DENTURES - REPLACING TEETH FOR CONFIDENCE & FUNCTION
We Can All Lose Our Natural Teeth For All Sorts Of Reasons Like Injury, Decay Or Oral Health Problems. Removable Dentures Are One Of The Options Available To Replace Missing Teeth.
When a person is missing teeth, he or she may experience a variety of problems. The person may become less confident in their smile and have difficulty speaking and eating certain foods.
It is important to replace missing teeth. The ill effects of not doing so can be a shift in remaining teeth, an inability to bite and chew properly as well as a sagging facial appearance, which makes one appear older than they are. Dentures are just an artificial replacement for natural teeth, made of acrylic (plastic) or acrylic and metal or a flexible plastic, customised to fit your mouth and look just like your real teeth.
Dentures are removable, which means it can be taken out and put back into your mouth. There are several types of materials available for dentures:
VALPLAST® FLEXIBLE PARTIALS
Valplast® flexible partials could be the solution for you to replace one or more teeth. Unlike more traditional rigid and bulky dental materials, Valplast flexible partial denture are made from a flexible plastic material which fits neatly into your mouth and is virtually invisible.
They do not require any unsightly metal clasps to keep them in place as the clasps are part of the design of the denture and blends in with your natural gums. No one will notice that you are wearing dentures!
Flexible Partials blend in well with the natural appearance of your gums, making the partial virtually invisible. The plastic has almost a chameleon effect. It is so strong that the partial can be made very thin and so picks up the characteristics of the underlying gum. It blends beautifully with your natural gums!
ACRYLIC COMPLETE OR FULL DENTURES
Complete or full dentures replace all the teeth, while partial dentures fill in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from shifting position. You do not have to take out all your teeth before making a denture. Partial dentures are made to fill in the missing teeth.
An overdenture is a removable dental prosthesis that covers and rests on one or more remaining tooth roots. A removable partial denture is a dental prosthesis that replaces some teeth and is built around existing natural teeth. Both the overdenture and the removable partial denture may be connected to the remaining tooth roots or remaining natural teeth with anchors made of metal or plastic. These connections improve stability and the retention of both types of dentures.
The beauty of dentures today is that they are designed to be comfortable and functional. They are very similar in appearance to natural teeth, and can improve a smile or facial appearance.
During the first dental visit to evaluate the need for dentures, your dentist will examine your gums and supporting bone structure to identify the appropriate treatment plan that is required for your particular case.
In some cases, oral surgery may be suggested to correct bony ridges that may interfere with the stability of the denture. In other cases, perhaps, there are remaining teeth that may need to be extracted before dentures can be placed. This may be advised if the remaining teeth are compromised, that is, are unlikely to be retained for very long due to gum disease or possibly on-going tooth decay.
Once we have determined that dentures are right for you, we will make an impression of the gums to identify every ridge and crevice to ensure the best denture fit possible.
In cases where teeth need to be removed, we can make an immediate denture to enable proper healing of the extraction sites and serve as a temporary (or even permanent) replacement for natural teeth. You do not need to wait for months, with gaps in your smile whilst waiting for the gums to heal to do the permanent denture. The temporary denture will fill up the gaps whilst we wait for the bone to stabilise. This usually takes about 6 months.
The immediate dentures can be easily modified for changing bone contours during healing until the final dentures can be made. In constructing the immediate dentures, dentists will use a shade and mold chart to choose replacement teeth that will most closely match your natural teeth, minimising any changes in appearance.
Complete dentures are made when gums are restored to a healthy condition and sufficient time has passed for healing. Complete dentures replace all teeth in the upper or lower jaws of the mouth.
Gums will naturally shrink through the healing process of tooth loss, which normally takes from 6 to 12 months. During this period the immediate dentures may require adjustments to accommodate the changes in the gums and underlying bone structure. This could include soft and hard relining procedures made to the immediate denture.
Complete dentures, overdentures, and removable partial dentures should be removed at night while you sleep. This enables the gums to be bathed by saliva, which has important properties for controlling the naturally occurring flora found in the oral cavity. Saliva aids in maintaining a healthy mouth.
You should see your dentist again a few days after you first receive your new dentures. It is not unusual to experience some initial discomfort. Minor adjustments to the denture can increase comfort and eliminate problems before they become more serious.
Initially, a new denture may feel unusual in the mouth. The cheeks, lips, and tongue are very sensitive areas that require time to adjust to new dentures. It is not uncommon to bite one's cheek or tongue while getting used to new dentures. Give yourself time to adjust! However, persistent soreness or irritation should be immediately reported to your dentist.
In addition to adjusting to the feel of new dentures, it will also take some practice learning to chew with the new dentures. Begin by slowly chewing on very small pieces of soft food, using both sides of the mouth simultaneously. As your comfort and confidence increase you can progress to larger pieces of soft food and then proceed to harder foods.
Speaking may also require practice. It may be difficult to pronounce certain words. Usually, this problem is overcome within 2 weeks. New denture wearers can adjust more quickly to their new dentures by practicing reading aloud or perhaps singing aloud your favourite song!
With a well fitting denture and practice, denture adhesives may not be necessary. Denture wearers should expect the lower denture to fit somewhat loosely. They may need to learn how to use the muscles of the cheeks and tongue to keep the denture in place. Although this might sound bothersome, with practice it becomes second nature. It may take some time but most likely with a little perseverance, the new dentures will function well during eating and speaking.
If your dentures fit poorly and cause persistent mouth irritation, or they chip, crack, or break, it is important to see us, your dentist. You may need to replace them. Although most gum remodelling occurs within the first year, changes in gums and bone continue throughout one's lifetime. Over time this may result in ill fitting or loose dentures and may change your facial appearance.
In addition, continuous movement of the dentures on the gums whilst you eat or talk may cause significant irritation to your gums. For this reason, it is recommended for complete dentures to be remade or at least relined every 5 to 7 years.
It is very important to practice healthy dental hygiene when wearing dentures. There is an increased risk of developing a more serious medical condition should gum and tongue irritation result from improper dental hygiene. These conditions include, but are not limited to periodontal disease, leukoplakia (thickened white, potentially precancerous patches on the mucous membranes, also called smoker's tongue), and fungal (denture stomatitis) infections.
The gums, tongue, and palate should be brushed with a soft bristle brush every evening when the dentures are removed, and each day before you insert the dentures to stimulate the gums and also to remove plaque accumulation.
When removing dentures at night, brush the dentures carefully to remove any loose food debris and plaque, then soak them in a cleansing solution. We will be able to recommend one. When cleaning your dentures, place a towel beneath the denture or clean them over a sink filled with water to avoid dropping them which may result in breakage.