Dentures

Dentures, which are removable artificial teeth, can be either partial (replacing only a few missing teeth) or complete (replacing a full set of missing teeth.) There are two types of dentures: conventional dentures, which are placed after the teeth have been removed & the tissues have had time to heal, & immediate dentures, which are placed immediately after the teeth are removed with no healing time. An over-denture is a different kind of denture that fits over a small number of remaining teeth or implants.

When you first get dentures, it takes a little time to get used to them. They may feel awkward or loose until your cheek & tongue muscles learn to hold them in place. When first getting used to dentures, you may notice slipping when you laugh, smile or cough. This is caused by air getting under the base & moving it; you will eventually be able to better control these movements once you get more practice wearing them.

It may be a good idea to secure new dentures with an adhesive when you are just getting used to them. However, with all the recent advances in dentures, you normally do not need to use any type of adhesive with properly fitting dentures. Once you get used to wearing dentures, if you still feel they are loose, this is a sign they do not fit correctly & you should see your dentist for a fit adjustment.

Eating also can be a challenge in the beginning. Starting with soft foods cut into small pieces & working your way up to returning to your normal diet is a good method to help you become used to chewing with your dentures. Avoid biting down on hard or crunchy foods, like whole apples, hard pretzels or crusty bread, as they can break due to the angle where the denture surface comes into contact with the hard surface. Other than these types of food, biting is limited only by the stability of the dentures themselves. Insufficient bone structure, old or worn dentures & a dry mouth can decrease stability.

Sometimes dentures may feel sore or irritated & it is important to see your dentist for regular fit adjustments to relieve this discomfort. Regular visits to your dentist are also important to assess whether your dentures need to be adjusted, relined or remade due to gum or bone shrinkage or normal wear over a period of time.