A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth. Often made of acrylic plastic and sometimes porcelain and metal materials. A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth.
Who needs a denture?
Dentures are not just for elderly patients. Patients of any age may lose some or all of their teeth and may require a denture of some sort. A partial denture is for people who still have some of their natural teeth. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth. Complete dentures are “immediate” or “conventional.” An immediate denture is a complete denture or partial denture that is inserted on the same day. The conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. Tooth loss can have an emotional impact on some people. It is important to talk to your dentist about any fears, anxiety, or other emotions you are feeling about tooth loss.
What happens when you get a denture?
The denture process takes about one month and five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a “try-in” is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient’s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments.
Even the best-fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new “teeth”. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods.
How do you care for a denture?
- To avoid misplacing your denture, store it in the same place after removal.
- Remove and brush the denture daily with a denture cleanser and a brush (one specifically designed for cleaning dentures or a soft toothbrush).
- Denture adhesives may be recommended, especially for the first-time denture wearer. Adhesives may improve the retention and stability of dentures for those with minimal bone support or small ridges. Stability of the denture will help the wearer’s confidence.
- Avoid using boiling water to sterilize the denture, because hot water can cause the denture to lose its shape.
- If you wear a partial denture, remove it before brushing your natural teeth.
- When you’re not wearing the denture, soak it in denture cleanser or water.