Dentures are a removable dental appliance designed to replace missing teeth. They’re often the best restoration option for patients who’ve lost all or most of their teeth, either from advanced gum disease, severe tooth decay, or through traumatic injury.
Fixed dentures, which only a dentist can remove, aren’t as common as removable dentures, which you can take out yourself for daily at-home cleanings.
Yes. The two main types of complete, removable dentures include:
Conventional dentures are used to replace a complete set of top teeth, bottom teeth, or both. This complete denture appliance can only be worn following the removal of any remaining teeth, once gum tissues have healed.
This complete, removable appliance fits over dental implants that are surgically placed in your jawbone. They can also be made to fit over a few remaining teeth, as well. Overdentures are more stable than conventional dentures because they can’t slip out of place.
Wearing complete dentures can be difficult without the benefit of a few remaining teeth or dental implants, simply because tooth roots and implants stimulate bone growth, so patients without teeth or implants lose jawbone mass as time goes on.
As a specialist in prosthodontics, Dr. LuBovich can make dentures fit better, and be more functional, even when it has a less stable foundation.
Lower dentures can be particularly hard to fit because they usually don’t have the benefit of a large bony foundation. Most of the time, however, Dr. LuBovich can overcome such foundation problems by making a lower denture that’s designed to fit within the movement of your lower facial and tongue muscles.
If you’re missing most of your teeth, Dr. LuBovich can explain your restoration options after a comprehensive oral exam. Whether dentures offer the best solution or something else does, he’ll tell you what you can expect from all viable options so you can make an informed choice.
Like implants, bridges, crowns, and other restorative dental solutions, dentures are custom-fitted to your mouth and are incredibly durable. Because the technology used to make them is highly flexible, dentures can provide a solution to a variety of problems related to missing teeth.
Although complete dentures aren’t usually a patient’s first choice, they may be your best or only option if you aren’t a suitable candidate for dental implants, either because you don’t have sufficient jawbone mass or you can’t undergo surgery.
As with any replacement procedure, your new dentures may feel a little uncomfortable for the first few weeks, until your tongue and cheeks learn to hold them securely in place.
Eventually, you will start to get comfortable with the new dentures and inserting and removing them will be something you do without thinking.
Until your mouth gets used to your new dentures, you may also notice an increase in your saliva flow, as well as mild irritation or soreness in your mouth.
For most patients, these minor issues will begin to fade as you become more comfortable with wearing dentures.
Eating with dentures can be a bit of a challenge for the first few weeks, as your mouth is still adjusting to using them to chew.
During this brief adjustment period, you may want to consider cutting up your food into smaller pieces and being more careful while chewing.
Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth, avoid extremely hot or sticky foods, and stop chewing gum and using toothpicks while wearing your new dentures.
Once you get used to wearing dentures, you can slowly introduce your favorite foods back into your diet with ease.
More often than not, dentures will actually improve your smile and give your mouth a more polished appearance.
These changes are typically minor and should never make you look dramatically different than before.
As for speaking, you may have trouble pronouncing certain words and phrases for the first few weeks after getting your new dentures.
If you notice “clicking” when you talk, or constant slipping when you laugh or cough, contact your dentist right away.
For the first few weeks, your dentist will likely ask you to wear your dentures 24 hours a day, even while you sleep.
This will help your mouth adjust to the new dentures and determine if they are the right fit, even though it may be a little uncomfortable. After that, your dentist will talk to you about how often you should be wearing your dentures.
Once any additional adjustments are made and you are comfortable with your new dentures, it’s important to take them out when you sleep to help your gums rest and allow regular cleansing of your tongue and saliva.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!