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Dentures – All Your Questions Answered

Dentures, everything you need to know

Dentures are often overlooked by people wanting to replace missing teeth, the image of taking teeth out at night and leaving them in a glass of water next to the bed seems to put so many people off. Yet, modern cosmetic prosthetic appliances can be an excellent way to replace missing teeth, so, to help with all your questions we decided to write the following article. Enjoy.

Why would someone choose a denture over bridges or implants?

  1. Cost
  2. Function

Dentures tend to cost much less than either bridges or implants, they involve less technical work and are quicker to produce, coupled with the lower cost of components makes them more affordable and cost-effective option for many people.

Sometimes a denture is preferred for functional reasons. When teeth are removed you will also lose bone in the jaw as it collapses into the socket where the tooth was lost. This loss of bone, coupled with the loss of tooth means your face lacks support. The consequence of this is that your mouth and face can actually look more wrinkled due to the collapse of the facial muscles.

Dental bridges and implants are not always capable of bringing back that full support if there has been excessive bone loss. Because dentures include both the teeth and the gums the support can be reinstated and a more youthful look can be provided.

Denture can often replace more lost bone then a dental implant, this can give better facial support

 

Are dentures better or worse than implants?

There really isn’t a definite answer to this question, as it depends upon your wants, needs and clinical situation. Factors which are generally taken into account include.

  1. Timeframe. Dental implants can take much longer to achieve the final result as there is considerable planning and the surgical phase after which healing is required.
  2. Budget. The costs involved with placing implants are much higher, therefore making implants more expensive.
  3. Desired outcomes. If you have excessive loss of facial support after losing teeth then a full denture may be the best option. You may however not want to have something removable which would then necessitate the combination of implants and a denture.
  4. Clinical situation. If you don’t have enough bone to place the dental implants after losing your natural teeth then you may even need to have more comprehensive surgery such as bone augmentation or you may have to accept that a set of dentures is the only way forwards.

Do people with dentures go to the dentist?

Yes. A dentist is not only concerned with looking after your teeth, they also need to ensure that any prosthesis (such as the denture) is in good working order as well as ensuring your whole oral environment is healthy. This includes checking for gum disease and undertaking regular oral cancer screening.

As time goes by the shape of your mouth will change as you lose bone due to ageing. When you first have a denture it will be a good fitting denture, but as time goes by the fit of the denture will become less good as you lose the bone. Your dentist can monitor this and at the required time suggest that the denture is relined to fit the newly shaped bone and gums underneath. This can help to ensure a well fitting denture as well as prevent sores and ulcers.

A dentist can also help with bad breath which could be caused by a dental prosthesis which is not being kept a clean as it could be.

Finally, many people with dentures also have standing natural teeth, these are clearly susceptible to tooth decay which needs to be monitored by the dentist.

How can dentures be made more comfortable?

The first rule is to ensure that you’re wearing dentures that are well fitting. Dentures may feel loose, and if they do they can rub and cause unnecessary ulcers. Well fitting full and partial dentures can be ensured with regular visits to the dentist, if the denture becomes less well fitting due to bone loss then the denture can be relined to fit better.

Depending on the type of denture it may also be possible to use a soft lining. False teeth are usually made of acrylic, if this is the case for you then a softer lining can be used which can feel more comfortable than the hard acrylic. Complete dentures can work extremely well with a soft lining inside.

What can you eat with dentures?

Eating and speaking with new dentures can sometimes take a little time to get used to. It also depends how many remaining natural teeth you have and where the teeth are as to what you can eat. For example, if you have natural back teeth but dentures to replace front teeth then you might find biting into an apple is more difficult (as the pressure is on the front teeth) but chewing a steak may be quite easy.

Vice versa may also be true if you have natural front teeth but dentures to replace back teeth then you might find biting into an apple is easy but chewing a steak (as the pressure is on the back teeth) may be more difficult.

In either case, you may need to steer clear of extremely chewy foods as these can dislodge both full and removable partial dentures.

Can I fix broken dentures without having to go to the dentist?

No. Fixing a broken denture is a little more complex than you might at first think. We don’t use glue to fix a broken denture, the acrylic is actually bonded back together again using new acrylic resin to ensure that there are no weaknesses in the repaired denture.

Many people also try to fix dentures at home using superglue, this can cause problems with future repairs as the glue can prevent future fitting of both halves of the denture back together again.

Having your denture professionally fixed also enables the technician to place in a strengthener over the previous fracture, they could also increase the thickness of the acrylic to prevent further breakages if required.

One of the biggest ways that dentures get broken is during cleaning and been dropped in this thing. We highly recommend that when you clean your dentures that you fill the sink with water, this will then cushion the denture if you happen to drop it.

How good do dentures look?

More than cosmetic dentures are a big part of cosmetic dentistry… Why would anyone want a denture to look bad? Dentures are made up of two parts:

  1. The teeth.
  2. The gums.

Modern denture teeth look extremely realistic and are layered to replicate the pulp, dentine and fine enamel structure of a natural tooth. The gums on the denture can also have detailed artistic mimicking of nature by having fine blood vessels and different shades of pink. This can make a cosmetic denture look extremely natural and impossible to discern from natural teeth.

Summary

If you have missing teeth then there are a wide range of options to help you eat, smile and chew again with absolute confidence. If you are considering a removable appliance then be sure to keep visiting your dentist as time goes on to ensure the appliance stays well fitting, comfortable and that your oral health is also in tiptop condition. Remember, dentists look after your gum and oral health as well as your teeth!

 

Shrik Kotecha

Passionate, empathising, enthusiastic and extremely personable, Principal Dentist, Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha affectionately known as ‘Shrik’ endeavours to create beautiful smiles with a dedication to providing a pain free and enjoyable patient experience.
Shrik Kotecha

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*Results may vary and are different for each individual. As such, Glen Dental cannot guarantee specific results.

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