Dentures

Dentures (also referred to as plates, or false teeth) have been used for generations to replace missing teeth.  Whether missing one tooth or all of your teeth, there is a denture that suits your needs temporarily or permanently.  When some teeth remain, we often refer to a denture to replace the missing teeth as a Partial Denture.  When all of the teeth are missing on one arch (top or bottom), we refer to this type of denture as a Full Denture or Complete Denture.  Dentures may be a temporary or long term solution for missing teeth.  When worn as a long term prosthesis, it is important to have your dentures relined periodically to ensure proper fit.  Your gums and jaw bones will change and shrink over time.  When your denture starts to feel loose (every 1-2 years), have your denture relined.  When Implants are part of your treatment, we often use a type of temporary denture to hold the space of the missing teeth.  This type of denture is commonly referred to as a Flipper. 


    • Partial Denture - Used to replace some missing teeth.  This type of denture typically uses the remaining teeth as anchors to stabilize the denture while chewing and speaking.  A partial denture that is used for a long term prosthesis may have a metal framework and metal clasps that hang on to the remaining teeth.  It is so important to spend extra time cleaning these remaining teeth, since the longevity of the denture is dependent on their health.  Whenever possible, we prefer to have some way of anchoring the denture when on the lower jaw.  A loose or floating lower denture is the most common complaint and is often prevented by preserving anchor teeth or introducing implants with clips on the denture.
    • Complete Denture - Used to replace teeth when all teeth on an arch are missing.  Although we can recreate a beautiful smile with a denture, there are inherent limitations.  Dentures will not chew like natural teeth and will take time to settle in.  Sore spots with a new set are normal and are easy to adjust when you come in, so please call the office to set up an appointment.  Denture teeth are made from a type acrylic that will wear over time without damaging the real teeth that they are chewing against.  Therefore, a new set of teeth should be made periodically.  Most dentures will last 7-10 years.
    • Flipper - A type of temporary partial denture.  Flippers are mainly used to replace a single missing tooth but can be used for multiple teeth.  They can prevent teeth from shifting into the space while allowing you to smile and chew.  When an implant is placed to replace a missing tooth, you may need a flipper to take the space while the implant heals and integrates into your bone.

Please refer to the following for Denture Care Instructions:

Getting a New Denture

 

Getting a new denture is like getting a new pair of shoes.  It is important to break them in gently.  Take is slow, start with soft, easy to chew foods and don’t irritate the tissue.

 

  • Always clean dentures thoroughly with a brush and water before putting them in your mouth. 
  • There are two schools of thought on wearing your new denture overnight.  You may choose to leave your new denture out at night.  Gum tissue heals better when it is allowed to breathe.  On the other hand, you may get used to wearing your new denture faster by wearing it continuously. As a patient, you need to decide what you feel works best for you.    
  • It may be difficult to talk normally with a new denture.  A good way to practice is to read out loud for a period of time everyday.  If you are self conscious about how you sound, go into a room by yourself to read. Your tongue and muscles will get used to the new denture, and you will soon be talking normally. 
  • Sore spots are a very common occurrence. All new dentures need several adjustments to seat completely and comfortably fit your mouth. When you get a sore spot, please call the office for a quick adjustment appointment. Two to three days are a normal time frame to allow a sore spot to start feeling better.
  • Call our office if you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or if you have any questions.

It is normal to experience some discomfort with any new denture for several days.  

 

 

Getting an Immediate Denture (Denture seated immediately after extractions)

 

  • For the first 72 hours, do not remove immediate denture at home. 
  • The denture acts as a bandage over the extraction sites.  If the denture does come out on its own, rinse it off and immediately place it back in the mouth.If the denture is not seated quickly, swelling can occur and you may not be able to get it back in comfortably.
  • After the first 72 hours, remove the denture after eating and rinse it off.  Before bed, remove denture and thoroughly clean it.
  • Bone chips are very common.  These usually work out through the tissue by themselves and do not require treatment.  If they become uncomfortable, please call for an appointment.
  • Immediate dentures will get loose over time as tissue heals. The denture will need to be relined after approximately six months.










 
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