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Everyone deserves to have a beautiful smile and at Sheppard Village Dental we can make that a reality, even if you are missing teeth. Dentures are a common removable option for those who want the appearance and function of a full mouth of teeth despite missing them. Our doctors are trained to customize natural-looking, comfortable dentures for our patients. A denture must fit into your bite correctly, rest comfortably on the gum-supportive ridge, and provide enough lip and cheek support to look natural and not impede speech. At Sheppard Village Dental, we can give you your smile back!
WHAT CAUSES YOU TO LOSE YOUR TEETH?
We often hear the common misconception that everyone loses their teeth as they age. Our main goal is to ensure that you keep your teeth for a lifetime. Often tooth loss can be the result of severe, prolonged periodontal disease (gum disease). When infection is trapped between the teeth and the gums, the bacteria releases acidic by-products that “eat away” the bone supporting the teeth. As a result, the teeth become loose, become painful to chew on, or fall out entirely. Unexpected trauma from accident or injury to the face could either knock out a tooth or fracture it to the gumline, making removal necessary.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE A TOOTH?
As the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” When a tooth is lost, the bone is no longer stimulated from chewing so the bone thins out and shrinks. This results in both cosmetic and functional issues. Cosmetically, your cheeks can start to sag from the loss of bone, which will affect the appearance of your face overall. Functionally, the adjacent teeth can shift into the open space from the missing tooth, which will affect your bite alignment. Restoring missing teeth with either dentures or implants can help reverse the effect of bone loss.
WHAT ARE DENTURES MADE OUT OF?
There are many types of dentures and we will help select a custom option fitted just for you. Dentures can be made with plastic teeth and acrylic resin or porcelain teeth with a combination of acrylic and metal framework. There is also a hybrid of the two materials to offer a natural look and durable fit. The acrylic can be clear or gum coloured and the materials can be rigid or flexible.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH OPTION IS BEST FOR YOU?
If there is enough gum tissue, clear acrylic is a great option. Some advantages of acrylic dentures are the flexible material, secure fit, and thin, natural-looking appearance. If the tooth has been missing for a long time, there may be excessive deterioration of gum tissue and bone loss. In this case, a thicker or taller denture or partial denture may be a better option.
WHAT ARE THE STAGES OR TYPES OF DENTURES?
Typically, most dentures today are “replacement type” dentures, meaning they are replacing an older denture or partial denture.
An “immediate” denture or “partial” denture means the appliance was made while the remaining teeth, including the ones to be extracted, are still in the mouth. It is delivered at the time of the extractions and helps protect the sockets as well as preserve the facial appearance. Often, this is when it is your first denture and you will have teeth removed in order to deliver the denture. Immediate dentures often need a reline in the future or adjustments to the bite since you are not able to try-in the denture beforehand. We may often recommend oral sedation or a stronger anaesthesia during this procedure when taking out and fitting multiple teeth.
An ”overdenture” is the type of denture that fits “over” the teeth that are remaining. This is commonly the best option when the patient has a shallow ridge that will not provide the stability required for a new denture. The success is determined by one or more natural teeth that help stabilize the denture and preserve bone support.
Sometimes if a tooth has undergone root canal therapy, the denture can rest over the shortened crown or implant without interfering with the bite. The implants provide a strong supportive structure and lateral support for biting, especially for those patients who have a low ridge that cannot support a denture alone.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WITH A NEW DENTURE?
When it is your first time wearing an appliance, it is normal to have an adjustment period to get used to the new biting surfaces, pressure on the gums and talking. Though dentures may not feel quite like your natural teeth while eating and talking, they have significantly improved from the appliances used years ago. It is best to practice reading out loud in front of a mirror or chewing and eating slowly with softer foods until you get used to your new appliance. If you feel that the base is too big or the teeth are positioned incorrectly, the best time to mention this is when you are at the wax “try-in” phase. Just before we process a denture we will check in with you and can still make adjustments. Once it is in acrylic, it is more difficult to add or remove bulk to make it feel “just right”.
During this adjustment period, we will do everything we can to ensure that your denture fits well and is comfortable. Most issues can be remedied within 1-2 adjustments after you have worn the denture through the adjustment phase. Adjustments are anticipated and included in the fees with the appliance. Do not wear a denture that digs into your gums and is painful. It could cause damage to the gums or nerves. We encourage our patients to book a follow-up appointment after a denture is delivered so we can help in any way with adjustments to make the transition easier.
WHAT KIND OF MAINTENANCE DO DENTURES REQUIRE?
Cleaning a denture is very simple. Simply remove it, wash it with water, and brush it with a toothbrush to clean out any grooves. When brushing the denture, it is a good idea to do it over a towel or in a sink full of water. This is a preventative measure in case it slips and drops, risking breakage. Do NOT use bleach to disinfect your denture as that will dry it out and discolour it. Make sure you brush the inside of your mouth before you insert the denture to remove any food particles that can affect fit and comfort. When you aren’t wearing your denture, keep it in the case and soak it in water if it’s going to be out of your mouth for more than a few minutes. It is best to rinse the denture before inserting it each time. Please note that placing adhesive on a new denture is not a good long-term solution for an initially poor-fitting denture. You should contact your dentist and ask that an adjustment be made to the denture first. Over the years, the tissue may shrink and it is expected that the denture will not fit as snugly as it did initially. You may find that adding a little adhesive paste or powder will better stabilize the denture and enhance the retention.
Many people ask if you are supposed to sleep with your dentures in. Initially, it is a good idea because as the tissue is settling into the denture you are essentially “breaking it in”. After your denture fits comfortably, it is fine to remove it at night to allow the tissues to “breathe” or relax. This also allows the normal bacterial flora in your mouth to grow and the saliva to bathe the palate, which can prevent conditions such as fungus infections or raw areas from developing on the gum tissues.
CALL TODAY TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DENTURES FROM OUR EXPERIENCED TEAM AT SHEPPARD VILLAGE DENTAL!
Contact us to learn more about Dentures today.
4 Things You Should Know Before You Get Dentures:
1. HOW MUCH DOES A DENTURE COST?
The fee for a denture is related to the quality of the materials involved. Since every patient’s preferences and needs are unique, it’s best to come in for a consultation to find out which options are best for you.
2. HOW LONG SHOULD A DENTURE LAST?
Ideally, a denture should be replaced every 5-7 years due to tissue changes, particularly if it is the initial placement. Replacement dentures can often last 8-20 years. The reasons for replacement include fractured teeth, cracked acrylic, worn down teeth or stained materials. As bone or tissue erodes the denture can start to rub or fit poorly. If a poor fitting denture is used beyond its proper use it could wear down the bone on the ridge.
3. WHAT ARE SOME ALTERNATIVES TO WEARING A DENTURE?
Ideally, we try to save every tooth we can. Unfortunately, teeth are sometimes lost due to decay, injury, or bone loss and a denture must be made to replace the teeth. One alternative to dentures are dental implants. This is a permanent solution where metal posts stabilize the appliance used to restore the artificial teeth. Implants can be spread out in the jawbone to support a denture or used to individually replace missing teeth.
4. IS IT DIFFICULT GETTING USED TO A DENTURE?
Everyone adapts differently to a new appliance such as a denture. With patience and practice, most people find they can speak and eat comfortably within a couple of weeks. The tongue and cheeks adapt quickly to the new prosthesis, helping to stabilize the denture and acclimating to new speaking patterns. Starting off slowly with softer foods and practicing speaking in the mirror are a couple of techniques that help our patients become more comfortable with dentures. The temporary adjustment period is worth having a brand new smile that looks natural and suits you perfectly!