Dentures are used to replace lost or missing teeth so that those wearing them can eat normally and have confidence when smiling. The material dentures are made from can be plastic or metal.
Dentures can be partial or full. A full denture is a replacement for all of the natural teeth in the upper or lower jaw.
A partial denture is used just to replace some missing teeth and fits in and around the remaining natural teeth.
What is the reason(s) to wear a denture?
Full dentures replace all of the natural teeth and are designed to have a snug fit into your existing gums. Having dentures will help you to eat normally as well as to speak clearly. A denture also has cosmetic benefits of giving you a natural looking set of teeth, thus helping with self-esteem and confidence around other people.
Partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth with the remaining teeth you have left supporting the dentures fit and position.
After a tooth extraction, can I have a denture fitted immediately?
Yes you can and these are called immediate dentures. However, these will require a visit beforehand so that the necessary measurements and impressions can be taken.
Immediate dentures allow you have replacement teeth, straight after your teeth have been removed. However, during the healing process, gums may shrink which could affect the position and fitment of the denture. If this happens, your denture may need to be adjusted or possibly even replaced. Ask your dental team should be feel the denture is no longer as confortable as it initially was.
As a replacement denture would have a cost associated with it, you may be advised to let your gums heal first before having a denture fitted. Healing time for your gums could take up to several months so it’s advisable to discuss with your dentist whether you want immediate dentures or wait a while.
Where are dentures made?
Measurements and impressions taken by the dentist are passed onto a dental technician to make the denture.
A gap in your visible teeth is very noticeable and many people will be conscious of it when the smile or laugh. Some may even go the lengths of covering their mouth when doing so. Dentures, whether they are partial or full provide a natural looking replacement for missing teeth as well as giving support to the cheeks and lips. It’s not eating and smiling where the benefits of dentures lie, but also in the support to the face. Without denture support, facial muscles can sag which over time can make someone look older than they are. The ability to speak clearly will also be affected.
A good dentist will be able to colour match your denture to match the existing natural colour of your teeth.
With dentures fitted, eating most foods will be fine. When you are first starting out with your new dentures, try cutting your food into smaller chunks to reduce the amount of chewing needed. Slowly, you will get used to your denture how it feels when eating.
Will I sound different when speaking with a denture fitted?
Possibly, yes. You may have to practice certain words out loud to say them clearly.
If you find that dentures move when laughing, smiling or coughing then mention this to your dentist who will check they are fitted correctly.
How long can I wear dentures for?
Initially after having them fitted, you may be asked to wear them all of the time, including at night when asleep. It takes a while for the mouth to get used to the denture, but after a while you can leave them out at night.
I’ve seen you can buy denture fixative. Should I use that?
Fixative products shouldn’t be needed as dentures are designed and made to fit snugly in the mouth. However, the market for fixative products exists because using them gives extra confidence that the denture will remain in position. Dentures that have become loose and poorly fitted can be irritating as well as causing sore gums.