Dentures are described as replacements for missing teeth and the tissues around them. They are artificial gums and teeth created by a dentist for a patient that has lost part of or all of their natural teeth. They can be removed and put back at will. Dentures come in two types, known as partial and complete dentures. As the name suggests, complete dentures are for replacing all of a person’s teeth when they miss. Partial dentures, on the other hand, are used to replace some teeth that go missing while the person has remaining natural teeth. Irrespective of the kind of dentures a person needs, they are usually custom made to fit the particular mouth of the patient. The dentists also ensure that the dentures match any existing natural teeth a person has to ensure uniformity. If you need dentures, it is important you get in touch with a seasoned dentist and get your money’s worth. At Washington Dental, we are committed to giving you the best smile and dental services by designing and constructing your dentures.

What Materials are Used to Make Dentures?

Previously, dentures were made from plastic or porcelain. However, with the advancement in technology, dentures are now made from hard resin, making them handier. Unfortunately, materials used in making dentures are more fragile compared to natural teeth. If not taken good care of, they can chip easily and crack should they fall. The wearing down of the material is also faster when compared to natural teeth. This, in essence, means that individuals with dentures have to replace them often, with a recommendation for every five years.

Dentures have a supporting structure that helps hold the teeth in their place. This structure looks like a person’s natural gums, and in most cases, it is made from the same material as the artificial teeth. Other times, a more flexible material known as the polymer is used that snugly fits on a person’s gum line.

Why do you Need Dentures?

Most people wear dentures for aesthetic reasons. When a person has multiple teeth missing, having dentures improves their smile and boosts their confidence. Additionally, dentures help in maintaining the mouth structure by supporting the areas around the lips and cheeks.

Away from the aesthetic reasons for wearing dentures, they are essential because they help in chewing food. If one is not able to eat their food due to lack of teeth, they will likely have to change their diet that may affect their health. However, being able to chew makes ensures a person does not have to change their diet, and they continue to receive the same nutrition from their food.

Dentures are also a suitable solution in replacing teeth that may be causing severe pain as well as oral health problems. Such teeth may be having damaged roots or crown, and replacing them would be the best solution.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are also removable and comprise of artificial teeth fixed on a gum-colored plastic base. Partial dentures are also referred to as bridges. The plastic base of the dentures sometimes is connected by a framework made of metal to help hold the dentures in their place inside one’s mouth. Partial dentures are recommended when a few strong natural teeth remain in the mouth, on the lower and upper jaw.

With a fixed bridge, one can replace a single tooth or more teeth by placing a crown on either side of a tooth and attaching an artificial tooth on to it. Once the bridge is placed, it is then cemented in its place. A partial denture is essential in filling in any space created by a missing tooth, as well as preventing the current teeth from adjusting their position in the mouth.

Partial dentures can also be removable. These dentures have internal attachments instead of clasps that attach to the crowns of the adjacent teeth. These varieties offer the most natural-looking appearance and are easy to clean.

Complete Dentures

These types of dentures come in two styles, either immediate or conventional ones. These kinds of dentures are made once your teeth are extracted, and healing has begun on the gums. Conventional dentures are ready to be fixed in a person’s mouth eight weeks to 12 weeks from the extraction of teeth that have been carried out.

On the other hand, immediate dentures typically are constructed prior, and immediately the teeth are extracted, they can be fixed on the gums. The advantage of these dentures is that the patient will not stay without teeth even as their gums heal. However, the healing process results typically in shrinkage of gums and bones over time after tooth extraction. This means that when a person has immediate dentures, they must be willing to go through frequent adjustments for the dentures to fit well. This is unlike conventional dentures that do not require modifications. It is advisable to look at immediate dentures as temporary solutions as a person wait to have their conventional dentures made.

Overdentures

These are alternative dentures to traditional kinds. Most traditional dentures are uncomfortable to the wearers, especially if they have some natural teeth remaining. They are typically fixed over the natural teeth roots and rest on them or other dental implants when there are no teeth to fix over. Some people prefer these types of dentures because they feel more comfortable and are easier to remove.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Just as the name suggests, these dentures are based on dental implants. Dental implants are permanent fixtures that are fixed on a person’s jawbone and are used to replace teeth in any number. These implants are comprised of metal posts made from titanium, and a custom made crown resembling one’s natural teeth.

These kinds of dentures can be fixed in various ways, but the care and treatment are like that of traditional dentures. They are commonly placed on lower jaws, although several people have them fitted on both jaws. It is essential to understand that the cost of fitting these kinds of dentures is higher than that of traditional dentures, although more and more people prefer them. However, it is also of importance to know that not every person is a suitable candidate for dental implants. Talking to your dentist is crucial if you are in need of dentures to determine which ones are ideal for you and your budget.

