Full, traditional dentures have been a dependable option for replacing multiple to entire arches of missing teeth for many decades. While these reliable appliances have helped numerous patients chew food properly and live life more comfortably, the modern dentures in today’s dentistry have led to even more successful and effective replacement options.
From creating completely-customizable dentures for restoring the health, function, and beauty of smiles, to dentures supported by dental implants, these restorations have come a long way since first used to replace teeth.
Multiple tooth loss doesn’t have to get in the way of your everyday life. Contact Dr. Joseph Mazzola and his team to find out how dentures can benefit your smile today!
The Important Role Dentures Play when Replacing Missing Teeth
Not only do missing teeth have a negative impact on your smile’s appeal, health, and function, but the loss of teeth can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience.
Replacing missing teeth with dentures can do more for your smile than purely making it easier to eat and speak while filling out the appearance of your face.
Consider these three important factors as to why it’s essential to seek a full-arch replacement with dentures:
Difficulty Speaking and Eating
Even when one tooth is missing, simple everyday activities like eating and speaking can become exceedingly difficult. You may not only find it extremely trying to articulate certain words, but you may have a tough time chewing foods such as whole grain bread, nuts, and apples.
Softer, more acidic foods are often highly processed and offer little to no nutritional value. Not being able to chew properly can lead to possible vitamin deficiency, thus contributing to a compromised immune system.
To maintain its density, the jawbone needs proper stimulation. Your body can actually sense whether your jawbone is getting the stimulus that helps build new bone tissue, reducing the risk of jawbone weakening.
When it comes to the bones in the jaw, the stimulation comes from the action of the teeth. When teeth are missing, there is no healthy tooth root to help build essential density. Instead, the bone begins to weaken and deteriorate, which can cause the very structure of the face to collapse.
Teeth are firm enough to endure everyday activities when teeth are missing, the pressure of chewing can cause neighboring teeth to shift in the direction of the gap. The teeth shift to fill the gap, which can lead to excessive wear on certain teeth and pain in the jaw. Additionally, since the bristles of your toothbrush may not always reach certain areas of crooked teeth, there is a greater chance of tooth decay.
What are Dentures Exactly?
Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are formed to ensure a perfect fit to your mouth. They are designed by your trusted dental professional to replace lost or extracted teeth.
Dentures can either be full or partial, meaning they can either replace all teeth in the smile on either the top or bottom gum line, or just several teeth that are missing.
Regardless of what type of dentures you may need, they will always be custom-crafted to the specific contours of your mouth, while visually matching any existing teeth you have left.
What are the Different Types of Dentures?
Whether you’re missing all your teeth or a small section, there many versions of dentures, such as full and partial denture appliances, that can positively impact your quality of life.
Traditional, Full Dentures
These typically-removable prosthetic devices are designed to replace a full arch of missing teeth in the upper or lower jaws. Consisting of synthetic gum tissue and life-like, ceramic crowns, full dentures rest on the gums by using natural suction or special dental adhesives.
Dentures must be removed for cleaning each night and left in a soaking solution to prevent them from drying out and losing their form.
Partial dentures replace only a few missing teeth rather than a full arch. Similar to full dentures, partials can replace teeth on either the upper or lower jaw and must be cleaned and soaked every night.
Instead of utilizing adhesives, partial dentures attach to adjacent teeth with brackets which helps prevent surrounding teeth from shifting.
With dental implants, full and partial dentures can be affixed onto the titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jaw. This process secures your dentures to the implants, eliminating the need for adhesives.
Living with Your New Denture Smile
Just like any new appliance or procedure added to your smile, your dentures typically take some getting used to. Here’s what you can expect in the first few weeks of living with your new dentures:
The beginning of wearing your dentures requires some adjustments for the first few months for your prosthetic to adapt to your lifestyle. It’ recommended that you choose softer foods that are easy to chew until you are comfortable with your dentures.
Because of how they’re built, the first few weeks of your denture wear can affect speech. Try reading an article, book, or the newspaper aloud to practice your speech if you find you’re having difficulty in pronunciation.
Newly fabricated dentures or relined dentures often require your dentist to make adjustments. This is necessary to alleviate any pressure points on the gum tissue that can cause pain or discomfort to you, smooth any rough spots, and allow for a more proper fit.
These adjustment appointments should be expected to ensure that your dentures provide you with the ideal fit and comfort level you deserve.
Cleaning Your New Dentures
Regardless of what type of dentures you have, you must clean them every day, just as you would with your natural teeth. Although dentures consist of artificial teeth, bacteria, plaque, and tartar can still build up on them, causing damage to your existing teeth and gums.
When cleaning your dentures, make sure you’re doing the following:
If you have removable dentures, take them out of your mouth and run clean water over them to dislodge any particles of food that may be stuck between your teeth, along the gum line, or underneath the denture structure. Then use a mild soap or denture cleaner to brush the dentures with a denture brush or very soft toothbrush.
Make sure you don't use any other cleaners, regular toothpaste or electric toothbrushes. They're too abrasive and can damage and wear the denture materials. Make sure you rinse them well after cleaning.
While your dentures are out of your mouth, be sure to use a very soft and wet toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to clean your gums and any remaining natural teeth. If your toothbrush is too harsh, wrap your finger in a soft, wet washcloth and rub your gums gently to ensure that all surfaces are covered.
Preserving Your Dentures
Your dentures will last longer when you take the time to care for them properly. Be sure you’re following these essential steps when caring for your new denture appliances:
- Before you go to sleep, always remove your dentures to avoid damaging or dislodging them, while giving your gums some time to relax.
- Submerge your dentures in warm water, but not hot, to prevent them from drying out or becoming misshapen.
- Only use denture soaking solution if the metal components of your dentures are not available as the solution can tarnish the metal.
Not Sure if Dentures are Right for You? Contact Us!
The best possible way to determine whether you’re an ideal candidate for dentures is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Mazzola.
Our team will take the time to discuss your specific questions, concerns, and goals. We will also conduct a thorough evaluation of your current oral and dental health, involving precise digital x-rays of your jaw, teeth, and gums. These proactive steps are essential when determining if full smile replacement with dentures is best for you.
Are your ready to achieve a healthy, functioning, and beautifully-full smile once more? Call us today! We look forward to restoring your smile to its former glory!