People who have lost some or all of their teeth to gum disease, cavities or injury have an option of replacing them with dentures. Let’s look at the various aspects of dentures – their types and how to care for them
What is a denture?
A denture is a removable device fabricated to replace lost or missing teeth and adjacent tissue. It helps people with missing teeth enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence. Dentures can be made of acrylic (plastic), metal added to acrylic or a thin thermoplastic material similar to nylon. The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination of both. They fit closely over the gums and fill in the gap left by missing teeth. Potential problems of missing teeth like the drifting of teeth, issues with the bite, etc. are avoided by dentures.
Candidates for a denture:
They are suitable for those people who have lost some or most of their teeth. Dental implants and bridges are a fixed option for replacing missing teeth. But there are circumstances when they are not feasible such as due to poor bone quality; then the denture is the preferred alternative.
What are the steps in making a denture?
There are several steps involved in fabricating a denture. Your mouth is prepared by extracting teeth that are damaged beyond repair and gum disease is treated. During the first appointment, your dentist will take impressions (molds) of your jaw bones. Next, your bite and orientation of your jaws are registered. Patients along with the help of their dentist select the size, shape, and shade of the teeth for the denture. A final impression is made which is sent to the laboratory. The lab sends a mockup of your denture with teeth set in wax. This try–instep is very crucial to check the bite, teeth position, speech, and esthetics. This is the last step before the final denture is fabricated. Any necessary changes are sent to the lab. In the next visit, the denture is delivered to the patient. Minor alterations like any sore spots can be adjusted in the next few weeks.
Types of Dentures:
There are a few different types of dentures, but the two basic varieties are complete/ full and partial dentures.
Complete dentures: As the name suggests, these dentures are available in full sets to replace an entire set of missing teeth in the upper or lower jaws or both. They are held in place by the pressure of the cheeks, tongue and by the vacuum or suction created between the palate of your mouth and the denture.
Partial dentures are used to replace a few missing teeth. They take support from the remaining healthy teeth and jaws. They are usually made of acrylic, but a metal base can be added for strength. Recent varieties use flexible resin which provides greater comfort and precise fit. Metal clasps are used to connect these dentures to the remaining teeth to prevent any undesirable movement.
Instructions for care:
Complete as well as partial dentures need proper care to maintain them.
- Always clean your dentures after eating. Remove your dentures after meals and rinse them with water to remove food particles. Keep a small cloth or towel on the counter or in the sink when you wash so that even if they slip down, they don’t break.
- Keep your mouth clean after your dentures are removed. Brush your natural teeth twice a day and clean the jaws, tongue, and palate with a piece of gauze or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t keep your dentures in boiling water as it can cause them to warp.
- Be careful to not bend your dentures or the clasps when you handle them.
- Clean your dentures daily. Use a non-abrasive denture cleanser and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your denture. Make sure to remove food, plaque and denture adhesive stuck to the denture. Do not use toothpaste as it can be abrasive and damage the denture. Don’t use whitening toothpaste since the peroxide in them can change the color of the teeth. Cleaning with products that contain bleaching agents can weaken the denture.
- When dentures are not in use, soak them in a cleaner solution to keep them moist so they don’t warp.
- Visit your dentist regularly to examine your dentures as well as your mouth. The remaining healthy teeth should be professionally cleaned once in six months. Even if you don’t have any teeth still get your mouth examines for any jaw or gum issues. If your dentures become loose over a period of time, visit your dentist. Ill-fitting dentures can irritate the soft tissue of the mouth leading to sores and infection.
Should a denture be worn at night?
Do not wear dentures overnight. It is recommended to keep them out of your mouth for a period of eight hours during every twenty-four hours to protect the long term health of your oral tissues and allow the gum tissue to rest. Wearing dentures continuously without a break can damage the soft tissues as well as the jaw bones. Place the dentures in water or a mild denture soaking solution at night. Make sure to rinse them and only then wear them the next morning.
How long does it take to get used to dentures?
Patients are excited to receive the replacement teeth so that that they are able to speak, eat and smile with confidence. However, at first, dentures feel awkward or bulky. Like the saying goes practice makes one perfect, there is a learning curve associated with dentures too. During the initial two weeks, it is advised to wear dentures continuously during the day to adapt quickly to them.
Soon you will become accustomed to their presence in your mouth and know how to use them effectively. Patience, perseverance and an attitude of adaptability go a long way. The time needed to learn to use dentures depends on a person’s age, health, tone of the musculature and condition of the mouth. Listen to the advice of your dentist. Keep in mind that millions of people have learned to use them so you will too.
Other things to consider:
- Pronouncing certain words might be difficult initially. However, with practice, your speech will become clearer.
- It will take time to get your chewing adapted to the new denture. You will have to chew on both sides of the mouth as chewing only on one side will make the dentures lose. It is wise to eat food in smaller pieces for better chewing. Distribute food equally on both sides of the back of your mouth. Do not bite into foods, rather cut them into small pieces.
- You will have to adapt to the feeling of fullness in your mouth as the denture rests over the gums and oral tissues.
Implant supported dentures are the latest developments in the denture technology which are used to firmly stabilize and secure an ill-fitting complete denture by placing it over implants. Also called implant overdentures, these are suitable for patients who have an adequate degree of jawbone density to support implants but at the same time, the bone is insufficient to place a full set of dental implants to support all teeth in the arch. Implants are titanium root forms firmly anchored in the jaw bone. Attachments are placed on the underside of the denture which connects it to the implant. These dentures offer greater stability, especially for lower dentures than traditional complete dentures.
In Mumbai, India many dental clinics use the most advanced techniques to craft various types of dentures including removable partial denture, complete dentures, and fixed implant dentures from world-class materials. The cost of these removable and fixed dentures in Mumbai, India varies from patient to patient. To find out the exact cost schedule an appointment with one of the denture specialists. During the consultation visit, the dentist will evaluate your mouth and determine which denture option is best for you.