The word denture refers to a set of false teeth that are made to replace missing teeth and their surrounding tissues. Dentures are useful for restoring the chewing capability, speech, quality of smile and facial appearance of patients. Dentures can either be prepared for the replacement of a few missing natural teeth, in which case they are called partial dentures, or they may be complete dentures which replace all the natural, missing teeth. Dentures are provided to patients after the extraction of all infected or mobile teeth after the surrounding tissues have healed. During this healing period the patient remains toothless.
Immediate dentures can also be provided to patients who do not wish to remain toothless and require their dentures to be made on the same day their teeth are extracted. The measurements for immediate dentures are taken on an earlier day before surgery. When the denture is ready the remaining teeth are extracted and the denture already prepared is placed the same day. Such a denture may need relining later.
Another class of dentures is the over denture. The over denture utilizes the good existing teeth and the jawbone for support and adds only the missing teeth. Implants can also serve for such support. Dentures consist of artificial teeth and frame work. The teeth are normally of high quality acrylic which can be color matched. Porcelains look more like natural teeth but are hard and brittle and will normally be applied to upper front teeth. The teeth are held in the frame consisting of metal and plastic. It’s made to the impressions already taken and should fit the mouth without major trimming.
Caring for Your Dentures
A new denture usually feels awkward. The patient may even feel sore in places. Saliva flow may also increase. The soreness will eventually go away, so patients are encouraged to get accustom to them for a few days before asking for modifications to be made or giving up the denture. Regular dental hygiene is essential whether having original teeth or a denture. Gums, roof of the mouth, and the tongue should be gently brushed twice daily with a soft brush. This will stimulate blood flow to the oral cavity, promote healing, and help oral tissues become accustomed to dentures. The denture must also be properly brushed and cleaned before insertion in the morning. Avoid scratching them. When the denture is not being used it must be kept safe and covered in water.
Using Denture Adhesives
Despite the dentist’s best efforts, dentures sometimes do not provide an optimal level of retention. In these cases, the prosthesis has to be held to the soft oral tissues with the help of an adhesive. These adhesives may come in the form of strips, wafers, pads, liquids, creams or powders. The dentist can give the best advice as to which adhesive to use in each circumstance. In any case, an ADA seal means the product has been tested for safety.