Cleaning Dentures

Irrespective of the type of dentures a person has, all dentures must be thoroughly cleaned each day, just as you brush your teeth. In as much as dentures are made from artificial materials, they still accumulate a buildup of plaque, bacteria, and tartar. If the buildup is not cleaned, it can be harmful to your gums as well as your other teeth.

To properly clean dentures, remove them from your mouth and hold them over a tap of running clean water. You must make sure that any food particles stuck in the spaces between the teeth, on the gum line, or beneath the structure is dislodged. Using a denture brush or a soft toothbrush, brush all over the dentures, making sure every tooth and space is reached. Use denture cleaner or mild soap to clean them. Avoid using other kinds of cleaners such as electric toothbrushes or regular toothpaste because they are more abrasive and can cause damage to the dentures. Because the material used to make the denture wears down quickly, ensure the cleaners you use are gentle to protect them. Rinse them thoroughly after cleaning.

As you leave your dentures to drain, it is time to clean your mouth. Make sure to thoroughly clean any natural teeth you may have and your gums with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. If you find your toothbrush to be brittle and harsh, you can use a soft washcloth wrapped around your finger to clean your gums. Move slowly and ensure that all the surfaces are covered.

How to Preserve Your Dentures

You need to ensure that your dentures can serve you for as long as possible. Before you sleep, make sure you remove them to avoid damaging them. This also gives your gums time to breathe and relax. In a bowl or container with warm water, submerge them thoroughly to prevent them from drying out. When dentures dry, they lose their shape and require adjusting once again. Avoid using solutions meant for soaking dentures if they have metallic components. These solutions are only suitable for dentures that have no metal to tarnish.

Can Your Insurance Pay for the Cost of Your Dentures?

Different insurance providers have separate policies. A cover is dependent on the plan you have taken and your insurance provider. The majority of the dental insurance providers offer to cover the partial or full cost for dentures. If you want to depend on your insurance, it is essential to talk to them first and find out if they can and how much they can pay.

Making of Dentures

The process of making dentures takes several weeks, with the patient required to make several visits to the dentist’s office. When your prosthodontist or dentist determines the dentures suitable for you, the following steps are taken:

  1. Several impressions of one’s jaw are made, and measurements are taken to determine the space between the jaws and how they relate to each other.
  2. The dentist then proceeds to make models or wax figures or patterns made of plastic in a similar position and form that the dentures will be made. The patient will be fitted with the model a number of times as the denture is analyzed for fit, shape, and color, before casting the last denture.
  3. The final denture is cast
  4. Adjustments to ensure correct fit are made as deemed fit.

How New Dentures Feel

Just like any foreign object, a person is likely to feel odd with new dentures. They may also feel loose in the initial days until the tongue and cheek muscles adjust and learn to have them stay in place. You will also need to get used to removing and inserting them back every evening and morning. Sometimes, you may experience slight soreness or irritation as well as increased saliva flow. These feelings are only experienced at the onset of wearing dentures, but as your mouth makes adjustments, the problems begin to fade.

Can Dentures Alter a Person’s Appearance?

All dentures are designed to resemble a person’s natural teeth as much as possible. Sometimes, a slight change in your appearance may be noticeable. Most of the time, dentures enhance a person’s smile and improve the appearance of their face.

How to Eat with New Dentures

Every foreign object in a body requires getting used to it. Equally, to comfortably eat with your dentures will require practice. To some wearers, it will be uncomfortable at the beginning, but with time it gets better. To begin with, a person needs to eat soft foods portioned in small bite pieces. While using all the sides of your mouth, chew slowly and thoroughly. As you get comfortable, introduce other foods and do the same each time until you are back to your regular diet. Take caution if eating hot foods. Hard bones and foods or shells should also be eaten with caution. It is not advisable to chew gum with dentures or use toothpicks.

Dentures and Speech

After the initial fixing of dentures, it may be challenging to pronounce particular words. If this happens, practice is your solution. Say out the challenging words, keep at it, and within a short time, it will become easier and more natural speaking with them in place. If you notice your dentures clicking as you talk, you should get in touch with your dentist. It is normal for dentures to adjust their position when one coughs, smiles or laughs. If you notice this, do not be alarmed; instead, you can reposition them back. To do this, gently bite down and swallow. Should you continue to experience challenges while speaking, talk to your prosthodontist or dentist.

Should Dentures be worn for 24 Hours a Day?

This is on a case to case basis. Your prosthodontist or dentist will give you instructions on how long you can wear them and the time to get them out. In the initial days or weeks of getting your new dentures, your dentist may ask you to wear them all through even when you sleep. This might be uncomfortable for many, but it is essential in determining areas that may require adjustment. After adjustments are made and the dentures fit snugly, you will be advised to take them out before bedtime. Sleeping without dentures is essential because it provides for regular stimulation as well as cleaning by saliva and tongue. Every morning, after cleaning the dentures, one can put them back on.

Is One Required to Use Denture Adhesive?

