Dentures can be made to resemble your natural teeth so that there will be little change in your appearance. Dentures may even improve your look by giving you a more confident smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.
The two main types of dentures are conventional and immediate dentures. Conventional dentures are made and inserted after the remaining teeth have been corrected and the tissues have healed, which can take several months. Immediate dentures are inserted right away after the removal of remaining teeth. Dr. Witten will have already taken measurements of the jaw at a prior appointment. The obvious advantage to immediate dentures is that you don’t ever have to live without teeth. However, since healing may affect the fit of immediate dentures, they may require further adjustment to fit properly.
Getting Used to Dentures
Learning to wear your new dentures can take time. Even the best-fitting dentures may feel awkward at first.
Common changes with dentures:
- Feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place
- Minor irritation or soreness
- Temporary increase in saliva flow
- Changes in the way you speak – reading aloud can help correct any minor speech problems
Initially, you may want to eat only soft foods and liquids and avoid sticky, crusty or hard foods. Cutting food into small portions is also a good idea. As you become accustomed to chewing, you will gradually return to your normal diet.
One or more follow-up appointments are generally needed after denture insertion. Those who choose immediate dentures should leave them in until the follow-up appointment scheduled for the next day. During healing, the dentures should be left in the mouth as the denture acts much like a bandage.
Caring for Dentures
Dentures are delicate and break easily. It is recommended that you do the following to care for your dentures:
- Store away from children and pets
- Brush daily to remove food particles prevent staining and plaque buildup
- Use a brush specifically designed for dentures and denture cleaner
(regular toothpaste may be too abrasive)
- After cleaning your dentures, rinse and submerge in a denture-cleaning solution
- Never boil dentures because this may cause warping
- Remove one or both of your dentures at night. It allows your gum tissue to breathe
- Store dentures in water or a cleaning solution to prevent them from drying out
Returning for Care
After getting your dentures and having them fitted, you may require further adjustments by your dentist. You should also keep seeing Dr. Witten to ensure that the tissue under the denture remains healthy and that the dentures fit you properly. Dentures need to be relined every five to seven years. The determination as to when to reline your, dentures should be made by our dentists. Most insurance companies will pay a portion for the relining of dentures every five to seven years.
Minor Repairs to Dentures
It is recommended that our dentists makes even the smallest adjustment to your dentures. It is often possible to have the adjustment done while you wait. It is not recommended that any adjustments, however minor, be made at home. You can seriously damage your dentures and harm your health by trying to make adjustments yourself. See your dentist if your dentures break, crack or chip. Over-the-counter glues can potentially contain harmful chemicals and should never be used on dentures. Your dentures need care just like your natural teeth. If you experience any problems or have additional questions, you should consult with your dentist.