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The denture is a removable appliance that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. Suppose you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted.
When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. The denture can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. The denture may even improve the look of your smile.
The dentist will place a conventional full or complete mouth removable denture in your mouth after the left teeth are removed, and tissues have healed, which may take several months.
This removable denture is inserted on the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. Your dentist will take measurements and make models of your jaw during a preliminary visit. You don’t have to be without teeth during the healing period but may need to have the denture relined or remade after your jaw has healed.
Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone and provide stability and support for the denture. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth after your dentist has prepared them. Implants can serve the same function, too.
It is sometimes difficult to get used to your newly placed dentures. They can feel bulky, loose, and awkward. To make your adjustment period smoother, here are a few guidelines to follow:
Never try to adjust your dentures on your own, each individual will have a different adjustment period, and it will take time for you to become comfortable with your new teeth.
New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away. Follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted so the fit can be checked and adjusted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist.
Even if you wear complete dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.
Approximately 40% of your jawbone structure will be gone after wearing your dentures for just six months. You will begin to notice that your dentures aren’t fitting the way they used to after a few years of wearing them as well. It is because, over the years, the structure of your jawbone becomes unable to support your denture. The same thing happens even if you are wearing a partial denture.
Once the structure of your jawbone is gone, your options for tooth replacement become very limited. Dental implants can stop bone loss and provide your mouth with natural-looking teeth before the jawbone structure is completely lost.
Whether you have complete, partial, or implant dentures, all forms must be properly cared for and cleaned. Here are a few tips to keep your dentures looking great: