Replacing missing teeth has a lot of benefits to not only your health but your appearance as well. A full denture, otherwise known as a complete denture, is a type of removable item which replaces all of your natural teeth and also gives support to your lips and your cheeks. If this support is missing, the facial muscles are going to sag and this will make you look older than you really are. Proper eating and correct speech are also benefits that you will get from a full denture.
Acrylic (plastic) and metal are the two materials which are used in making dentures. Full dentures can be of two types – conventional or immediate. A conventional denture is done when the teeth have been removed and the gum tissues are beginning to heal. The conventional denture can be removed in about 2 months or 3 months after the teeth have been removed.
Immediate dentures are usually made early and can be placed immediately after the teeth have been removed. This means that during the healing period, the wearer will still have teeth. Because bones and gums usually shrink during the healing period, it is necessary that adjustments be made so that they fit properly.
How Are Dentures Made?
The denture development process takes about three to six weeks and several appointments. Once your dentist or prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in the restoration and replacement of teeth) determines what type of appliance is best for you, the general steps are to:
The development of a denture can take more than one dental appointment over a period of between three weeks and six weeks. When your dentist finally determines the appliance that is going to fit you best, the process is as follows:
- Impressions of your jaw are going to be made as well as measurements of how your jaws relate to each other and the space there is between them
- Wax forms, models or plastic patterns of the exact position and shape of the denture are going to be made. You will try these models out and they are going to be assessed for color, shape and fit prior to the casting of the final denture.
- The final denture is then going to be cast
- Necessary adjustments are going to be made
Will Eating With New Dentures Be Difficult?
In the first few weeks after the dentures have been fitted, eating may be a little difficult and will need some getting used to. The best way to get used to new dentures is to start by eating soft foods that have been cut into tiny little pieces. Make sure that you chew gently and that you use both sides of your mouth to chew. As time goes on, you should add other foods to your diet that are slightly harder than the ones that you have been eating. The foods you should be most cautious of are hard foods, hot foods and foods that have sharp edges such as shells and bones. It is also important to avoid sticky foods. It is also vital that you avoid chewing gum as you adapt to your denture. While you have your dentures intact, do not use toothpicks.
Will Dentures Change How I Speak?
In the first few weeks after getting your dentures, you may find it difficult to pronounce certain words. When you find out what these words are, try saying them as often as possible so that you can get back to saying them correctly. It will only be a matter of days before your speech is fully restored.
Call your dentist immediately when you notice that your dentures ‘click’ as you talk. Such activities as laughing, coughing or even smiling may cause your dentures to slip slightly. You can reposition the dentures by gently biting down or swallowing. Should a problem with your speech persist, contact your dentist.
Are Dentures Worn 24 Hours a Day?
Instructions on the period which the dentures should be worn will be given by your dentist. In the first few days after receiving your dentures, you may be instructed to have them on at all times, even when you are sleeping. This is going to be uncomfortable to some people. However, it is the fastest and surest way of identifying those areas of the denture that might need adjustment. The moment the adjustments to the dentures are made, you can opt to remove the dentures when you sleep. This enables the gums to rest and also allows for the cleansing of the tongue and saliva. When you wake up in the morning, you can put your denture back on.