Dentures are dental appliances that can be removed from the mouth. Dentures replace missing teeth and help to restore your smile. If you’ve lost some or all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth—things that people often take for granted.
When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles sag and your jaw closes further than it should. This results in making you appear older. Dentures can help fill out your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even contribute to a more youthful appearance and smile.
Types of dentures:
- Complete. This full removable denture is made and placed in your mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed, which may take several months or as a replacement of an existing ill-fitting full denture .
- Immediate. This removable denture is inserted on the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. Dr. Willis takes measurements and impressions of your jaw during several preliminary visits. You don’t have to be without teeth during the healing period, but may need to have the denture relined or remade after the tissue has healed.
- Overdenture. Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve bone and provide stability and support for the denture. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth after they have been prepared by Dr. Willis. Implants can also serve the same function. Talk with Dr. Willis about which option may be best for you.
New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away. Several follow-up appointments with Dr. Willis are generally necessary after a denture is inserted so the fit can be checked and adjusted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult Dr. Willis.
Even if you wear full dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.
Like your teeth, your dentures should be brushed daily to remove food particles and plaque. Brushing also can help keep the teeth from staining.
- Rinse your dentures before brushing to remove any debris.
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser to gently brush all the surfaces of the dentures so they don’t get scratched.
- When brushing, clean your mouth thoroughly—including your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth and tongue to remove any plaque. This can help reduce the risk of oral irritation and bad breath.
- When you’re not wearing your dentures, put them in a safe place covered in water to keep them from warping.
- Occasionally, denture wearers may use adhesives. Adhesives come in many forms: creams, powders, pads/wafers, strips or liquids. If you use one of these products, read the instructions, and use them exactly as directed. Dr. Willis can recommend appropriate cleansers and adhesives; look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.
If you have any questions about your dentures, or if they stop fitting well or become damaged, contact Dr Willis at (503) 364 3004 or at 1261 Lancaster Dr NE in Salem, Oregon. Be sure to schedule regular dental checkups, too. Dr. Willis will examine your mouth to ensure that your dentures continue to fit properly as well as to confirm the absence of any other problems that may arise in the soft tissue such as oral cancer.