Losing a few or all your teeth can be harsh. It is difficult to eat and speak, and your facial muscles tend to sag, thus making you look older than you are. Artificial dentures can replace these teeth and give you back your bright smile.
Different Types of Dentures:-
1. Conventional Complete Dentures
In these dentures teeth are attached to an acrylic base that mimic the gums. If you still have teeth left in your mouth, they are extracted before the dentures are made, and a temporary interim denture or immediate denture can be placed for a period of a few months to allow the oral tissues to heal before the final dentures can be placed.
An upper denture molds against the roof of your mouth (also called the palate). This creates a seal and holds the denture in place so that you can use it with ease. A lower denture is horse-shoe shaped, and allows space for your tongue and oral muscles. It is held in place by a thin film of saliva and by the muscles around your mouth.
2. Implant-supported Complete Dentures
Implants are posts that are embedded into the bone of your upper and lower jaws. These offer greater support to complete dentures as compared to conventional dentures. But implants can only be placed if you are medically fit and have sufficient bone in your jaws. Consult your dentist to find out if you are a good candidate for an implant-supported denture.
3. Immediate Dentures
These dentures are constructed before the remaining teeth are extracted from your mouth. This way once the teeth are removed, the dentures can be immediately placed so that you do not have to go without teeth for even a day. Of course, once the extraction sites heal, these dentures will need relining to remain stable. Sometimes a conventional denture is constructed to replace the immediate denture at a later date.
Getting Used to Your New Dentures:-
It can take a while to get used to new dentures. In fact, the discomfort can last for a few weeks until your muscles and tongue learn to hold the dentures in place, especially the lower denture. Till then, it is important to keep wearing your dentures regularly as per your dentist’s instructions.
The following are expected when you start using dentures for the first time:-
1. Excess salivation
2. Soreness in your mouth
3. Difficulty in eating food and speaking
In fact, when using dentures it is important to eat in small bites, not consume sticky food that can dislodge the dentures, and to chew with both sides to equalize pressure.
Your dentist will instruct you to wear the dentures throughout the day to get accustomed to them faster, but you should never wear them 24 hours a day. Always remove your dentures at night to give your oral tissues some rest.
Denture Care and Hygiene:-
Dentures need to be maintained just like your natural teeth. The following practices are healthy and will lengthen the life of your dentures before they need to be replaced:-
Use a brush and denture cleanser for gently cleaning the surface of your denture every day.
Special brushes are available for this purpose. But you can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Never used hard brushes as they can damage your dentures.
Liquid soap can be used to clean dentures, but never use toothpaste. Toothpastes have abrasives that can damage your dentures.
Do not drop your denture on hard surfaces as it can break. Stand on towels or over a sink full of cold water while removing your dentures.
Store your dentures in cold water when not in use, otherwise they tend to distort.
Always rinse your dentures well before use because residual denture cleansers can irritate your oral tissues.
Keep your dentures away from children and pets.
They can help stabilize loose dentures but it is not recommended for long-term use. Consult your dentist if your denture is loose. Always follow instructions if you are using denture adhesives.
Replacing your Denture
Dentures need to be replaced every 5-10 years, but this can vary from patient to patient. They may also require regular relining or rebasing.
Relining a denture simply refers to the process of adding new material to the undersurface of the denture so that it fits better in your mouth. Rebasing replaces the denture base with a new one but keeps the teeth from the old dentures. Replacement of dentures refers to replacing the denture in its entirety.
Human jaw bones and tissues change over time once teeth are lost. That’s why dentures can become loose or ill-fitting over time. It is important to get your dentures replaced before they create problems. Consult your dentist for the same.