Not everyone needs to use denture adhesive. However, one can consider using denture adhesive because of the following:

  • One may need to increase their satisfaction with well structures dentures. Use of adhesives enhance retention, biting force, stability as well as a feeling of security for an individual.
  • Denture adhesive works to help people with dry mouths that make it difficult for dentures to stay in place. This person may be taking medication such as for cold that dries the mouth or has neurological disabilities like strokes. The elderly also benefit from using denture adhesives.
  • Denture adhesives are also necessary for individuals that need added security and stability and have increased demands on their facial muscles. People that are required to speak a lot, such as public speakers and musicians, fall under this category.

When Should One not Use Denture Adhesives

Various situations do not require a person to use denture adhesives. Some of these situations are:

  • To fit poorly –fitting and made dentures. When you notice your dentures are beginning to loosen up, cause you discomfort, or you start developing sores, don’t use adhesives. Instead, get in touch with your dentist to figure out the problem and have it fixed.
  • Sometimes you may have taken long to have your dentist examine your dentures. Because dentures are made in such a way that they rest on the jawbone and gums, they are subject to shrinkage and deterioration. This may call for an adjustment of the dentures or purchase of new ones instead of using adhesives to fix them.
  • Never consider using dental adhesives when you cannot sustain ideal oral hygiene
  • When one has had prolonged use of adhesives and have infrequent dentist visits or the amount of adhesives used increases, one should stop. These observations may be indicative of a need for new dentures or adjustment of the current ones.
  • One should not consider using denture adhesives if they know they have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the adhesive.

How to Apply Adhesives

If you want to use denture adhesives, the following tips may help you when using it:

  • Ensure you use minimum quantities that will enable you to provide maximum benefits. Start with small amounts than you believe necessary. Gradually, adjust the quantity until the point you are comfortable.
  • Evenly distribute the denture adhesive on the surface of your dentures
  • When necessary, reapply to get the effect you desire
  • Before you apply the adhesive, ensure your dentures are thoroughly clean
  • Make sure your dentures fit snugly for the adhesive to work well.

Types of Denture Adhesives

Powder application – sprinkle some powder uniformly over the surface bearing the tissue on the dentures. Shake to remove excess powder. Place and press the dentures into position. Most people prefer powders over paste adhesives because of the ease of cleaning them from the tissue and dentures.

Paste application – this is applied to dry dentures or preferably on wet ones. As you apply, do not place the adhesive close to the borders of the dentures. If you notice the adhesive oozing, it means you are using excessive, reduce the amount. If you are using on dentures in the upper jaw, use only three stripes of the adhesive or several small dots. This you can do by applying to the ridge area and at the center. If using a paste adhesive on dentures for the lower jaws, use small strips or various dots in the middle of the ridge.

Are Adhesives Safe to Use?

If used as instructed, dental adhesives are safe to use. When the dentures are fitted well, and a person uses adhesive to enhance stability or security, no harm would happen. However, when a person excessively uses adhesive to fill in gaps from ill-fitting dentures, the adhesive can be harmful to the hard and soft tissues underneath. In such a case, the person can suffer from inflammation of the tissues. Additionally, due to the constant movement against the soft tissue, poorly-fitting dentures can result in bone loss.

Advantages of Dentures

No one wants to be without teeth or have some of them missing. Dentures come to replace missing teeth as well as boost the self-esteem of a person. There are various advantages of having removable dentures. These are:

  • Having removable dentures is one of the most affordable ways to replace missing teeth
  • Removable and immediate dentures can be fixed on the same day a person gets their teeth extracted. This makes it advantageous because a person will not have to stay for months without teeth
  • Fitting of partial dentures is easy and less complicated for the patient and the dentist. Fixing partial dentures requires no surgery, making it a straightforward procedure.
  • Removable dentures are ideal because they do not damage the natural teeth a person has remaining in the mouth.

Disadvantages of Dentures

Although having dentures has many advantages, there are various disadvantages to them. Below, we discuss these multiple disadvantages to enable you to make an informed choice:

  • It takes time to feel comfortable to wear partial dentures. Most of them are more prominent than one’s natural teeth, making them hard to get used
  • Dentures can affect a person’s speech because they cover a more significant part of the mouth
  • Dentures affect the taste buds located at the roof in a person’s mouth. This reduces the ability of one tasking food.
  • A person with partial dentures is more likely to suffer from mouth infections
  • Dentures require frequent replacement because they wear out, shrink, or become loose with time.

Find a Dentist Near Me

Missing a tooth or several teeth can be a blow to one’s confidence. You are conscious when you smile and imagine everyone is looking at your missing teeth. It becomes challenging to laugh and enjoy life or food as you used to when you had all your teeth. You do not have to let missing teeth rob you of your laughter and smile. Get in touch with us at Washington Dental, and let us fix your smile and earn your self-confidence back. Call us today at any of our locations in Torrance, Lomita, Carson, and Downtown Los Angeles for an appointment and consultation.