Dentures are removable appliances, designed and fabricated to replace missing teeth and gum tissue. Dentures can replace some teeth (partial dentures) or all teeth (full or complete dentures). They can be used as an interim measure before an implant or bridge is fitted, or as a long term affordable solution for missing teeth. Even though dentures may be the least expensive treatment option, dentures may still be the most appropriate and aesthetic solution to replace missing teeth.
A partial denture, involving the replacement of only one or two teeth, may require a minimum of only two appointments. More complex cases may require five appointments. If you require other dental treatment such as fillings, scaling and cleaning and extractions, appointments may also be necessary prior to taking impressions for your denture.
Partial dentures may be constructed in three different types of material. We will explain which type of dentures are appropriate for you:
- Cast metal framework and clasps with acrylic teeth and gum tissue
- Acrylic denture with metal clasps for retention
- Flexible acrylic denture without metal clasps
What’s involved in fitting a new denture?
The filling of a complete denture, will take a minimum of five appointments. You may even need more than five appointments, just to make sure everything is right. Before the last appointment, you will have a try-in appointment. You’ll be able to try the teeth, set in wax, so you see what the finished denture will look like.
When a new denture is fitted, it may take some time for you to get used to it. The most common problems are sore spots and difficulties eating and speaking .Most difficulties will be overcome in time, but dentures will never duplicate the feel and function of your own natural teeth. You may find that you can no longer bite into hard foods or sticky foods you once enjoyed. Here are some suggestions to help you settle into your new denture:
- Denture adhesives can help give you confidence until your muscles adapt to the appliance. Denture adhesive also prevent food from getting lodged under your denture so it can be helpful in avoiding bad breath.
- Cut food up into small bite size pieces and eat slowly. Don’t expect eating to be the same as before. Chewing on both sides of the mouth at the same time can help stabilise the denture. Avoid biting on the front teeth as this is more likely to dislodge the denture.
- You might need to practice speaking out loud to your family or the family pet (dogs can be very good listeners) to develop your confidence speaking in public. In time, as the muscle adapt, your speech should return to normal.
- If you experience sore spots, rinse your mouth with mild salty water (half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water).
- If sore spots don’t improve, wear the denture for a few hours prior to your adjustment appointment so we can clearly see the where pressure areas are.
Not every patient with a new denture will have the same experience. Some patients will find it easy to adapt while others may not. Every mouth is different and sometimes getting the right fit takes time and patience. Time, patience and perseverance are your allies in this often-challenging time.