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Wearing dentures has long lost its past stigma. With all of the advancements in denture technology, it’s easy to get a denture that is natural looking, comfortable and functional. Today, dentures come in so many shapes and shades, and dentists can create a custom smile that is picture-perfect. Whether you suffer from severe dental decay or have incurred a physical accident, dentures can give you back a great looking smile. You’ll feel great, and no one will even know that you’re wearing them. That’s the way it should be.
Types of Dentures
The two types of dentures are complete and partial. Complete dentures are appropriate after all of the teeth have been extracted. These dentures can be either immediate or conventional. Immediate dentures are made in advance and positioned immediately after the full extraction. There are both advantages and disadvantages with immediate dentures. The pro is that you don’t have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, gums and bones shrink during the healing period. As a result, immediate dentures typically need more adjustments during this time. On the flip side, conventional dentures are positioned in the mouth anywhere from six to 12 weeks after tooth removal. This way, the gums and bones have already gone through the shrinking process, and you get a better fit. Most dentists will recommend that an immediate denture should only be a temporary solution until a conventional denture is ready for placement. Partial dentures are also referred to as bridges. These types of dentures can be either removable or fixed. Removable partial dentures are made of replacement teeth placed between remaining teeth. The replacement teeth are attached to a natural looking gum base with metal framework that keeps the denture in position. Fixed partial dentures entail the placing of crowns on surrounding teeth in the space and have artificial teeth attached. They actually form a bridge between the remaining teeth, hence the name. Fixed partial dentures are cemented into position. On a whole, partial dentures are very natural looking and also prevent remaining teeth from moving in position.
The Creation of the Perfect Smile
Today’s dentures no longer resemble your grandparents’ dentures. They are crafted from acrylic resin and form a dental appliance that looks and feels just like your natural teeth. The denture development process takes approximately six weeks, including several appointments with a dentist or prosthondontist. Your dental professional will help you determine what type of appliance is best suited for your situation. Here’s an overview of some of the steps involved: -A series of impressions and measurements are taken of your jaw. This is done to ensure the bite relationship between the teeth. With the right vertical dimensions and jaw position, you’ll get the right fit. -A wax form model is created, and you have an opportunity to “try-in” this model to access shape, color and fit. The “try-in” model is typically tested several times before the final denture is cast. -Once it’s determined that the model is correct, it is then sent to a dental lab for final creation. Dental labs use a lost wax technique to create the denture. A mold is made of the wax-up denture, and remaining spaces are filled with a gum colored plastic. The mold is then heated up to harden the plastic. Once the denture is then polished, it gets sent back to the dental office and is ready to wear.
Common Questions about New Dentures
Since dentures are new territory for you, it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions. Most patients do. Patients typically have questions about how dentures will feel and look. Others have concerns about whether or not their speech and eating habits will be affected. New dentures generally feel loose or a bit odd for several weeks. The tongue and cheek muscles need to learn how to keep the new dentures in place. It’s also not unusual to experience minor soreness or excessive saliva. These are all normal occurrences and diminish over time. In time, your mouth will adjust, and you won’t even feel like you’re wearing dentures. Will you look different? Since dentures are made to closely look like your natural teeth, there won’t be any real major change in your looks. At the same time, it is highly likely that your new dentures will fill out your face and greatly enhance your smile. When it comes to eating with new dentures, it may be a bit uncomfortable at first for some. It’s best to stick with soft foods and cut foods into smaller pieces. It’s also helpful to chew slowly while using both sides of the mouth. With practice and time, you’ll soon be returning to your regular diet. Hard foods and bones should be avoided along with sticky foods. Keep in mind that toothpicks should never be used on dentures. It’s not uncommon for new denture wearers to experience difficulty pronouncing some words. If this happens, just practice speaking those difficult words. In time, you’ll get comfortable with speaking with dentures. If you’re dentures click when you’re speaking, laughing, smiling or coughing, you can reposition the dentures by biting down. If this doesn’t solve the problem, contact your dental professional. How often should you wear your new dentures? You’re dental professional will instruct you how long to wear dentures and when to remove them. It is not uncommon for Gurnee dentists to advise patients to wear new dentures all of the time, including when sleeping. Wearing new dentures 24/7 for several days is the easiest way to determine if adjustments are needed. After all of the new adjustments are made, dentures should then be removed prior to going to bed. Denture removal gives the gums an opportunity to rest along with normal cleansing with saliva and the tongue. The dental appliance can then be put back in your mouth in the morning.
Keeping Dentures in Good Condition
Keeping dentures in good condition is a matter of using the right maintenance procedures, tools and cleansers. It’s best to use a denture brush and to avoid hard bristles. If you’re using a denture cleanser, the product should carry the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Regular toothpastes should not be used, but dishwashing liquids and mild soaps are just fine. Once you remove the denture, it’s important to clean thoroughly and remove all plaque and food deposits. The teeth that are under any metal clasps should be carefully cleaned also. With partial dentures, trapped plaque and food deposits will increase the occurrence of future tooth decay. In order to retain its proper shape, dentures need to be kept moist. You can soak them overnight in water. This should be done every night.
Using Dental Adhesives
Dental adhesives are typically used to increase the performance of a properly fitted denture. These products enhance bite force and stability. They are also helpful for people with dry mouth conditions that reduce denture stability. It’s not uncommon for public speakers and singers who place extra demands on facial muscles to use denture adhesives. They even give mainstream people a sense of security. Dental adhesive comes in both paste and power applications. Three short strips of adhesive along the ridge and one strip down the center of upper dentures should be applied for upper dentures. Lower jaw dentures should have a series of strips of adhesive placed in the center of the ridge. Powdered applications can be placed on the tissue-bearing part of the denture. Some people prefer powdered adhesives to pastes. In general, powdered dental adhesives are easier to clean. When used correctly, dental adhesives are safe. It’s just important to realize that they are not the solution for a poor fitting denture. In this case, the adhesive may cause inflammation of the tissues and even result in bone loss due to the improper movement of the dental appliance. If you’re considering a complete or partial denture, you can confidently turn to the expertise of Dr. Ala Dean Attar. Dr. Ala Dean Attar is an accomplished Libertyville dentist with years of experience and a fine reputation for caring and professional work. He services patients in Libertyville, Lake Forest, Vernon Hills, Gurnee and Great Lakes. His family practice offers a full array of dental services, including crowns, fillings, implants, whitening, extractions, root canals and fillings. Dr. Attar is completely dedicated to patient education and best practices. He’s on a mission to provide his patients with the best dental care possible.