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Dentures: Everything You Need To Know

Dentures: Everything You Need To Know

dentures held by a dentistWhether you’re thinking about getting dentures, currently have them, or know someone who does, you’re bound to have some questions. Following is information about what dentures are, how to care for them, and how dentures can help you improve your oral health. At Piedmont Dental, Dr. Areheart has the experience and reputation for being Rock Hill’s dentist for dentures.

What are dentures, exactly?

Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are custom-made for your mouth by your dentist to replace natural teeth that have been lost or removed. Dentures can be full or partial, which means they can replace all of the teeth on either the top or bottom gum line.  Whatever type of dentures you require, they will be specifically made to fit your mouth and be visually matched to give you the appearance of natural teeth.

What materials are they constructed of?

senior man with dentures smilingDentures are usually made of a strong resin. Denture teeth are more delicate than real teeth, and can readily break or crack if dropped or improperly neglected. This material can degrade more quickly than actual teeth necessitating the replacement of dentures over time.

The denture’s supporting framework, which holds the  teeth in place and resembles the natural gum line, is usually constructed of the same resin as the teeth to fit snug on the natural gum line.

What is the purpose of wearing dentures?

Dentures not only improve the appearance of a smile with several missing teeth, but they help support the structures around the cheeks and lips, which keeps the mouth from appearing sunken in.  Dentures also allow you to eat meals that require chewing, allowing you to maintain your diet and ensure that you are properly nourished. Finally, dentures can be used to replace teeth that are causing extreme pain and producing oral health difficulties, such as those with decayed roots or severe damage. When you get dentures, you’re getting rid of your more “bothersome” teeth and replacing them with an attractive replacement.

What are Partial Dentures?

Partial dentures that are removable created at piedmont dental in rock hill, scWhen the surrounding natural teeth are not strong enough to support structures like dental bridges, or when more than one or two teeth are lost, partial dentures are sometimes utilized instead of other tooth replacement treatments.

The partial dentures are fitted to the gum line where they will be worn and fastened to neighboring natural teeth to keep them in place. They are not, however, permanently fastened and are simply removed for cleaning or sleeping.

What are traditional dentures vs immediate dentures?

Dentures that replace all of your natural teeth are known as full dentures. They’re custom-made for your top or bottom gum line and are held in place by suction and/or a denture adhesive. They are simply removed, just like partial dentures.  Bottom dentures are very difficult to achieve good stability because of the tongue and shape of the lower jaw.  Implants are best utilized in conjunction with lower dentures to have the stability that patients want and avoid having the denture become dislodged when talking and/or eating.

Other types of full dentures, such as immediate dentures, differ from traditional dentures in that they are fabricated before teeth are removed from the mouth. These dentures are made before the teeth that will be replaced with dentures are removed, and they are worn right after tooth extraction and for the duration of the healing period, which can last up to six months. As the swelling in the gums and jaw heals, these dentures can be adjusted and have resin added to account for oral changes. Once the healing process is complete and your mouth is ready for permanent dentures, the immediate dentures will have a permanent lab material added to the denture to get a great fit.

What is an implant overdenture?

 

Overdentures are an option if standard dentures are too unpleasant or don’t give the stability and support you want.  Overdentures attach to dental implants. This form of denture gives more stability and confidence to eat, talk and live your life without the dentures becoming dislodged .

Bridges and crowns supported by implants

photo of dental implants that connect to the gumlineThese are teeth that are held in place by dental implants, as the name suggests. A dental implant is a long-term device that is fixed to the jawbone and can be used to replace one or more teeth. They’re made up of three parts: the implant, a metal post (typically titanium), and a bespoke crown that appears like a genuine tooth.

Implant-supported bridges and crowns can be attached in a variety of methods, but they should be cared for and handled the same as traditional crowns and bridges.  

How to Take Care of Dentures

Dentures, like natural teeth, must be cleaned on a daily basis, regardless of the type. Despite the fact that dentures are comprised of artificial teeth, bacteria, plaque, and tartar can still accumulate on them, causing harm to existing teeth and gums.

photo illustrating how to clean your dentures at nightTake your dentures out of your mouth and rinse them with clean water to remove any food particles lodged between teeth, along the gum line, or underneath the structure. Then, using a denture brush or a very soft toothbrush, clean the dentures all over with a light soap or denture cleanser. Any other cleaning, ordinary toothpaste, or electric toothbrushes should be avoided since they are too abrasive and can harm and wear away the denture materials. Make sure to thoroughly rinse them after cleaning.

While your dentures are out, brush your gums and any natural teeth with a soft, damp toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste if necessary. If your toothbrush is too abrasive, gently wipe your gums with a wet, soft washcloth, being sure to cover all surfaces.

Keeping your Dentures in Good Shape

 

Remove your dentures before going to bed to avoid damaging them, dislodging them, and allowing your gums to heal. To avoid your dentures from drying out and becoming deformed, fully immerse them in warm, but not hot, water. Denture soaking solution should only be used if your dentures do not contain any metal components, as the solution can tarnish the metal.

Have any more questions?

If you’re still unsure whether dentures are ideal for you, or if you have any other questions or concerns, schedule an appointment with Dr. Areheart at Piedmont Dental to discuss your options. 

And keep in mind that dentures could be required by anyone at any time. Hockey players, car accident victims, and those with genetic abnormalities may all need an oral prosthetic, so the stereotype that it’s only for senior citizens is no longer true. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you or someone you know might require them, regardless of your age.

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Get the smile you deserve. At Piedmont Dental, we serve family members of all ages, that include professional pediatric dentistry. Use the contact form to schedule your appointment and one of our staff members will be in touch ASAP!

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