More than 35 million people in the U.S. are missing all of their teeth. If you are missing most or all of your teeth, dentures can help. You probably have some common concerns. How will they look and feel? Will they fit well? Will you ever adjust to wearing them? Friendly Dentistry of Greensboro will provide you with dentures that look natural, are comfortable, and improve your quality of life.
Removable complete dentures are used when all of your teeth are missing. They can be used to replace upper or lower teeth—or both. The oral appliance is made of dental resin, and at times, metal is used in the base.
Each case varies, but the basic steps are listed below.
- Your natural teeth and your gums will be examined. Your gums need to be healthy first. Any issues with periodontal (gum) disease will be addressed before you receive your oral appliance.
- We’ll listen closely to your preferences to help you make decisions about the look of your new smile. When carefully chosen, the shape, size, and color of the denture teeth and gums can complement your skin tone and facial features and produce natural-looking results.
- Impressions of your upper and lower jaws will be taken to ensure proper fit. The impressions will be sent to a dental laboratory to make your oral appliance.
- Any remaining teeth you have will be removed. Time is allowed for your gums and jawbone to heal. Meanwhile, you will wear a temporary denture. After the healing period, additional impressions of your mouth may be taken to ensure the best fit.
- A wax model of your dentures will be made to ensure the teeth and gums look exactly as you want. If you have any reservations about the wax model, let us know. Adjustments will be made until you have the smile you want.
- When your permanent dentures are ready, you will be able to try them on and wear them until your next visit. This gives you time to see how they look and feel.
- When you return to our office, we will check your dentures for look and function. If there is anything about them that concerns you, let us know. It takes several weeks to get used to wearing them, but we’ll address your concerns make adjustments as needed.
The Adjustment Period
It will take a few weeks for you to get used to speaking and eating with dentures. As you adjust, your dentist may recommend using adhesive to improve stability. Chewing gum may stick to the appliance, so it may be best to avoid it.
How to Care for Your Dentures
It’s important to take good care of your dentures daily. They are softer than natural teeth and should be treated with care. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and non-abrasive paste to clean them. Keep your natural gums clean, too.
Be certain to brush thoroughly, but not aggressively, to remove bacteria-causing debris, which promotes gum disease. Cleansing tablets made specifically for dentures will help keep them clean. Remove them at night while you sleep. Store them in clean water.
If you take good care of your dentures and keep your regularly scheduled appointments for examinations and checkups, they can last five to eight years.
Over time, the fit of your denture will loosen. The base will need to be adjusted, or relined, but don’t attempt to do it yourself. You may damage the appliance in the process and make it uncomfortable to wear. If there are any problems or adjustments that need to be made, call us. As your dentist repairs the denture, he or she will ensure the adjustments won’t irritate your gums or make them sore.
Stabilizing Your Dentures
Tooth roots stimulate the jawbone and keep it intact. When your teeth are missing, your jawbone begins to shrink. Over time, this makes it more difficult to keep a denture in place. Some patients choose to stabilize their dentures with dental implants. As few as two implants can be used, but the more implants you have, the stability will improve. Dental implants improve chewing efficiency and limit jawbone shrinkage.
A partial denture is used to replace one or more missing teeth. The base is gum colored and may include metal for extra support. Acrylic teeth that match the color of your natural teeth are embedded in the base. It is kept in place with clasps that are secured onto your natural teeth. A partial denture should be removed and cleaned daily. If you take good care of it, it can last about five years.
If you are missing some or all of your teeth, dentures can improve your appearance, confidence, and quality of life. Schedule an appointment and discuss your options below.