Achieve A Beautiful, Functioning Smile
Teeth that have been damaged beyond repair may have to be extracted to avoid causing further problems. However, the patient still needs the function of a healthy, complete set of teeth. Through high quality dentures and partial dentures, patients can still chew their favorite foods and flash a beautiful smile. At Peters Dental Associates, we are your denture experts in Clear Lake, TX
What Is A Denture?
A denture is a removable dental appliance that is designed to replace missing teeth and surrounding gum tissue. This dental appliance closely matches the appearance of natural teeth, and may even be an improved version of the patient’s former natural smile.
Types Of Dentures
There are two kinds of dentures: complete dentures and partial dentures. As you would expect, complete dentures are meant for those who have lost all their teeth, or need to have all of their remaining teeth extracted due to severe decay, damage and or gum disease. Partial dentures are meant to replace several natural teeth. Partial dentures fill the gaps where teeth have been lost while preventing neighboring teeth from moving into the vacated spaces.
Reasons For Dentures
If you’ve lost many or all of your teeth, you will face serious challenges eating many foods and speaking. You’ll put more pressure on your digestive tract by not thoroughly chewing your food. Plus, without support, your facial tissues and underlying bone structure will begin to collapse inward. And don’t you deserve a nice smile?
Expectations For Getting Dentures
Getting dentures does not happen overnight; it usually requires several appointments and several weeks. First, there will be a consultation and diagnosis. Once dentures are the agreed upon remedy, Dr. Peters will make a series of impressions of your mouth to guide the dental lab in the fabrication of your dentures. Next, you will have a few “try-in” sessions to make sure the color, shape, and fit of the appliance is right for you. In the case of a partial, the “try-in” session will compare your artificial teeth to your adjacent remaining natural teeth. Through this time adjustments will be made. Then, during the final appointment, Dr. Peters will then make precise final adjustments to the denture before placing it in your mouth, ensuring a natural, comfortable feel.
What Can I Expect When Wearing Dentures?
During your first time wearing your dentures, you may notice an increased flow of your saliva, some soreness, and possible difficulty chewing and speaking. However, these symptoms will eventually subside as your oral tissues and muscles slowly adjust to the new appliances. Our team at Peters Dental Associates will give you tips on getting used to your new dentures, along with instructions on how to properly care for them. With the proper care and hygiene, you can generally expect your dentures to last up to seven years before refitting or replacing.
Is The Dentures Procedure Painful?
New dentures will involve some discomfort for at least a few days to a couple of weeks. This is because your gums are adjusting to the dentures. If you had teeth extracted, there will be additional discomfort and some swelling in the extraction sites. This is one reason dentures need to be removed at night — to allow your gum tissues to rest and recovery after wearing dentures during the day. When dentures are new the gums have more adjustment time. This period can take up to a few weeks. However, thanks to Dr. Peter’s precision techniques when fitting dentures, your gums should rapidly adjust, and your dentures will soon be very comfortable.
To relieve initial pain, you can apply topical gel or cream for oral pain relief; you can remove your dentures and rinse with salt water for 30 seconds; you can apply aloe vera gel to your dentures before placing them in your mouth once or twice daily; you can massage your gums to encourage blood flow; and you can take ibuprofen, Tylenol can be added if needed.
Caring For Your Dentures
With the exception of fixed (cemented in place) partial dentures, dentures are not meant to be worn 24 hours a day. Removing them allows your gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing of the gums by the tongue and your saliva.
You brush dentures daily, but not with toothpaste, as it is too abrasive and can create microscopic scratches that allow food and plaque to build up. Brushing removes stains and any food or plaque build-up. When brushing is complete, your dentures need to stay moist so they need to be put in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water overnight.
Can I Sleep With My Dentures In?
While it is possible to sleep in your dentures, it’s not advisable. You should remove your dentures at night because this gives your gums and jawbone time to relax and recover from the pressure of the dentures during the day. It also allows your tongue and saliva to cleanse and stimulate your gums, which is important to their health. Plus, nighttime is a good time to clean your dentures and then store them in water or denture cleanser.
When Is It Necessary To Reline My Dentures?
You’ll get a sense that your dentures aren’t fitting the same way they once did. This is because the gums and jaw change size and shape over time. Relining your dentures refits them to the changing contours of your gums and jawbone. The artificial teeth remain in a reline, but the base of the denture is changed out. You can expect to reline your dentures every two to three years.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
Complete dentures usually last from five to seven years. In between that time, they will need periodic relining as discussed above.
The lifespan of partial dentures is highly variable depending on location in the mouth, the health of gum tissue and teeth along with careful care of the appliance. Regular checkups with professional cleanings and adjustments extend the life of dentures significantly. Dr. Peters staff will arrange for timely follow-up and maintenance appointments.