138 How do Dentures Work?
Dentures and How They Work
Dentures are prosthetic replacements for missing teeth. Some dentures are removable and some are fixed. Though dentures can take time to get used to, modern dentures have a very natural look and feel, and wear comfortably. Typically, dentures are considered to be either partial or full, and a dentist will help a patient choose which style of denture is best suited for their needs.
For full dentures, generally an acrylic base that is flesh colored gets fitted over the gums. The lower denture is a horseshoe shaped piece which can accommodate for the tongue, while the base of an upper denture will cover the roof of the mouth. In a dental lab dentures get custom made using impressions that have been taken of a person’s mouth.
When dentures are new and first placed, it can feel a bit uncomfortable or awkward at first. It can take weeks, or sometimes even months, to really get used to dentures. Speaking and eating comfortably with dentures can take practice. Some people say that dentures feel bulky at first. Some people describe the feeling as “loose”. The cheek and tongue muscles are essentially learning to hold dentures in place and so this just takes some time. There can also be excess saliva in the mouth during the adjustment period. The tongue might feel “crowded”, or as if there isn’t enough space in the mouth. Soreness or minor irritation is not uncommon when first adjusting to wearing dentures.
While dentures are built to last, eventually they do wear down from regular use, and will need to restructured, relined, rebased, or possibly even remade. To rebase dentures, a technician will construct a new base for the dentures. So, only the base gets replaced in rebasing. Over time, as people age, the mouth will naturally shift and change in various ways. These shifts can affect the fit and feel of dentures, and may cause them to loosen. When dentures loosen chewing can become more difficult which can cause irritation of the gums. Anyone with dentures should be visiting a dentist once a year as a minimum, for general maintenance, cleaning and check ups.
Tips For Denture Care
There are actually a lot of things that can be done to keep dentures in good shape for as long as possible:
* Take Care When Handling: Since dentures are a bit delicate be mindful when handling dentures when they are not in your mouth. For example you can stand above a towel or sink with water when handling dentures so if they fall they will not break.
* Don’t Let Dentures Dry Out: As soon as you take your dentures out they should be placed in a cleaning and soaking solution (or even just plain water) to keep them from drying out. Do not use hot water for soaking as it can actually cause dentures to warp.
* Brush Dentures Daily: Brushing dentures every day is essential for removing any food or plaque build up. Brushing will also help keep them from becoming stained. Some dentists will also recommend an ultrasonic cleaner, but this is to be used in addition to brushing – not instead of brushing.
* Brush Gums and Tongue Daily: Brushing the tongue, palate, and gums each morning before inserting dentures is also recommended. This is good for many reasons, including stimulating circulation in the mouth’s tissues and removing plaque.
If dentures do chip, crack, loosen, or break dentures should be taken with you to the dentist. Do not attempt to adjust or fix without professional guidance, as this can cause damage beyond any repair.