In this month’s Treatment Spotlight, we cover all you need to know about dentures, including what they are, how they’re made, and what’s involved in denture treatment.
Treatment Spotlight | Dentures
Dentures - also known as false teeth - are worn to replace missing teeth. If you have missing teeth, dentures can provide a natural-looking replacement that allows you to eat and speak more easily, as well as improving your appearance to give you more confidence.
In this month’s Treatment Spotlight, we’re answering some commonly-asked questions about dentures.
Please note, it’s important to consult your local National Dental Care dentist for specific advice on dental treatments that are right for you.
What are dentures?
Dentures are removable false teeth that are used to fill in gaps created by missing teeth.
Adults and elderly people may have missing teeth due to several factors, including tooth decay, periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, or accidents caused by sports or other injuries.
If you’ve lost some or all of your natural teeth, dentures offer an artificial solution that looks natural, helps to restore jaw function, and improves your smile.
What are dentures made of?
Dentures are generally made of acrylic or metal and acrylic and are designed to match your natural teeth. The base of a denture is sometimes called a plate, which fits over the bone and soft tissues of your jaw.
What types of dentures are there?
There are two types of dentures available - complete dentures and partial dentures. The type your dentist recommends for you will depend on your situation and how many teeth you are missing and the health of your remaining teeth.
Suitable for patients who have lost most or all of their natural teeth, full or complete dentures replace all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaws.
A good option for patients who are missing just one or a few of their natural teeth, partial dentures fill in the gaps left by lost or missing teeth.
How do I know if I need dentures?
If you’ve experienced significant tooth loss and are missing some or all of your teeth, your dentist may recommend dentures.
A National Dental Care dentist will carefully examine your jaw and any remaining teeth before discussing restoration options for you.
What does the treatment procedure for dentures involve?
After your dentist has advised that dentures are the best option, your dentures will be custom-built over a number of appointments.
This involves taking an impression of your mouth and tailoring the size, shape and colour of the dentures to ensure the best match for your mouth.
You may have your dentures made some time after your teeth are removed, or opt for immediate dentures:
Dentures after teeth have been removed: For this procedure, measurements will generally be taken 2-3 months after your teeth have been taken out, to allow time for the gum and bone to heal and settle. This also helps to ensure the denture will be a better fit from the start.
Immediate dentures: If you don’t want to be without your teeth for a few months, you may consider immediate dentures. In this case, measurements will be taken before the teeth are taken out, so the dentures will be ready as soon as your teeth are removed. Due to changes to the bone after teeth are removed, immediate dentures may become loose over time and need to be adjusted and relined within a few months.
How do I care for my dentures?
Dentures are removable and easy to clean. As they discolour like natural teeth, it’s important you take proper care to keep your dentures in the best condition.
Here are some tips for cleaning your dentures:
- Remove dentures from your mouth
- Brush the entire surface of the denture to remove food and plaque build-up, using a denture brush with mild soap and water, or special denture paste (regular toothpaste is not recommended as it can scratch the denture)
- Hold the denture gently but firmly - avoid holding them at the ends as they may snap under pressure
- Clean your dentures over a partially-filled sink to ensure they won’t break if you drop them
It’s also important you maintain good oral hygiene, even when wearing full dentures. This includes daily brushing of your gums, the roof of your mouth, your tongue, and any remaining teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Are there any alternatives to dentures?
Dental implants are a popular alternative for restoring missing teeth, as they closely resemble the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants can sometimes be used to hold dentures in place.
While not everyone will be a suitable candidate for dental implants, your dentist will be able to assess whether this is an option for you and explain the differences between the two treatments.
How much do dentures cost?
The cost of your dentures will depend on the type of dentures you require and your individual needs. Your National Dental Care dentist can talk you through the options and advise on the cost of your dentures.
To talk to your dentist about restoration options for missing teeth, make an appointment with your National Dental Care dentist today.