Dentist showing patient dentures

For patients with missing teeth, dentures can provide an effective, natural-looking solution to restore self-confidence and jaw function, making it easier to chew and speak. Custom-made in a dental lab to fit an individual’s mouth, dentures will adhere securely to the patient’s gums for an improved smile that is both comfortable and easy to care for. Dentures can be conveniently removed and replaced in the evenings or throughout the day for cleaning purposes.

Generally, dentures have a natural flesh-colored base that is made to fit over a patient’s gum line. The base of the upper denture covers the gums and the roof of the mouth, also known as the palate. The lower denture has a U-shape to make room for the tongue but has a similar base color and texture as the upper denture.

Types of Dentures

Different types of dentures

The three types of dentures available are conventional full dentures, immediate full dentures or partial dentures. Based on the extent of a patient’s dental damage and loss of teeth, your Reno dentist will be able to determine which type is best for your situation.

  • Conventional Full Dentures: This full denture option is made for patients who’ve had all their teeth removed but need to wait until the gums are fully healed before placing the dentures. This can often take several months, and the patient goes without teeth for the duration of the healing process.
  • Immediate Full Dentures: Unlike conventional full dentures, these dentures are immediately inserted after removal of the remaining teeth. Measurements of the gums and jaw are taken before the procedure, so the dentures are ready to be placed. Many patients prefer this option because they don’t have to be without teeth for an extended period of time. However, the dentures must be relined as the bone heals and reshapes.
  • Partial Dentures: When not all teeth are missing, partial dentures are an ideal option. Made from both metal and acrylic, they accommodate the remaining natural teeth while providing durable false teeth to improve the overall strength of the jaw and mouth. They also prevent shifting of the other teeth and further structural damage.

What Patients Can Expect with New Dentures

As with any dental procedure, it will take some time for patients to adjust to their new dentures. It is common for patients to feel uncomfortable or awkward while eating or speaking for several weeks after getting their newly-fitted dentures. But after some practice, they will begin to feel more natural and everyday interactions will become easier.

With new dentures, patients commonly experience:

  • A bulky or loose feeling in the mouth. This will subside as the muscles in the tongue and cheeks strengthen and adjust to hold the dentures in place.
  • Increase in saliva flow. Hypersalivation is a reaction to an outside object in the mouth but will improve with time as patients get used to wearing the dentures.
  • Minor irritation or soreness. As the mouth and gums adjust to accommodate the dentures, the irritation should go away completely. If you experience excessive pain or bleeding, see your dentist right away as it may be an indication the dentures do not fit correctly or other issues have developed.

Tips for Denture Care

Man cleaning dentures

Many people assume that regular toothpaste will work for cleaning dentures. The truth is it’s almost impossible to reach all the bacteria only using toothpaste because it wasn’t designed to clean dentures. To be sure all the bacteria is removed, you will need a special liquid formula made for denture cleaning. This prevents oral infections, bad breath and other dental issues going forward.

Due to normal wear and tear, dentures will inevitably need to be rebased and relined over time, but these daily practices will help extend the lifetime of your dentures:

  • Dentures are fragile outside of the mouth and can easily break if accidentally dropped. When removing or inserting your dentures, be sure to stand over a towel or something that will provide cushioning.
  • Always keep your dentures wet. If you’re not wearing them, they should be placed in cleansing solution, or plain water if there’s nothing else, to prevent them from drying out. However, avoid using hot water as this will damage or warp the denture materials.
  • Practice thorough daily cleaning to remove food deposits, plaque, bacteria and stains from your dentures. Follow the cleaning methods recommended by your dentist.
  • Continue to brush your gums and tongue daily before you insert your dentures. This helps keep the mouth clean as well as stimulate blood flow to the tissue in your gum line.
  • If your dentures are chipped or cracked, see your dentist right away. The longer you go without fixing the damage, the worse it can become and lead to expensive repairs or replacements. It can also create irritation in the mouth which can cause other problems.

Are Dentures the Right Option for You?

The only way to know if dentures will work for you is to see your dentist for a consultation. Depending on your unique situation, services such as dental implants or bridges could be an option as well. Schedule an appointment with one of our Reno professionals for a full evaluation. We’re happy to answer all your questions and discuss the best options for you at any of our Absolute Dental Reno locations!

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