Dentures provide a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please.
Depending on your individual case, you may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth and replaced with dentures. There are two types of full dentures:
- Conventional Full Dentures – All the teeth are removed and the tissue is given time to heal before the dentures are placed. It could take a few months for the gum tissue to heal completely, and during this time you will be without teeth.
- 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 change shape slightly as your mouth heals. The dentures will need to be tightened after the jaw bone has healed.
Another option, when not all of your teeth need to be removed, would be a set of partial dentures. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Getting Used to Dentures
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 in place, and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it is much better than the alternative of not having teeth!
Care & Cleaning
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them as if they were.
- Brush your dentures to remove plaque and food particles before removing them.
- After they have been removed, place them directly into room temperature water or a denture-cleaning solution. (Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures.)
- Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them and 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.