Whether you are considering getting dentures, already have them, or know someone with them, it’s very likely that you may have some questions about them. What follows is information on what dentures really are, what kind of care they require, and how dentures can improve your oral health. We hope to help you find the answers to all your denture queries and to find out, if necessary, whether dentures might be right for you.
Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are formed to your mouth and created by your dentists to replace lost or removed natural teeth. Dentures can either be full or partial, meaning they can either replace all teeth on either the top or bottom gum line or just a few that are missing. Regardless of what kind of dentures you may need, they will be custom designed to fit your mouth and visually matched to your existing teeth.
In the past, the artificial teeth that makeup dentures were made out of porcelain or plastic, but more modern dentures are generally made out of a hard resin. The materials used to make denture teeth are known to be more fragile than natural teeth and can easily chip or crack if dropped or otherwise uncared for. This material also wears down much quicker than natural teeth and thus must be replaced with a new set of dentures every five years or so.
The supporting structure of dentures that holds the artificial teeth in place and resembles the natural gum line is often made out of a similar resin used for the teeth, or a more flexible polymer material that fits snugly on the natural gum line.
Dentures not only improve the appearance of a smile that has multiple missing teeth, but they also keep the structure of the mouth sound by supporting the structures around the cheeks and lips. Dentures also make it possible to eat foods that require chewing, making it possible to keep your diet the same and ensure that you are properly nourished. Lastly, dentures are a viable solution to replace teeth that are causing serious pain and oral health issues, such as those with rotted roots or severe damage. Having dentures fitted means that troublesome teeth are eliminated and replaced with a strong and beautiful alternative. contact us to start treatment.
Partial dentures are often used instead of other tooth-replacement methods when the surrounding natural teeth are not strong enough to support structures such as dental bridges, or when more than one or two teeth are missing.
The partial dentures are fitted to the part of the gum line that they will sit on and fasten to nearby natural teeth to keep from falling out of place. They are not permanently fastened, however, and can be easily taken out at any time for cleaning and while sleeping.
Full dentures, otherwise known as complete dentures, are dentures that replace all of your natural teeth. You can have them fitted for your top or bottom gum line, and are held in place by suction and/or the help of an oral adhesive. Just like partial dentures, they are easily removable.
Regardless of what kind of dentures you may have, all dentures need to be cleaned daily, just like regular teeth. Even though dentures are made up of artificial teeth, bacteria, plaque, and tartar still build upon them and can harm existing teeth and gums.
To clean your dentures, take them out of your mouth and run clean water over them to dislodge any food particles that may be stuck between teeth, along the gum line, or underneath the structure. Then brush the dentures all over with a denture brush or very soft toothbrush using a mild soap or denture cleaner. Be sure not to use any other cleaners, regular toothpaste, or electric toothbrushes as these are all too abrasive and can damage and wear away the denture materials. After cleaning, make sure to rinse them well.
While your dentures are out of your mouth, be sure to clean your gums and any natural teeth with a very soft and wet toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste if needed. If your toothbrush is too harsh, wrap your finger in a wet, soft washcloth and gently rub your gums, making sure to cover all surfaces.
The word edentulous means lacking teeth. The loss of some teeth results in partial edentulism. The loss of all teeth would be referred to as complete edentulism.
According to the American Dental Association, “prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.” In short, a prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in dental prosthesis and the restoration or replacement of teeth. A prosthodontist typically has three extra years of training.
After a while, your dentures may start to feel loose or less comfortable. This is not an uncommon occurrence and there is a relatively easy and affordable fix. Denture relining is the reshaping of the underside of the denture to make it fit better against your gums. Relining affects only the fit of the dentures, not the appearance.
A rebase of your dentures is similar to a reline. A rebase replaces the pink acrylic denture base material but the teeth remain exactly where they were.
Stomatitis is a term used for an inflamed or sore mouth. So, even if you don’t have dentures, it’s possible (and probable) that you’ll experience this to some degree in your lifetime. Stomatitis is more likely to occur if dentures are not kept clean or are kept in the mouth rather than removing them to sleep. Stomatitis is often painless and asymptomatic other than the red appearance in your mouth, but always keep an eye on what’s going on inside your mouth and ask your dentist if you have concerns.
Thrush is a fungal infection that is often said to resemble the appearance of cottage cheese. Improper care and cleaning of your dentures can cause this fairly common condition.
Mastication is the act of chewing.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue that may or may not lead to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a gum disease that leads to the progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth which can result in tooth loss.
Occlusion is the contact between the teeth. This is also called the bite, or how the upper and lower teeth align.
There are many over-the-counter brands of dental adhesive which are used to help with stability, bite, and confidence. Your dentist will give his or her opinion on the best adhesive and under which circumstances you should or shouldn’t use it.
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.
Dental or oral health is concerned with your teeth, gums and mouth. The goal is to prevent complications such as tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease and to maintain the overall health of your mouth.
A healthy mouth, free of infections, injuries and other problems with teeth and gums, is important in maintaining your overall health.
Although a different set of medical professionals focuses on dental health, they are still part of your regular health care team.
Disease and other conditions can affect your dental health and dental problems can affect other parts of your body. Failing to properly care for your oral health may lead to other health problems.