Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, they may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth and replaced with a full set of dentures. There are two types of full dentures.
- Conventional Full Dentures - This is when a person has already had dentures in the past and is in need of a new set. The dentist will take make measurements and perform a try-in of the new dentures, which usually takes about 5 visits depending on how much wear is currently on your present dentures and how many changes need to be made for the new ones.
- Immediate Full Dentures - Prior to having your teeth removed, your dentist takes measurements and has dentures fitted for your mouth. After removing the teeth, the dentures are immediately placed in your mouth. The benefit is that you do not have to spend any time without teeth. You will, however, need to have a follow up visit to refit your dentures because the jaw bone will slightly change shape as your mouth heals. The dentures will need to be tightend with a reline after the jaw bone has healed; this is usually done at 6 months after the extractions.
Partial dentures are another option when not all of your teeth need to be removed. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don't have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. We encourage you to call if you develop any sore spots that need adjustments while you are getting used to your new dentures or partials.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles. You should also soak them in a a denture cleaning solution periodically to keep them fresh and to decrease tartar and stain buildup. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don't drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose.