What are Dentures?
Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are created by dentists to replace lost natural teeth which help restore your smile. If you have lost all your natural teeth due to gum diseases, tooth decay, injuries or have a missing tooth, dentures are a perfect way to improve appearance and maintain overall oral health.
Dentures make it easier to perform simple tasks like eating or speaking which are otherwise taken for granted. When you lose all your teeth, facial muscles tend to sag, which makes one look older.
Dentures can help complete the look of your face and profile. They can be made to look like your natural teeth so that their appearance does not change much. And finally the most important thing, dentures can elevate your smile.
What are the types of dentures available?
This fully removable denture is made and placed in your mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and the tissues have healed, which could take several months.
This is a removable denture that’s inserted on the same day when your remaining teeth are removed. Your dentist will take measurements and make models of your jaw during a preliminary visit.
Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone 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 your dentist.
What are Dentures made of?
Traditionally artificial teeth that make dentures were made out of porcelain or plastic, but now most modern prostheses are usually made of a hard resin. The materials used to make denture teeth are known to be more fragile than natural teeth and can chip or crack easily if dropped or otherwise used carelessly.
This material also wears off much faster than natural teeth and therefore should be replaced with a new set of dentures every five years or so. The support structure of dentures that holds artificial teeth in place, resembles the natural gums and is often made of a flexible polymer material that fits perfectly on the natural gum line.
Why wear dentures?
Dentures don’t just improve the appearance of one’s smile that has several missing teeth, but also maintain the structure of the mouth by giving support around the cheeks and lips. With dentures you can easily eat foods that require chewing, so it is possible to maintain the same diet and ensure that you stay well nourished.
Moreover, dentures are a viable option to replace teeth that are causing serious pain and oral issues. Fixing dentures means that the problematic teeth are removed and replaced by a strong and attractive alternative.
Partial dentures are mostly used as an alternative to other tooth replacement methods when the surrounding natural teeth are weak and cannot support structures such as dental bridges, or when more than one or two teeth are missing.
Complete or full dentures, are those that replace all natural teeth. You can have them fixed to the line of the upper or lower gum, and held in place by suction and / or the help of an oral adhesive. Like partial dentures, which are easily removable.
Caring for your Dentures
- Use a denture cleaner recommended by your dentist to cleanse your dentures. Look for cleansers with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
- When cleaning a partial denture, it’s a good idea to stand on a folded towel or a sink of water in case you accidentally drop the denture.
- Avoid using toothpaste to clean dentures as it may be too strong.
- Some people use hand soap or mild detergent to clean dentures, which are both acceptable. However, most household cleaners are too abrasive and should be avoided.
- Brush your dentures everyday to remove food deposits and plaque. Regular brushing helps them from getting stained permanently.
- It’s recommended to use brushes that are specifically designed to clean dentures, and have bristles which are arranged to fit the shape of the denture. A regular toothbrush with soft bristles is also acceptable.
- Avoid using a stiff brush, which can damage the denture.
- Clean your dentures neatly by rinsing off loose food particles. Moisten the brush, apply denture cleaner and gently scrub the denture. Make sure you cover all denture surfaces thoroughly.
- A denture could lose its proper shape if not kept moist. At night, the prosthesis should be placed in a soaking mix or water. Consult your dentist to know the right method for keeping dentures in good shape.
- Never chew, swallow, or gargle with denture cleaners.
- Always rinse the denture before fixing it in your mouth.
Preserving your dentures
Make sure you always remove your dentures before bedtime to avoid damaging them. Removing them allows your gums to relax and you can have a peaceful sleep.
Immerse the denture into fully warm (not hot) water to avoid them from getting dried and deformed. Use only denture soaking solution if your dentures have no metal components otherwise it can damage or tarnish the metal.
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