Dentures are artificial teeth made of acrylic resin, and they are sometimes combined with metal attachments. They replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues, and they are removable.
Complete and Partial Dentures
There are two types of dentures, complete and partial dentures.
Complete Dentures replace all teeth and fit snugly over the patient’s gums and jawbone. In preparing for complete dentures, patients will need to have their upper and lower teeth pulled, either all at once or over a period of a couple of weeks.
Typically, it takes 6 to 8 weeks for proper healing of the gums and for jawbone changes to stabilize before a patient is fitted for permanent (complete) dentures. It is possible, however, for a patient to have a temporary (complete) denture made after the last extraction and before full healing to allow for continued nourishment (eating and drinking).
Partial Dentures replace teeth in a partially edentulous patient, someone who has some teeth remaining but has areas of missing teeth. Partial dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base connected by a metal framework that holds the denture in the mouth. Partial dentures are removable. There are many variations of partial dentures available to suit various patient needs. Dr. Weishoff will discuss these options with you so you can make an informed decision.
Ideal Candidate for Dentures
You would be an ideal candidate for complete dentures if you have significant tooth loss from injury, trauma, or periodontal disease.
Alternatively, you’d be an ideal candidate for partial dentures if you have one or more missing teeth but still have your natural teeth in the upper or lower jaw.
Before recommending you for dentures, Dr. Weishoff will examine your mouth and take x-rays to ensure you have no other dental issues that would preclude you from getting dentures.
What To Expect During Your Denture Consultation
During your consultation, Dr. Weishoff will take an impression of your mouth for your denture fitting. She will also determine the size and color of your dentures and then send the dental impression to a dental lab to create your dentures. Dentures are made from acrylic.
Once Dr. Weishoff receives the final dentures, she will schedule you for another appointment to ensure proper fit. She’ll make any necessary adjustments to ensure you have a good fit.
Adjusting to Your Dentures
New dentures can feel stiff, so adjusting to them can take some time. They can even feel loose or odd at first as your tongue and cheek muscles adjust to keep them in place. You may even have some mouth irritation or soreness and increased saliva flow. These issues are normal, and you’ll find that they go away over time.
Initially, Dr. Weishoff recommends that her patients wear their dentures 24 hours a day, even while sleeping. This will give you a chance to adjust to them. Once you feel you have gotten used to them, you can remove them before bedtime.
However, if soreness and irritation persist after a week, call our office to schedule an appointment for a denture adjustment. Don’t stop wearing your dentures. This is especially important for patients who have partial dentures. If you stop wearing them, your remaining teeth may shift into the empty spaces where your dentures typically go. Consequently, your dentures may no longer fit, and you’ll need new dentures made.
Eating With Dentures
Dr. Weishoff recognizes that eating with dentures is not always easy. To make it an easier transition, she advises her patients to start with soft foods (e.g., applesauce, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, eggs, etc.) for a couple of days to give their gums a chance to get used to the denture plate. Plus, soft foods don’t require a lot of chewing and therefore do not add stress to the jaw muscles.
Gradually, you can add in other foods to your diet. Here are some helpful tips to follow:
- Avoid eating spicy goods, especially if your gums are sore.
- Cut your meat and vegetables into small bites and chew on both sides in the back of your mouth.
- Drink liquids with your meals, so foods like bread and cereal do not stick to your teeth.
- Avoid sticky foods like taffy, caramel, raisins, and peanut butter, as they can adhere to your upper or lower molars and dislodge your dentures.
- Be careful with hot foods, and test hot temperatures with your lips, as you won’t be able to judge temperatures due to the insulating effect of dentures.
Caring for Your Dentures
Keeping your dentures clean is as important as keeping your natural teeth clean. Brush them gently with a soft-bristled brush and denture cleaning solution (not toothpaste) to remove any food and plaque from them. Handle your dentures with care, and always clean them over a cushioned surface (towel or sink of water) to avoid dropping and damaging them.
When you are not using your dentures, you can put your dentures in a denture cleanser soaking solution or water (if they don’t have metal parts). Your dentist will advise you on the best care methods for your dentures.
Dentures will wear out over time and may need replacement. If properly cared for, they can last between 5 to 10 years before needing to be replaced. Keep up with your regular dental appointments so that your dentist can monitor your progress.
Denture Fittings in Mt. Angel, Oregon
If you are interested in setting up a consultation to discuss dentures, please call Mt. Angel Dental at (503) 845-2273, or you may request an appointment online.