What are full dentures?
Full dentures, also known as complete dentures, are dental prostheses that replace all of a person’s natural teeth and provide support for facial muscles. They are removable and can replace either all of your upper teeth, all of your lower teeth or both. Full dentures are needed if you require all of your natural teeth taken out, or if you have had all of your teeth already removed. Full dentures give you back the ability to chew, speak, eat, smile and function with a set of natural-looking teeth.
What are the types of full dentures?
Full dentures can either be:
Conventional dentures are made and fitted AFTER the gums have healed. This means that they can be placed 2-3 months after extractions or if you are having a new set made. On the other hand, immediate dentures, as the name implies, are fitted and placed straight after your natural teeth have been extracted i.e. at the same visit. This is done so you don’t have to go around without teeth; it also aids healing. However, as your gums heal, they will shrink and you’ll need to go back to your Maroubra dentist to have your dentures relined (readjusted) to improve their fit. Sometimes the immediate denture forms your final denture and sometimes a new conventional denture may be constructed. A temporary reline may be required before a permanent reline is placed at around the three month mark.
Implant dentures are full dentures- only they are supported on implants. Instead of relying on suction they actually clip into the implants giving much better stability and chewing ability. They are particularly good in the lower jaw where the bone tends to be more resorbed and the movement of the tongue can dislodge the dentures more easily.
Why do I need full dentures?
Because otherwise you’d no teeth. You won’t be able to speak, eat, chew, will be confined to a liquid diet. You will age as your face sinks in, and you’ll have no ability to smile. You get the picture…
What problems should I expect with my full dentures?
Dentures may take a little getting used to, so you might find it uncomfortable for a few weeks. There is definitely a learning curve! To slowly get used to your full dentures, try eating soft foods first (chewing slowly with both sides of the mouth)- straight up and down (not side to side- as you will break the seal). Then gradually move to slightly bigger bits, until you’re comfortable eating. Chopping your food up more before putting it in your mouth definitely helps. Take extra care when eating or drinking any hot, hard, or crunchy foods- they tend to cover a large amount of your inner mouth, it can sometimes be harder to tell temperature when a substantial surface area is affected.
You may find it hard pronouncing certain words for the first few weeks, but as you get used to the dentures, your speech will gradually improve, too. Practice makes perfect. Reading out loud at home can really help. Your brain knows what it’s supposed to sound like, so just give yourself the time to adjust.
If you feel your dentures are sore, hurting or not sitting right or you are experiencing other problems then give us a call and we will arrange an appointment to check them out.
How should I take care of my full dentures?
If you only have a full denture on one arch top or bottom it is really important that you look after the opposing natural teeth, brushing and flossing and using the little interproximal brushes to keep them clean. Use a fluoride toothpaste and basically practice good oral hygiene. If you have no teeth, then you don’t need to worry about teeth so focus on good denture hygiene.
Taking care of your dentures:
- If you’re not wearing your dentures, put them in a glass or container with water to prevent them from drying out or a ziplock bag with a splash of water in.
- Always store them in the same place, so you know where they are.
- Rinse your dentures before putting them in; the water will help you with the suction.
- Your chemist and local super market will offer some specialised cleansers for dentures- you can try them if you like, but make sure it’s for the right type of denture.
- Make sure to clean both sides of your denture: the inside and outside.
- Clean your dentures over the sink with some water in, so if you drop them, they won’t break.
- Still make routine checkups with your dentist to check your gums and dentures since changes occur over time. See them sooner rather than later if you begin to develop problems.
- If your dentures develop a crack or get chipped, avoid DIY dentistry which can damage the dentures and come and see us.
- Brush the dentures with a soft toothbrush and a little soap to clean them.
- Bleach and using hot water with denture cleaners, this can change the colour and aesthetic of your dentures.
- Wearing you denture at night, except the first week or so when you are getting used to it.
- Using toothpaste- it can be abrasive to the shine.