Dentist in Crofton explains everything you need to know about dentures
If you have suffered the loss of multiple teeth or need several extractions, then you may be wondering about your options to replace your lost teeth. Dentures are one of the most affordable ways to restore your smile after tooth loss and can be a great option for many patients. Below, Dr. Bingham-Lester, dentist near Crofton, MD, explains everything you need to know about dentures.
How do dentures work?
Dentures are false teeth that either replace a few missing teeth (partial dentures) or a full arch of teeth (full dentures). They are removable dental appliances that are custom designed for your mouth to ensure that they fit well, feel good, and function optimally. In many cases, natural suction between the dentures and your alveolar ridges and soft palate are enough to keep the dentures in place, but some patients find that using denture adhesives helps keep their dentures more firmly in place.
What are they made from?
The base of the dentures, or the part that fits over your bony ridges, is a gum-colored material that is typically made from metal and covered in plastic resin. The false teeth are then made of plastic or porcelain and colored and shaped to mimic your natural smile.
What are implant-supported dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are a hybrid between dental implants and dentures for tooth replacement. With this option, four implants are strategically placed in your dental arch, and then the dentures are securely attached to the implants. This is the most stable and functional of the denture options because the implants offer a sturdy foundation to which the dentures attach. That means you don’t need to rely on adhesives and suction to keep them in place, and you are better able to eat certain foods that might otherwise be off-limits with dentures.
What is the process for getting dentures?
Typically, several appointments are needed for standard dentures.
- First, impressions are taken of your teeth so that the dentures can be custom fabricated for your mouth
- Then, we measure your bite and you choose your new teeth
- You try on your dentures before they are fully complete to make sure they feel and look great
- When they are finalized, we check the fit again and you wear them home!
- We do periodic check-ups afterwards to ensure that you are adjusting well to your new dentures and to correct any issues with the fit
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How long will it take for me to get used to them?
Just like any other big change, getting dentures does involve an acclimation period. Most patients find that they are used to their dentures after about a month and can eat and speak normally by that time. There may be some gum irritation or soreness in the first few weeks, and inflammation from any extractions that were done can also cause pain. You may also notice that you salivate more at first, but this will subside after the first couple of weeks. To increase your comfort during the acclimation period:
- Start by eating only soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, applesauce, or smoothies
- As you start to eat tougher or chewier foods, take small bites and thoroughly chew each bite
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater for the first two weeks to ease inflammation and reduce bacteria
- Practice saying any speech sounds that are difficult to pronounce at first
If pain persists beyond the first month or you find that your dentures just don’t seem to fit right, make sure to call us so we can check the fit and adjust it if needed.
How do I take care of them?
Dentures can last for many years if they are properly taken care of. Dr. Bingham-Lester will go over your denture care routine with you when you get your new dentures, so you know the proper methods for caring for them. You should rinse your dentures after every meal and if possible, brush them. Special denture toothbrushes should be used, and normal toothpaste should be avoided because it is too harsh for the denture material. You should always remove your dentures at night and soak them, so they do not dry out and warp.
How do I schedule a consultation?
If you are facing tooth loss or have extractions planned, we encourage you to call Bingham-Lester Dentistry to schedule a consultation about your tooth replacement options. Dr. Vickii Bingham-Lester understands that this can be a time of uncertainty and you have many decisions to make regarding your oral health care, and she is happy to walk through all of your choices and answer your questions so you feel completely comfortable with your treatment plan. To reach us, call 410-885-6522 today!