Dentures refer to removable replacements of missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. There are two main types of dentures: partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures come in handy when only some of your natural teeth are missing. Complete dentures come in handy when all your teeth are missing. If you are missing some or all of your teeth and need high-quality dentures, you can count on La Puente Advanced Dentistry. Our experienced dentists will get you the perfect dentures to complete your smile.

Partial Dentures

The removable partial dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored, pink plastic base. This plastic base is sometimes attached to a metal framework that helps hold the denture in place in your mouth. When you have some of your natural teeth remaining on your lower or upper jaw, partial dentures effectively replace the missing teeth. In addition to filing the spaces left by the missing teeth, partial dentures also help prevent other teeth from shifting and changing position.

The dentists replace one or more teeth by placing a fixed bridge and a crown on each side of the space and attaching artificial teeth. The dentist then cements the bridge into place.

The dentist may also use a removable precision partial denture. This denture has internal attachments instead of clasps that attach to the neighboring crowns. Precision partial dentures give a patient a more natural-looking appearance.

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures can either be immediate or conventional. Conventional dentures are typically placed 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. The conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has started to heal. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made earlier before the teeth are removed and placed immediately after removal. Therefore, you do not have to be without teeth during the healing period.

However, it is common for the gums and bones to shrink after teeth removal during the healing process. Therefore, compared to conventional dentures, immediate dentures have a disadvantage because they must be adjusted to fit well during the healing process. Therefore, dentists often consider immediate dentures a temporary solution before making conventional dentures.

Alternatives To Dentures

You might be wondering whether there are some alternatives to dentures. Dentists can use dental implants to support cemented bridges and eliminate the need for dentures. Implants and bridges resemble the feel of your natural teeth but are usually more costly than dentures. Even if dental implants are a good alternative for dentures, not every person is a good candidate for implants. For example, you are not a good candidate for implants if you have deteriorated jaw bone.

A dentist may also use dental implants to support dentures because this provides more stability. Your dentist will advise you on the best alternative between dental implants and dentures.

Many patients often wonder whether their dental insurance plan covers the cost of dentures. Most dental insurance plans cover part or all of the cost of dentures. However, it is essential to contact your dental insurance company to determine if they specifically cover dentures.

Denture Development Process

The process of making dentures usually takes several appointments or a few weeks. Once the prosthodontist or your dentist decides on the best dentures for you, the process of making dentures commences. The process of making dentures include:

  • Taking measurements of the patient’s jaw, making impressions of the jaw, and determining how the jaws relate to each other and also the space between the jaws
  • The dentist then creates wax forms, models, or plastic patterns in the exact position and shape of the denture to be made. The patient will try this model several times, and the dentist will assess the denture for shape, color, and fit before casting the final denture.
  • The next step involves casting the final denture.
  • The dentist will then make adjustments as necessary

How New Dentures Will Feel Like

For the first few weeks, the dentures might feel loose or a little odd until the muscles of your tongue and cheeks learn to keep them in place. With time, you will get comfortable in inserting and removing your dentures. When you start wearing dentures, it is normal to experience soreness and minor irritation. It is also normal to experience an increased saliva flow. However, all these problems will diminish when your mouth adjusts to the dentures.

You might be wondering whether dentures will make you look different. Dentists make dentures to resemble natural teeth. Therefore, there will only be a slight change in your appearance. People might not even notice that you are wearing dentures. They may assume that it is your natural teeth. Dentures will fill out your facial appearance and improve your smile.

For a few weeks, you might feel uncomfortable when eating with your new dentures. It might take some practice before you finally get used to eating with the dentures. You should start with soft foods and cut the food into small pieces. When chewing the food, ensure that you chew slowly and also use both sides of your mouth. As you continue getting used to the dentures, continue incorporating other foods until you get back to your normal diet. You should be careful when eating hard or hot foods.

