If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile.
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 – activities that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.
There are 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. Dr. Emery takes measurements and makes models of the patient’s jaw during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
Handling a denture requires care. It’s a good idea to stand over a folded towel or a sink of water just in case you accidentally drop the denture. Brush the denture each day to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing your denture helps prevent the appliance from becoming permanently stained. It’s best to use a brush that is designed for cleaning dentures. A denture brush has bristles that are arranged to fit the shape of the denture. A regular, soft-bristled toothbrush is also acceptable. Avoid using a brush with hard bristles, which can damage the denture. Dr. Emery or a member of the caring staff at the Smile Station Dental can recommend a denture cleaner. Look for denture cleansers with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness. Some people use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean their dentures, which are both acceptable. Other types of household cleaners and many types of toothpaste are too abrasive and should not be used for cleaning dentures. Clean your dentures by thoroughly rinsing off loose food particles. Moisten the brush and apply the denture cleaner. Brush all denture surfaces gently to avoid damaging the plastic or bending the attachments.
A denture could lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist. At night, the denture should be placed in soaking solution or water. However, if the appliance has metal attachments, they could be tarnished if placed in soaking solution. Dr. Emery will recommend the proper method for keeping your dentures in good shape.
Over time, adjusting the denture may be necessary. As you age your mouth naturally changes, which can affect the fit of the denture. Your bone and gum ridges can reduce or shrink, resulting in a loose-fitting denture. Dentures that do not fit properly should be adjusted by Dr. Emery. Loose dentures can cause various problems, including sores or infections. Visit the Smile Station Dental promptly if your denture becomes loose.
You can do serious harm to your denture and to your health by trying to adjust or repair your denture yourself. A denture that is not made to fit precisely by a dentist can cause irritation and sores. Using a do-it-yourself kit can damage the appliance beyond repair. Glues sold over-the-counter often contain harmful chemicals and should not be used on a denture.
If your denture no longer fits properly, if it breaks, cracks or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see Dr. Emery immediately. In many cases, he can make the necessary adjustments or repairs, often on the same day. Complicated repairs may require that the denture be sent to a special dental laboratory.
Even if you wear full dentures, you must still take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.