Most of the time, the idea of dentures brings to mind elderly people who are missing a mouthful of teeth. The truth is that dentures are not just for old folks, but for people of all ages who have lost teeth for some reason. Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from an accident are all common reasons for tooth loss. There is no need to suffer through life with gaps in your smile, when you can opt for dentures to restore both appearance and function.
The main reasons that many people consider getting dentures include:
- Eating – your teeth help you to chew and eat food. Dentures serve the same purpose, allowing you to eat a normal diet without having to stick only to soft foods or liquids.
- Speaking – when the gaps in your smile have been filled, your ability to speak more clearly and easily is improved.
- Smiling – replacing missing teeth gives you back your self-confidence to smile and laugh again. You will be proud of your new smile and be willing to display it more often. Also, your cheeks will have a fuller look and your appearance may look younger.
When you get dentures, expect that it may take some time to get used to them. They may feel strange at first, and you should be patient while you learn to talk and eat with them. Time will help you adjust to the dentures, but if discomfort lingers you should visit your dentist to make sure the fit is correct and no adjustments are necessary.
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Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.
Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.
Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.
For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.
Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.
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Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.
Don’t try to fix them yourself.
Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.
Watch your diet.
Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.
Soak your dentures.
Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.
You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.
It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.
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Getting back your ability to smile and eat with a complete set of teeth is one of the great benefits of dentures. To prevent infections, sores, or further tooth damage, it is important to maintain dentures properly. Here are some ways that dentists advise to keep your dentures in great condition.
Rinse your dentures well after meals to remove food particles and avoid stains. Brush them daily with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque and deposits. Use a mild soap or product that your dentist recommends, but avoid harsh toothpaste or strong cleaners.
Soak your dentures in water or cleaning solution when you are not wearing them, especially overnight. This helps keeps them from drying out or becoming misshapen. Do not use hot water.
If you use a cleaning solution, rinse your dentures well before putting them back in your mouth. Avoid swallowing denture cleaning solution because it can cause stomach upset.
Handle your dentures very carefully so that you don’t drop them or bend them. Clean them over a basin filled with water, so that if they fall they shouldn’t be damaged.
Visiting your dentist
Maintain regular checkups with your dentist to get both your mouth and your dentures examined. Most dentists recommend visits every six month for ideal results. See your dentist sooner if your dentures are not fitting well, are causing irritation, or have become loose.
Schedule your appointment at our Meriden dental office