It’s safe to say that dentures can suffer from a bit of an image problem. If you’ve recently been told that you should consider getting dentures, it may be a cause for anxiety. You may imagine that you’ll have to spend the rest of your life with an uncomfortable and ill-fitting appendage that makes talking an ordeal and mealtimes a nightmare.
However, at Chappaqua Dentistry, we’ve helped innumerable patients to overcome their hangups and enjoy a long and happy relationship with their dentures. We’ve found that for, for many, a denture not only helps our patience to smile with confidence, but it also helps them to be able to eat what they want, when they want without having to avoid “problem” foods which were difficult for their old teeth.
Here we’re going to discuss all aspects of complete and partial dentures as well as answering any questions and clearing up any questions you may have about them. First of all, let’s take a look at the difference between the two.
Complete dentures are replacement teeth which are worn after the patient’s natural teeth have been safely removed. There are two kinds of complete denture, a “conventional” denture and an “immediate” one. A conventional denture can only be applied after the teeth in question have been removed and gums that support them have begun to heal. By rule of thumb, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth 8-12 weeks after the removal of the teeth. Of course, this is a long time to be without teeth, which is where immediate dentures come in.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and are able to be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. They are designed as an interim measure while the gums heal. However, as bones and gums shrink over time, especially as the gums heal after a tooth removal, immediate dentures tend to require regular adjustments to ensure a seamless transition to conventional dentures.
A partial denture is a removable bridge that fits between existing teeth. It usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. In some cases this may be attached to a metal framework holds the denture in place.
Partial dentures are used when it is in the patient’s best interests to leave natural teeth remaining in the upper or lower jaw. A partial denture fills in the spaces between teeth for aesthetic and hygienic purposes. It also prevents other teeth from changing position within the mouth in the absence of natural teeth. A precision partial denture is removable with internal attachments that make for a more natural appearance.
Developing and fitting a denture takes time and in most cases requires several weeks and appointments. When patients arrive at Chappaqua Dentistry our first step is to determines which kind of appliance is best suited to their needs. Once the patient has made an informed decision based on the information we provide, we do the following;
We do our best to ensure that your dentures achieve as natural a look as possible and help you to recapture your smile at its best. However, many of our patients remark upon how their dentures actually improve upon their old smile for a more flattering look.
New dentures may feel a little odd or loose for the first couple of weeks. This is the period in which the muscles of your mouth get used to accommodating the dentures and keeping them in place becomes habitual. In some cases, minor irritation or soreness of the gums can occur and you may notice more saliva flow than usual as your mouth and your mind adjust to the change.
A denture is just like any restorative or cosmetic dental procedure, or even like getting a hearing aid. It can feel strange and cumbersome at first… But it doesn’t take long for it to feel like just another part of you.
Don’t worry if it takes a few weeks to become comfortable eating with your new dentures. In a way, you’re re-learning how to eat, changing the way your mouth has been moving for decades when you chew your food without even thinking about it. The good news is that you can take steps to make it easier to get used to the denture.
Start out with softer foods and try cutting them into small pieces (this is better for your digestion anyway). Chew slowly and try to focus on using both sides of your mouth. As you get more and more used to the feel and mechanics of your new dentures, add in more foods until your diet returns to normal.
Still, you should avoid hard or sharp edged foods as well as anything too sticky. You should certainly avoid chewing gum while wearing dentures and tooth picks are a no-no as they can cause them to become dislodged.
Your dentures may make subtle changes to the architecture of your mouth which slightly change the way you talk. After your new dentures are fitted, you may find that pronouncing certain words is trickier than before. This is perfectly natural. Like eating, you’ll have to get used to talking in a slightly different way.
Practice saying difficult words out loud as often as possible. It won’t take long for the new phonemes to feel normal.
If dentures “click” while you’re talking, your dentist may need to make further adjustments. If your dentures slip after you laugh, cough or smile, they can be repositioned by gently biting down and swallowing.
Your dentist may instruct you to start out wearing your dentures at all times, even while you’re asleep. While this may feel a little awkward and uncomfortable, it is nonetheless the best way of getting used to your dentures and to help identify any ways in which adjustments should be made.
Once adjustments have been made to ensure that you and your dentures are best of friends, you should remove your dentures before going to bed. This allows your gum tissue to rest and clean itself. Your denture can be put back into your mouth first thing in the morning.
If your dentures start to feel different or become loose more often, talk to your dentist. Don’t try and solve the problem by piling on denture adhesive. Because your bones shrink as you get older, you may need to get adjustments made to ensure a snug and comfortable fit for your dentures.
We understand that getting a denture fitted requires a leap of faith. You need to know that the attending dentist has the skills and experience necessary to do a great job. Fortunately, Dr. Steven A. Brisman has been practicing dentistry in Chappaqua for many years.
His expertise encompases a range of dental treatments from general dentistry to prosthodontics like complete and partial dentures. Using leading edge equipment and a full complement of hygienic staff, our dentists are able to provide our patients with the highest standard of care. Always.
Contact us today to schedule your first completely complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to get to know your mouth better!