A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position, similar to a bridge. Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed.
WHO NEEDS A DENTURE?
Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR A DENTURE?
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.
A denture is fragile, so it is important to handle it with care. Remove and brush the denture daily, using products designed specifically for cleaning dentures. Don’t sterilize your denture with boiling water because it will cause it to warp. If you wear a partial denture, be sure to remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When not in use, soak it in a cleanser solution or in water. Get in the habit of keeping the denture in the same safe and handy place to reduce the likelihood of misplacement.
It is important to continue having regular dental checkups so that a dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As you age, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself and do not use denture adhesives for a prolonged period because it can contribute to bone loss. When in doubt, consult your dentist.