Dentures - Why would we need them and what are the options?
If poor oral health, an accident or even heredity diseases have left a patient with a few healthy teeth only, a dentist may suggest dentures to replace those healthy teeth with either a full or partial denture.
Complete dentures, otherwise known as false teeth, are used when all of a patient's natural teeth are missing.
Partial dentures consist of one or more false teeth, and are held in place by clasps that connect to the natural healthy teeth. Partial dentures are used, generally, when more than a few teeth are missing and the healthy teeth can be saved. Sometimes, the healthy teeth are not strong enough to support holding a bridge, in which case, a partial denture is the best option.
Dentures are made before a patients teeth are removed. This allows the patient minimal time without teeth, and assures that the denture is made correctly. The dentist will take measurements and then create a mold, impression or model of a patients jaw to send to a labratory to create the denture. Once the denture has been created, the patient will be booked for an appointment to remove the teeth and insert the denture.
In a situation where a patient wants to keep their healthy teeth, a dentist may suggest an overdenture, which consists of a denture that fits over the natural teeth or implants in the mouth.
How to clean:
All removable dentures must be cleaned on a daily basis, just like real teeth, otherwise tartar will build up causing staining, bad breath and other gum problems.
A patient with dentures should remove them and rinse them under running water to remove any food particles. Once this is completed, a soft-bristle toothbrush or a denture brush can be used with a denture cleaner or a mild soap to brush the denture. It is recommended that toothpastes not be used when cleaning dentures because they are too abrasive. When cleaning the denture, it is important that a patient does not bend or damage the attachments and the denture should always be rinsed before putting it back in the mouth. Dentures should always be placed in warm water overnight. This allows a patient's mouth time to rest and prevents the dentures from warping or drying out.
While cleaning the denture, it is important to clean and massage the gums as well. If a patient finds a toothbrush to painful to use on their gums, our dentists recommend using a finger wrapped in a clean, warm cloth.
It is necessary for a patient to examine their dentures on a regular basis. Just like regular teeth, dentures can crack or break. Also, because the mouth is always changing, it will be required to have them adjusted or realigned occasionally. Dentures that do not fit properly can cause discomfort, infection and may cause oral cancer to be more difficult to identify.