Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You’ll be able to eat and speak within a normal range of the general population.
Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that no change in appearance will be noticeable. They may even improve the look of your smile and help support the facial tissue and improve your profile.
Your Ottawa family dentist can inform you of the various types of complete dentures. A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patient’s mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed which may take several months.
An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. The dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patient’s jaws during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. Although it will require a permanent reline of their immediate denture after 4-5 months once all the gum tissues have completely healed.
An over-denture is a removable denture that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth or implants. The natural teeth must be prepared to provide stability and support for the denture. Your dentist can determine if an over-denture would be suitable for you.
You still must take good care of your mouth even if you wear full dentures. Using a soft-bristled brush, brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning before you insert your dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
Becoming accustomed to your dentures
New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place.
It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. One or more follow-up appointments with your Ottawa family dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted.
In terms of eating, start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. It may take some practice. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet.
Speaking with your new denture may require practice, especially pronouncing certain words. Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will help. If your dentures “click and clack” while you’re talking, speak more slowly.
You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing.
Daily routine and care of your denture
Your Ottawa family dentist will provide instructions about how long dentures should be kept in place. If an immediate denture was done you will be advised to wear them all the time for the first two days. After the initial adjustment period, you will be instructed to remove the dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and promotes oral health. Remember, it is not desirable that the tissues be constantly covered by denture material.
Denture adhesive can provide additional retention for well-fitting dentures. Denture adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced.
You should be aware that dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even a few inches. Stand over a folded towel or a basin of water when handling dentures. When you are not wearing them, store your dentures in a separate container away from children and pets.
Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. It’s best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used.
Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid are both acceptable for cleaning dentures. Avoid using other powdered household cleansers, which may be too abrasive. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Professional denture tablets or solutions are the best option for keeping your denture clean.
Dentures may lose their shape if they are allowed to dry out. Dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water when they are not being worn. Never place dentures in hot water, which could cause them to warp.
Ultrasonic cleaners are also used to care for dentures. However, using an ultrasonic cleaner does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
Making minor adjustments or repairs to dentures
Trying to adjust or repair your dentures yourself is a mistake. You can seriously damage your dentures and compromise your oral health if you continue to wear a damaged denture. If your denture is chipped, cracked or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see your Ottawa family dentist. A dentist can often make the necessary adjustments or repairs on the same day. Do not use glue sold over-the-counter as it often contains harmful chemicals and should not be used on your dentures.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Over time, due to normal wear, your dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or remade. To do this, your Ottawa family dentist uses the existing denture teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture base. If the denture becomes loose and the teeth show signs of significant wear, it may need to be replaced. Dentures become loose because a mouth naturally changes with age. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores, infections and digestive problems. A loose denture also makes chewing more difficult and may change your facial features by collapsing your jaws together.
Your Ottawa family dentist will advise you about how often to visit. Regular dental check-ups are important. The dentist will examine your mouth to see if your dentures continue to fit properly. The dentist also examines your mouth for signs of oral diseases including cancer.
With regular professional care, a positive attitude and persistence, you can become one of the millions of people who wear their dentures with a smile.