Complete, Immediate, & Partial Dentures
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are conventional, immediate, or temporary.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about six weeks after the last tooth has been removed, or to replace an existing denture that is worn out. Immediate and temporary dentures must take in the effect of the bone change that happens after teeth are removed. A large amount of change is seen in the first six weeks after the teeth are removed. An immediate denture can be placed the day your teeth are removed. This means that you will not be without teeth. They immediate denture will be relined at about three months after it was originally inserted. At this point the bone has stabilized and the rate of change is greatly reduced. The process of relining the denture means you will be without your denture for about two weeks. Because of this, many people choose to have a temporary denture placed instead of the immediate denture. Then at the three-month mark, have a second “conventional” denture made. This means you will NEVER have to go a single day without teeth. In addition, this allows for a second, spare, denture in case of emergency.
Who needs a denture?
Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.
How do you care for a denture?
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque. You should not wear your denture or partial while you sleep. Your gum tissue needs a break, just as your feet need time out of your shoes! A denture is fragile, so it is important to handle it with care. Remove and brush the denture daily, using products designed specifically for cleaning dentures. DO NOT USE TOOTHPASTE TO BRUSH YOUR DENTURE. Toothpaste is too abrasive and will make small scratches in the plastic allowing the denture to pick up stain and provide a place for bacteria to attach. Don’t sterilize your denture with boiling water because it will cause it to warp. If you wear a partial denture, be sure to remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When not in use, soak it in a cleanser solution or in water. Get in the habit of keeping the denture in the same safe and handy place to reduce the likelihood of misplacement.
Continue seeing your dentist regularly
It is important to continue having regular dental checkups so that a dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As you age, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself and do not use denture adhesives for a prolonged period because it can contribute to bone loss. When in doubt, consult your dentist.