Dentures can be a blessing for people who have problems with missing teeth or damaged teeth which need removing and perhaps are not able to fix. This leaves unsightly gaps or can result in the remaining teeth growing inward or at slight angles, causing further problems. Dentures act as replacement teeth and can be available as complete dentures or partial, depending on the requirements.
Benefits of Dentures
- Replace teeth from any condition, whether lost to tooth decay, gum disease or broken teeth
- Enables better speech
- Enables you to chew properly
- Removable as and when needed, including when being cleaned
- No restrictions on your diet
- Prevents facial sagging should you lose multiple teeth
- Natural looking and effective aesthetically
- Available in different types, including full and partial
- Removable and implant supported versions available
- Decrease oral bone loss
- Various materials available
- Cost effective treatment for missing teeth
Why do I need to replace missing teeth?
Aside from the obvious reasons of how your mouth will look, aesthetically, missing teeth can affect your bite, how you eat and drink and it can also cause infections in the gum, as well as cause problems with the remaining teeth growing or “tilting” in toward the gaps created. This causes further problems. Missing teeth results in bone atrophy because the muscles aren’t stimulated any more by the teeth and so the bone under the tooth starts to weaken and lose density. Sunken cheeks are also another problem brought on by missing teeth and this can start to affect the appearance of your face.
Types of Dentures
Partial dentures are used for filling in missing teeth, by attaching to existing teeth securely either with a plastic or metal plate which holds the false teeth. Partial dentures can be ordered and custom made to fit your mouth, often with a gum-coloured or natural coloured plastic base. Denture adhesives can be used to keep partial dentures in place throughout the day, whether you are talking or eating, adhesive should ensure they don’t slip.
They are easy to clean once removed and it’s recommended soaking partial dentures in denture cleaning solution to remove stains and daily grime.
Many partial dentures are made with metal framework or acrylic, using clasps to attach them to existing teeth. Acrylic is generally considered slightly more cost effective than metal alternatives and they can be used to transition over for future treatment such as implant dentistry.
These are the perfect option for those missing all of their teeth in the upper and lower jaw. This would call for a complete set of dentures, or “full” dentures. This would be custom made in some cases to fit your mouth and ensure comfort and functionality.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures are available for missing teeth as well as full teeth replacement for the whole mouth. By using implant supported dentures, this ensures stability and no slippage as they are effectively permanently fixed and provide a strong aesthetic for your smile. They also look more like natural teeth. This is because they have to be created using an analysis of your mouth and then impressions, which will be taken to ensure an overall more natural look. They won’t look out of place thanks to the preparation and pre-treatment performed and with implant supported dentures being fixed and custom-made to suit your mouth, they will be held firmly in place and provide security when eating and drinking. You’ll no longer have to worry about them moving during the day or night and the procedure itself can sometimes only require a couple of visits to the dentist (depending on your needs).
FAQs for Dentures
Can I whiten dentures?
Yes. Dentures can be whitened at home or professionally, although it’s preferable to have them whitened professionally because at-home kits can weaken dentures and actually be corrosive. Experts can polish and whiten your dentures without the abrasive ingredients included in at-home whitening kits.
How much do dentures cost?
Costs can vary but will mainly depend on what is required, what materials will be used and how many dentures are needed.
How big are dentures?
Dentures can be custom made to fit your mouth and impressions are made of your gum to ensure the right fit. They will be as big or as small as necessary, in order to fit properly and look as natural as possible.
How do I keep from gagging overnight on dentures?
If you find you are gagging on dentures, it could be due to them needing alignment or re-adjustment as it could be that they are loose and touching parts of the tongue or throat during sleep which can cause gagging. They could be slightly too big and need aligning or alternatively, they may need a different denture adhesive to prevent slippage.
How long is the healing process after fitting?
On average it’s expected to take about 30 days to get used to new dentures but there will certainly be some soreness at first which should alleviate over time.
When can I start taking my dentures out at night?
Once they’ve become comfortable and the soreness has reduced from implementation, they can be removed at night. In fact they should be removed at night regularly if possible for a few reasons. Bacteria can grow between the denture and the gum which can cause bad breath and gum disease. Denture stomatitis can also occur because dentures prevent the flow of saliva and this can result in inflamed and infected gums. Generally, it’s advisable to brush and clean them regularly (every night) and this will ensure your mouth stays hygienic.
Can my dentures match my natural teeth?
This will be discussed before treatment and will be considered when dentures are created for you. For partial dentures, it will of course depend on how your remaining teeth look already as to the difference between the dentures and your teeth.
When I need to use denture adhesive?
Although regular use of adhesive may be necessary, it should be used sparingly. It’s recommended to keep you dentures clean and maintain them every day to prevent bacteria and risk of infection. Remove them each night and ensure they are clean. Obviously, with daily removal, it’s necessary to use adhesive to prevent slippage and they can be available in different forms including pastes and powders. Try to use a minimal amount when applying, as too much can affect your bite or jaw movement.