A denture is a removable prosthesis used to replace missing teeth.
Types of Denture
- Partial Denture
This type of denture is used when a patient has only some missing teeth. It can be a permanent solution, but in some cases it is used as a temporary measure before other treatment is completed.
- Complete Denture
When the patient has no natural teeth remaining, a complete denture is required. Complete dentures can also be constructed over dental implants. This helps the stability of the denture and improves the bite. As dental health has improved over the last few decades, we see less and less patients requiring complete dentures.
This can be a partial or complete denture, which covers over retained stumps of teeth, or dental implants. The main advantage is that the retained roots of the teeth (or implants) retain the bone levels in the jaw, and this helps to maintain the natural shape and appearance of the face.
Materials used in Dentures
- Acrylic only
This is the most commonly used material and has been used for many years.
- Combination of Cobalt-Chrome Alloy and Acrylic
This construction is used when the patient has a particularly strong bite and the extra strength is needed.
Why come to Apple Dental Studios for dentures?
- We use one of the top laboratories in the UK, whose experienced technicians construct an excellent fitting denture, which is comfortable and natural looking.
- We use the best materials to record the patient's jaw size and shape very accurately, which is essential to allow the laboratory to construct a denture that is an excellent fit.
- The laboratory uses the best materials available to construct the denture to give very natural looking teeth and gums. The cosmetic technician is very skilled in producing naturally-sculpted gums, not just to help with appearance and fit, but also to work with the soft tissues in the mouth to stimulate salivation and aid chewing and
- Initial Appointment
We do a general check of the patient's oral health and the condition of their soft tissues to assess the suitability of the various different options. All options are explained and discussed with the patient, and time is given for the patient to consider the recommended treatment plan.
- First Treatment Appointment
The key to successful dentures is accurate measurement of the patient's mouth. We take an initial impression using standard trays which will be used to construct a model of the shape of the jaw. This is then used to construct a custom-made tray that will only fit that patient. This will be used in the next appointment to take a more accurate impression.
- Second Treatment Appointment
Using the specially-constructed tray, a secondary impression is taken to get a precise mapping of the jaw for the patient. This enables a much more accurate model to be made and allows the technician to construct an excellent fitting denture.
- Third Treatment Appointment
The dentist uses their skill to record the best and most comfortable position of the patient's bite. Various other records and measurements are taken to aid the technician in the construction of the correct shape, colour and size of the denture.
- Trial fit Appointment
This appointment is to try the skeletal framework of the denture. This gives the patient the opportunity to feel the size, shape and fit of the denture, and assess the colour and the shape of the smile. The dentist assesses the bite, the speech and the aesthetics at this stage. Any necessary adjustments are done at this appointment.
- Fitting Appointment
The denture is fitted and minor adjustments (if required) are done at this stage. Aftercare instructions are given.
- Review Appointment
Usually a week later the patient is reviewed, and any necessary adjustments can be carried out at this time.
What to expect?
New dentures always feel strange when first placed in your mouth. Several days or weeks will be required before you get accustomed to them. Adaptation varies with different people and sometimes time and patience are needed before dentures can be worn comfortably and function effectively.
Useful suggestions to help you to adapt to the new dentures:
- Eating - Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods and foods cut into small pieces will help. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent dentures from tipping. Once you become accustomed to chewing, include other foods until you return to your normal diet.
- Increased salivary flow - You may experience an increase in salivary flow when the dentures are first inserted. This is a natural response of the salivary glands that will return to normal after a few weeks. You can improve the situation by swallowing more often.
- Speech - New dentures may alter your speech initially. Pronouncing certain words may require practice. This problem rarely persists beyond two weeks.
- Sore spots - Minor irritation, caused by surface irregularities or pressure spots on the denture-bearing areas, can occur. Your dentist will relieve the discomfort by adjusting the denture surface. Stop wearing the denture if the irritation is very painful. Consult your dentist immediately.
Care of your dentures
Like natural teeth, dentures can accumulate plaque and food debris, particularly in areas where the denture is in contact with the remaining teeth and gum. In addition to the usual oral hygiene measures like tooth brushing, dentures should be cleaned regularly. Poor denture hygiene can result in stains on the denture and a bad odour.
If possible, dentures should be removed and cleaned after every meal. When cleaning, remember the following:
- Use a soft hand brush or a special denture brush.
- Avoid very hot water as it may distort the denture.
- Use mild detergent to clean dentures. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can roughen the polished surface of the denture. Do not use bleach as this may whiten the pink acrylic.
- Hold the denture firmly while cleaning. Accidentally dropping the denture may result in chipped or broken dentures. Always wash your denture over a basin of water.
Soak the dentures in denture cleanser once a week to remove stains and always rinse them thoroughly before using the dentures again.
When you are not wearing the dentures, store them in water. Dentures may lose their shape if left to dry out.
How long should you wear your dentures?
During the first few days you are advised to wear them most of the time except when sleeping. Always remove the dentures before going to bed. This will allow your gum tissues to rest and promote oral health. Gentle massaging of the gums with a soft toothbrush is encouraged. Remember to soak the dentures in water to prevent them from drying out.
Future denture reviews
Your jawbones and gums naturally shrink over time and this can cause the dentures to fit less securely. Ill-fitting dentures can give rise to chewing difficulties, soreness, infections and changes in facial support. It is important that you visit your dentist to have your dentures and oral tissues evaluated yearly. Your dentures may need to be adjusted, relieved or even relined from time to time to ensure an optimal fit. Do not attempt to adjust the denture yourself - seek professional help.
With time and practice you will soon learn to eat, talk and smile with your dentures as you would with your natural teeth.