be used to replace the missing teeth. Dentures are a set of artificial teeth and gums customised to fit each individual and made to look as natural as possible.
Types of dentures
Dentures can be either a full denture or a partial denture.
A partial denture is used when a person still has one or more natural teeth remaining. Your natural teeth remain in place and the denture replaces the missing teeth and may be held in place by clasps attached to your natural teeth.
A full denture is worn by patients who have lost all their teeth in either the upper or lower jaws, or both. The denture will replace your missing natural teeth and sit on the gum ridges. In some cases, if there are only a few remaining teeth, these may be removed if a full denture is more suitable.
What is involved in getting dentures?
Firstly, chat to your dentist about whether you are a suitable candidate for dentures and what is likely to be the right type of denture for you.
If your dentist recommends dentures, the normal process is as follows:
An impression (mould) is taken of your jaw and bite.
A test cast of the denture is then made in either wax or plastic.
The cast will be fitted to check for comfort, function, shape and colour.
The final denture is made up using the test cast as a template.
The final denture is fitted to see if any minor adjustments are required.
Subsequent appointments to review your progress with the denture is usually expected.
The whole process normally takes between 6-8 weeks, depending on whether any teeth need to be removed.
Note: this may be done either before or after the initial impression is taken.
Caring for dentures
Care for your dentures by following these simple steps:
Brush your dentures daily Just like natural teeth, your dentures should be brushed morning and night using a brush and non-abrasive cleaner, such as soft hand soap. Do not use toothpaste to brush your denture.
Soak your dentures daily Use a denture cleaning solution to soak your dentures to remove plaque (bacteria) and disinfect your dentures.
Leave your dentures out at night When sleeping, remove your dentures from your mouth and keep them in a safe, dry place. This helps to allow areas of discomfort within the mouth to heal and prevent infection in the gums beneath the denture. If your denture continues to cause you discomfort come and have a chat to your dentist about it.
Visit your dentist regularly Return to your dentist for denture adjustments until you find it comfortable to wear. Visit the dentist regularly for general check-ups as well. Over time, the shape of your mouth can change causing your denture to no longer fit or function effectively. Your denture may need to be altered where it may be refitted or relined.
Eating with dentures
New dentures may feel strange or unwieldy until you get used to them, and you'll probably need a little bit of practice putting them in and taking them out. You might also find eating with dentures quite strange in the beginning. Once you get used to your denture you should be able to eat as your normally do.
When you first get your denture you are best to start off with liquids or soft foods such as soup, boiled eggs, mashed potatoes and other soft foods. Take small bites and try to eat on both sides of your mouth to maintain even pressure on your denture. Be careful not to burn your mouth as a denture can make it more difficult to detect the temperature of the things you're eating and drinking.
Even when you are used to your denture, there are some foods that you may be best to avoid such as hard or crusty bread, tough red meat, and chewing gum.
If you think a denture might be a good option for you or you have an existing denture that's no longer fitting as well as it used to, then call us on 07 3236 2984 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment for a consultation.