Everything You Need to Know About Dentures in 2022
(Updated Sep 22, 2022)
It is normal to have questions about dentures, whether you wear them already or are considering getting a pair for the first time. Dentures offer a potential solution to many different situations, such as helping offering a comfortable alternative to anyone suffering from tooth loss. However, dentures can also help preserve your remaining teeth. Thanks to advancements in modern denture technology, the denture options available to patients are better now than ever before.
Let’s start with the basics… what are dentures?
In their simplest form, dentures are artificial teeth. Thanks to recent advancements in denture technology, modern dentures have become so much more than that.
Technically, dentures are artificially created replacements that are formed specifically to fit into your mouth in order to replace your natural teeth and sit comfortably against your gums.
A consultation with a denturist will help you discover how you can benefit from dentures and which kind of denture is right for your unique situation.
How many types of dentures are there?
If you need dentures, trying to determine which type if right for you can seem intimidating. There are many different dentures available to fit a variety of different oral situations, such as full dentures, partial dentures, snap-in dentures, and implants, just to name a few.
If you are interested in reading more about these types of dentures, check out this helpful article on the different types of dentures available today.
Most dentures can be classified as one of two categories: full or partial. A full denture usually acts as a replacement for all teeth while a partial denture is used to replaced just a few missing teeth while resembling your remaining teeth as closely as possible.
Why do people wear dentures?
Everyone has their own unique reason for wearing a denture. A full denture can help return a patient’s confidence to smile again after losing their natural teeth and offers a more natural eating experience. Others wear dentures to maintain the structure of their mouths by supporting the structures around their lips and cheeks.
Dentures also offer a viable solution for patients who suffer from severe tooth pain and other uncomfortable oral health issues. In these cases, dentures replace the problematic teeth with a healthy and aesthetic option.
Who wears dentures?
There is a common myth that dentures are only for senior citizens. This is NOT true. Today, dentures can benefit many different people: sports players who are missing teeth, victims of vehicle accidents, people with genetic disorders or poor oral hygiene, and people who suffer from painful oral health issues like rotted roots.
What materials are used to make dentures?
The artificial teeth on dentures are made from a hard resin while the supporting structure that rests along your gums is made with a flexible polymer that fits snugly against your natural gum line.
This was not always the case. The material of choice for artificial teeth used to be porcelain because its natural colour resembled natural pearly whites and it is an extremely durable material. While some porcelain dentures can still be found today, most denturists have switched to acrylic because of its lighter properties, better adhesion to the denture base, and overall health benefits to the patient.
Will people be able to tell that I am wearing dentures?
Thanks to new materials and advanced methods in crafting dentures, most new dentures do not look any different than your natural teeth. A benefit of using acrylic is that it gives denturists the ability to colour match your artificial teeth to your remaining natural ones.
Depending on what type of denture you wear, it may slip or click while you eat, which might seem odd, but most dentures are unnoticeable to the common eye.
How do I properly clean my dentures?
Just like natural teeth, bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up on dentures and can hurt your oral and physical health unless cleaned regularly. Unlike your natural teeth, dentures are more delicate. Regardless of the type of denture you wear, it should be cleaned daily to remove any bacteria, plaque, or tartar build-ups.
You can do this by removing your denture (if possible) and running it under water to remove any large food particles. Then brush them with a very soft toothbrush and gentle denture cleaner to dislodge any particles that may be stuck between the teeth. Rinse your dentures thoroughly again before returning it to your mouth to make sure there is no cleaner residue.
Be careful not to use a stiff-bristled toothbrush, electric brush, or regular toothpaste, as all these things are too abrasive and can wear away at the denture material and reduce the life of your dentures.
Can I sleep with my dentures in?
While some forms of dentures are permanent and do not need to be removed, we recommend not sleeping with your removable dentures in your mouth. Sleeping with your dentures in can damage or dislodge them, while removing your dentures will give your gums and bone a chance to heal from the pressure of wearing them during the day.
Soaking your dentures in warm water or a denture solution from your denturist while you sleep will help prevent your dentures from becoming dry and deformed.
Some dentures may be worn to prevent your jaw from over closing, in which case your denturist may recommend leaving your dentures in while you sleep. This is perfectly safe, but it is usually a good idea to find time during the day when you can take them out to clean them properly.
Will dentures impact my ability to eat?
It takes time to properly adjust to wearing dentures, especially if it is your first time wearing a dental appliance. While you are getting used to your new dentures, eating may be slightly uncomfortable, but this will subside over time. It is important to be patient and remember that your dentures will make eating easier than with no teeth.
It will take even more time to adjust to eating hard or sticky foods, as these can damage your dentures. It may be best to avoid certain foods to help preserve your dentures, like chewing gum. Gum will stick to the acrylic teeth and can potentially break a seal and loosen your dentures.
How long can I expect my dentures to last?
Dentures are made specifically to fit your mouth, but your mouth shifts and changes with age. Over time, your dentures will need to be realigned to keep them fitting properly and feeling comfortable. The rate at which you will need a realign differs for every patient, depending on what type of denture you wear. Your denturist will schedule routine check ups once you start to wear your denture to monitor how well it fits and make any changes, as necessary.
While dentures are made to withstand everyday activities, they are unfortunately not as durable as natural teeth. It is common for dentures to chip or crack, so it is recommended that you replace your dentures every 5 to 8 years, depending on what type of denture it is, what oral changes your mouth experiences, and what regular use your denture sees.
What if I have more questions?
It is natural to have questions about dentures when you are considering wearing one for the first time. Every patient has different oral requirements and personal circumstances, so some of the answers to the above questions may differ depending on your unique situation.
If you are interested in knowing how dentures will affect you directly, please schedule a consultation with a reputable and professional denturist, like Olds Denture & Implant Centre.
The denturist, Mike Galye, offers free consultations so you can feel confident when making a decision about dentures.
Schedule your first visit today by speaking with his friendly team at (403) 791-3303.