Adjusting to life with dentures
What is it like to wear a denture? Will dentures change my appearance? Below we answer questions like this and other general denture questions. Are we missing a question? Send us a message and let us know.
What is it like to wear a denture?
When transitioning from natural teeth to a denture or to replacement dentures you may experience an awkwardness for the first few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not uncommon to experience minor irritation or soreness. There may be an increase in saliva flow. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. Follow-up appointments are generally needed after a denture is inserted. To correct any irritation or soreness, contact our office.
Will dentures change my appearance?
Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will be noticeable. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile.
Will I be able to eat with my dentures?
While not all denture wearers can eat everything they would like, most have very few restrictions in their diet. Eating will take a little practice. Begin with soft foods cut into small pieces. It is important to chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time. This will prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become more comfortable with chewing, add more foods until you return to your regular diet. Continue to chew food using both sides of your mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells.
Will dentures change how I speak?
The pronunciation of certain words may require practice. It will help to read out loud and repeat troublesome words. Occasionally, your dentures may slip while you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition your dentures by biting down and swallowing.
What is a replacement denture?
Often patients have been wearing dentures for many years. Eventually all dentures wear out and the mouth changes. Wearing down of the tooth surfaces combined with changes in the bone and gums supporting the denture result in a need for replacement. With proper care, your dentures should remain serviceable for five to ten years.
What is an immediate denture?
Immediate dentures are just that – immediate. They are made prior to the extraction and can be inserted immediately after the removal of all teeth. To make this possible, the denturist takes measurements, impressions and models of the patient’s jaws during a preliminary visit.
Immediate dentures are a temporary measure so that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. As the healing process occurs, the oral tissue in your mouth (gum and bone) will shrink to a much smaller size due to the closing of the tooth sockets. This contraction of oral tissue may require you to have several adjustments made to your immediate dentures. Temporary liners or tissue conditioners may be required to ensure a comfortable fit.
During the healing period, postoperative instruction from our office must be followed. Regular check-ups and maintenance are required to ensure ideal healing. The healing of the bone takes approximately six months to one year. After one year, the immediate denture will require a permanent reline or rebase to change the fitting surface or the denture to accommodate the changes.
What is a post-immediate denture?
Post-immediate dentures are usually made 3 weeks to 3 months after the natural teeth have been extracted. As the healing process continues, the oral tissue in your mouth (gum and bone) will continue to become smaller and temporary liners or tissue conditioners may be required to ensure a comfortable fit.
During the healing period, postoperative instructions from our office must be followed. Regular check-ups and maintenance are required to ensure healing. The healing of the bone takes approximately six months to one year. After one year, the post-immediate denture will require a permanent reline or rebase to change the fitting surface of the denture to accommodate the changes.
How long do dentures last?
Your dentures will not last indefinitely. Even with conscientious care, denture teeth can lose their natural appearance and chewing ability due to chewing, brushing, and age. Replacement should occur every five to ten years. The tissue in your mouth undergoes constant change. Therefore your dentures will require adjustments and relining periodically in order to continue to fit perfectly. It is important to visit our office at least once every year so that any corrective measures may be taken and avoid serious problems. Be sure to see your denturist at the first sign of persistent irritation no matter how minor you feel it might be.
Can I replace the lower denture or upper denture only?
It is always recommended that the upper and lower dentures be made as a set for the best results. It is not possible for the new denture teeth to accommodate the existing older denture because it will lead to the grinding of the new teeth to match wear on the older denture. This will also prevent the ability to create a balanced bite allowing a stable denture for chewing.
Will a reline make my dentures as good as new?
If your denture teeth are very worn or if the bite relationship of your dentures is not correct, you may experience looseness and/or irritation of your mouth. Relining the denture will not correct these problems. A reline has nothing to do with how the teeth come together. It only corrects the fit against the tissues of your mouth. Our office can evaluate the condition of your dentures and determine if a reline is the best course of treatment.
Should relined dentures still fit loosely?
There are many reasons dentures can seem loose. For example, if the teeth don’t come together in a balanced bite, your dentures will tip or rock when chewing food. If the denture is extended too deep into the soft tissue or infringing into the muscles, the muscles will actually move the denture about while eating or talking. If the denture is too short, the key areas of the mouth won’t be covered, which means the denture won’t stay in place. The amount of bone structure in your mouth and the amount of saliva you produce may affect the fit of your denture. Loose dentures could also be the result of health issues.
Will my dentures need to be replaced?
Eventually, dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or replaced due to normal wear. Dentures may need to be replaced due to changes in the mouth that occur naturally over time. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, causing jaws to align differently. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit loosely. Poorly fitting dentures can cause health problems including sores and infections. A loose denture also makes chewing more difficult and may change your facial features. It’s important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures before they cause problems.
My upper denture fits fine, so why am I having problems with my lower denture?
The upper denture generally forms a suction due to the coverage of the roof of the mouth which allows a more stable base for an upper denture. There is much less gum support in the lower jaw, and the lower denture may feel wobbly as it has to be balanced between your cheeks and tongue. After a little while you will learn the shape of your new denture and how to keep it in place.