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Whether you are missing some or all of your natural teeth, you can derive many benefits by replacing them with full or partial dentures. Replacement teeth help fill out your smile by giving support to the cheeks and lips. This creates a more youthful, vibrant appearance by holding up facial muscles and also aids in speaking, chewing, swallowing and smiling.
Will Chewing and Speaking Be Different?
Somewhat. At first you may find that you bite your tongue or cheek occasionally. This is normal, as these spaces have now been filled. At first, you may choose a soft or liquid diet, making sure to avoid sticky or hard foods. Cutting food in to smaller bites can be helpful at first. With full dentures you may also find it helpful to chew food from both sides, rather than directly from the front.
You may also notice some salivary changes with your replacement teeth. These are to be expected when a new prosthesis is introduced. With time, however, you will adjust to these changes and will soon be speaking and chewing with a high degree of comfort and confidence.
What About Quality?
It’s true, fees for full and partial dentures may vary significantly from office to office. Only a trained, licensed dentist is legally qualified to prescribe replacement dentures and partials. A reputable dentist will review your health history, make a thorough oral examination and take proper records and measurements before prescribing your prosthesis. Your dentist works only with reputable laboratories trained to fashion custom teeth to complement your facial features and lifestyle.
Beware of tooth replacements offered at a substantially reduced fee. As with anything else, you get what you pay for.
How Long Will It Take To Get Used To Replacement Teeth?
Losing a permanent tooth—whether it be due to dental decay, periodontal (gum) disease, injury or accident—can cause many serious problems for your neighboring teeth. Because the support and chewing forces are altered, the remaining teeth may begin to shift. The opposing tooth above or below the lost tooth can begin to move up or down and out of the socket, which can accelerate periodontal disease and further break down the bone structure. If the missing tooth in not replaced, more teeth may eventually be lost due to the improper forces exerted during chewing.
How Is the Treatment Performed?
Every patient is different. Some patients adapt immediately. For others, it takes a little longer.
Patients who choose to undergo full extractions and have immediate dentures placed should leave the dentures in place until the postoperative appointment scheduled for the following day. While healing takes place, the dentures should be left in most of the time, because the immediate denture acts as a “bandage”, giving support to the oral tissues as they heal.
You may require that the immediate dentures be realigned within four to six months. This is to accommodate the space created by shrinkage of the supporting tissue during healing.
Eventually, patients may choose to remove the artificial appliance upon retiring every evening. Remember, however, that if the appliance is removed, it must not be allowed to dry out, as this causes shrinking or distortion of the material. Always soak the removable teeth until returning them to your mouth.
What’s the Proper Way To Care For My New Teeth At Home?
You should use a toothbrush specially designed for dentures and also a denture cleaner, rather than regular toothpaste, which may be too abrasive for denture teeth. After removing and cleaning the prosthesis, soak it in a denture cleaning solution. Avoid soaking it in hot water, as this may distort the denture material.
If you wear a partial denture, make certain that when you floss and brush your natural teeth, that you take special care to clean the area around the clasps, as trapped food particles, combined with salivary acids and bacteria may cause these abutment teeth to be more susceptible to decay.
What About Denture Adhesives?
Generally, you shouldn’t need them. A well–fitted appliance will adhere to the oral tissues with a good bite. In fact, some denture adhesives actually distort the denture material, which may make the fit worse! Check with your dentist before routinely beginning the practice of using any denture adhesive material.
Should I Make Minor Denture Repairs At Home?
Probably not. While many over–the–counter denture repair kits are available, it is best that you return to the office for professional dental care. With today’s advances in dentistry, it is often possible for your dentist to repair, reline or replace a denture tooth at the office while you wait. At this time you denture can also be checked for fit and your mouth can be examined to ensure that all the tissues are healthy.
How Often Should I Return For Care?
That depends upon the recommendation of your dentist. After the initial placement and fitting, you may require minor adjustments. After that, you should return for examination of the soft tissues to ensure that your oral tissues are healthy underneath the replacement teeth. if you have some natural teeth remaining, you should return for routine recall care to ensure that you retain these teeth for a lifetime.
A Final Word
We wish you the best with your new smile. If you have any questions about your new prosthesis, just ask. Remember, it’s in your best interest to maintain optimal chewing function and a pleasing smile for a lifetime. We are committed to helping you achieve that goal.