Dentures are dental appliances that are individually fitted for your mouth to replace missing teeth. They are created to look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Keep reading to learn more about dentures and when you may need them.
What Types of Dentures Can I Get?
Full dentures are made when all teeth are missing from the mouth. Unlike other types of tooth replacements – like implants or bridges – they are not affixed to the jaw or bone. Instead, they are a removable prosthetic.
- Conventional dentures are made after all teeth are removed from your mouth. They are placed a few weeks after extraction, once your gums and tissues have had a chance to heal.
- Immediate dentures are made before all teeth are removed, so they can be placed immediately after extraction. These are meant to function as a temporary appliance until your permanent set is made. During the healing process, your gums and bones will shrink, which means that the appliance may require several adjustments as your mouth changes.
Partial dentures are made to replace missing teeth in gap areas between remaining natural teeth. Like a full set, partials are a removable prosthetic. They are an alternative to implants or bridges for missing teeth.
Making and fitting dentures is a process that will take multiple appointments with you dentist. Your dentist will take measurements of your jaw and mouth and make a plastic or wax mold to test for size and shape. The mold will be adjusted until it fits correctly, and from that the final set of dentures will be created.
Why Do I Need Dentures?
A full set is recommended if you are in a situation where all your teeth need to be extracted. Living without teeth would be very difficult – we rely on our teeth to help us talk and eat. Dentures are an excellent solution to help you regain your ability to chew, speak, and smile with ease and confidence.
Partial dentures may be recommended if you are missing a few teeth in a row. Having gaps in your mouth will change your bite pattern and cause remaining teeth to shift out of place. You’ll also experience jaw and bone loss surrounding the missing teeth, which can affect the teeth you have left. Partial dentures act as a placeholder and help ensure that your remaining teeth stay in place.
How Will My Mouth Feel When I First Get Dentures?
Your mouth will take some time to adjust. You may think the appliance feels unnatural or loose, but over time the muscles in your cheeks and tongue will learn how to grasp the dentures and hold them in place. You may also develop some gum and cheek irritation or sores within the first few weeks. Increased saliva flow for a few days to weeks is also a common side effect.
You may encounter eating or speaking difficulties after dentures are placed. Take time to let your mouth get used to the new appliance. Speak challenging words aloud for practice with speech. Eat soft foods that don’t require excessive chewing for the first few days. Try to avoid sticky or hard foods so you don’t damage your new hardware.
How Do I Care for My Hardware?
Your dentist will give you specific instructions on when to wear your appliance and how to clean it. For basic tips on how to care for dental hardware, including dentures, read this. Always call your dentist if your hardware feels loose, or if it’s cutting into your cheeks or gums. Never make self-adjustments on your own – you could further damage your appliance. Poorly fitting dentures can cause mouth sores and infections.
At Boyett Family Dentistry, Dr. Boyett offers both full and partial denture creation and placement services. For more information, contact our office today.