Dentures and Partial Dentures at Bellevue Family Dentistry in Green Bay, WI
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available — complete or immediate dentures. Complete and Immediate dentures are used when all the teeth are missing.
A partial denture is used when some natural teeth remain—for example, replacing the missing teeth in the upper or lower arch.
A complete denture is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal; a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed, allowing the gum tissue to shirk and to heal.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore, a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process. Generally, they should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
How Are Dentures and Partials Made?
The denture development process takes a few weeks and several appointments. Once your dentist determines what type of appliance is best for you, the general steps are to:
- Take many impressions of any remaining teeth and jaws.
- They measure how your jaws relate to one another.
- Create models, and wax forms the exact shape and position of the denture.
- They will have a try-in appointment to assess the color, shape, and fit before casting the final denture.
- Cast a final denture
- Insert final denture
What Do New Dentures Feel Like?
New dentures may feel a little odd or loose for a few weeks until the muscles of the cheeks and tongue learn to keep them in place and you get comfortable inserting and removing them. Also, it is not unusual for minor irritation or soreness to occur and for saliva flow to increase when you first start wearing dentures, but these problems will diminish as the mouth adjusts.
Will Dentures Make Me Look Different?
Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth closely, so there should be only a small noticeable change in appearance. Dentures may even improve your smile and fill out your facial appearance.
Will Eating With New Dentures Be Difficult?
Eating with new dentures will take a little practice and may be uncomfortable for some wearers for a few weeks. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces to get used to the new denture. Then, chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to new dentures, add other foods until you return to a regular diet. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. And avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard. You should also avoid chewing gum while you wear the denture. Also, don’t use toothpicks while wearing dentures.
Will Dentures Change How I Speak?
After getting dentures, you may have difficulty pronouncing certain words. If so, practice by saying the difficult words out loud. With practice and time, you will speak adequately with dentures.
If dentures “click” while you’re talking, contact your dentist. Dentures may occasionally slip when you laugh, cough, or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If any speaking problem persists, consult your dentist.
Are Dentures Worn 24 Hours a Day?
Your dentist will instruct you how long to wear dentures and when to remove them. During the first several days after receiving your denture, you may be asked to wear it all the time, including while you sleep.
You should remove dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest. The denture can be put back in the mouth in the morning.
Should I Use a Denture Adhesive?
A denture adhesive may be considered under the following circumstances:
- To enhance satisfaction with a properly constructed denture. Adhesives improve retention, stability, bite force, and an individual’s sense of security.
- To assist individuals with dry mouth conditions that lessen denture adherence, such as individuals taking cold medications, those with neurological disabilities including strokes, and the elderly.
- Provide added stability and security for those who place unusual demands on facial muscles, such as public speakers or musicians.
When Shouldn’t Denture Adhesives Be Considered?
There are situations when denture adhesives should not be used. Those cases include:
- When your denture is ill-fitting or poorly constructed, contact your dentist as soon as possible if dentures begin to feel loose, cause discomfort, or cause sores to develop.
- When a dentist has not evaluated dentures for a long time, dentures rest on gum tissue and the jawbone, shrinking and deteriorating over time. Therefore, the real problem might be a need for a denture adjustment or new dentures.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- When adhesives have been used for a long time, especially when visits to the dentist are infrequent and when the frequency and volume of the adhesive use increases. These developments may indicate the need for a denture adjustment or new dentures.
How Are Denture Adhesives Applied?
Here are some tips to consider when applying denture adhesives:
- Use the minimum amount necessary to provide the maximum benefit. Apply less than you think you need and gradually increase the amount until you feel comfortable.
- Distribute the adhesive evenly on the tissue-bearing surface of the denture.
- Apply or reapply when necessary to provide the desired effect.
- Always apply the adhesive to a thoroughly clean denture.
- Remember, adhesives work best with a well-fitting denture.
Caring for Dentures
Proper denture care is vital for both the health of your dentures and your mouth. Here are some tips:
- Handle dentures and partials with great care. To avoid dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling them.
- Brush and rinse dentures and partials daily, but not with toothpaste. Toothpaste is abrasive and makes microscopic scratches where food and plaque can build up; dentures must be brushed like natural teeth daily to remove food and plaque. Brushing also helps prevent permanent stains on the dentures. Use a brush with soft bristles that are designed for cleaning dentures. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush, as it can damage or wear down dentures. Instead, gently brush all denture surfaces and avoid damaging the plastic or bending attachments. In between brushings, rinse dentures after every meal.
- Clean with a denture cleaner. You can use hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid for cleaning dentures. However, household cleaners and many kinds of toothpaste may be too abrasive for dentures. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture.
- Take proper care of dentures when not wearing them. Dentures need to be kept moist, so they don’t dry out or lose their shape. When not wearing them, put dentures in a denture cleanser soaking solution or water.
- For partial dentures or if the denture has metal attachments, do not use denture cleansers on your partial denture or soak with a denture tablet. This tarnishes the metal and affects its appearance of the metal.
- Your dentist can recommend the best methods for caring for your dentures and partials.
- Never put dentures and partials in hot water, making them warp.
Will My Dentures Need to Be Replaced?
Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or remade due to normal wear and natural age-related changes to the face, jawbones, and gums or if the dentures become loose. To reline or rebase a denture, the dentist refits the base or makes a new base and reuses the existing teeth. Generally, complete dentures should be used for 5 to 7 years before you need a replacement.
How Should I Care for My Mouth and Gums if I Have Dentures?
Even with complete dentures, it is essential to brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush every morning before putting the dentures in. This removes plaque and boosts circulation in the mouth. Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture’s metal clasps. Plaque trapped under the clasps will raise the risk of tooth decay. If you wear a partial denture, remove it before brushing your natural teeth. Clean, rest and massage your gums regularly. Rinsing your mouth daily with lukewarm salt water will help clean the gums. Eat a balanced diet to maintain proper nutrition and a healthy mouth.
If you have dentures, your dentist or prosthodontist will advise you about how often to visit, but every six months should be the norm. Regular dental visits are essential so that your dentures and your mouth can be examined to ensure proper denture fit, look for signs of oral diseases, including cancer, and have any remaining teeth professionally cleaned.