You should also be careful with shells and sharp-edged bones. You should avoid foods that are extremely hard or sticky. While wearing your dentures, you should avoid certain practices like chewing gum. Avoid using both picks when wearing your dentures.

Effects of Dentures On the Way You Speak

You may have difficulties pronouncing certain words immediately after getting dentures. If you have challenges pronouncing some words, you should practice by saying the words out loud. With regular practice, you will become more used to pronouncing words using dentures. You should contact your dentist if your dentures click when you are talking. Your dentures might accidentally slip when you cough, laugh or smile. Gently bite down and swallow to reposition the dentures. You should contact your dentist or your prosthodontist if any speaking problem persists.

Wearing Dentures 24 Hours A Day

Your dentist will guide you on how long you should wear dentures and when you should remove them. The dentist may instruct you to wear the dentures all the time the first few days after you get them. This means that during the first days, you may have to wear dentures even while you sleep. Wearing your dentures at all times soon after getting them makes it easy to identify areas on the denture that may require adjustment.

When the dentist makes the necessary adjustments, you will be free to remove the dentures when going to bed. Removing the dentures while you sleep allows your gums to rest. It also provides simulation and normal cleansing by your tongue and saliva. You can put the dentures back in your mouth in the morning.

Denture Adhesive

It might be necessary to use a denture adhesive under certain circumstances:

  • Denture adhesives enhance the stability, retention, bite force, and overall sense of security. Therefore, a denture adhesive could enhance your overall satisfaction with your newly constructed and fitted dentures.
  • A dry mouth and other conditions might lessen denture adherence, increasing the risk of slipping or falling out. For instance, denture adhesive reduces if you are taking cold medications. In addition, older people or people with certain conditions like stroke or other neurological disabilities may have reduced denture adherence. For these people, denture adhesive will come in handy in enhancing denture stability.
  • You may require denture adhesives if you often place unusual demands on your facial muscles. For instance, denture adhesive provides added security and stability if you are a musician or a public speaker.

Despite the many advantages of denture adhesives, it is not advisable to use denture adhesives under the following circumstances:

  • If you have poorly constructed or ill-fitting dentures, you should not use a denture adhesive as a quick fix for these issues. Instead, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible if your dentures cause you discomfort, feel loose, or cause sores to develop.
  • You should avoid using a denture adhesive if you have not had your dentures evaluated by a dentist in a long time. Because dentures rest in the jawbone and the gum tissue, it is common for the jawbone to deteriorate and the gum tissue to shrink over time. Therefore, you may need new dentures or denture adjustment instead of denture adhesive.
  • If you cannot sustain oral hygiene practices, you should avoid using denture adhesive.
  • It might be time to stop using a denture adhesive and visit your dentist if you have been using the adhesive for a long time. When your visits to the dentist are infrequent and your volume and frequency of adhesive use increases, it is a sign that you might need new dentures or a denture adjustment.
  • You should also avoid using denture adhesive if you have a known allergy to the ingredients used in making the adhesive.

Application Of Denture Adhesives

It is advisable to consider several factors when applying denture adhesive:

  • You should avoid using too much adhesive for a start. Instead, you should start by applying less adhesive and then increase the amount until the dentures feel comfortable.
  • When applying the adhesive, you should ensure that you distribute the adhesive evenly on all the tissues that are in contact with the surface of the dentures.
  • You should feel free to re-apply the adhesive until you get the desired effect.
  • You should ensure that you only apply the adhesive to a completely clean denture to maintain good oral health
  • Avoid applying an adhesive to ill-fitting dentures because adhesion works best with a well-fitting denture.

The Common Types Of Denture Adhesives

There are two main types of denture adhesives:

  • Paste application
  • Powder application

While using paste application, you should apply the adhesive on a dry or wet denture. Ensure that you do not place the adhesive too close to the denture borders. Use less of the product if you notice that the adhesive oozes. You should apply a series of small dots or three short strips of adhesive for dentures on the upper jaw. Apply some adhesive along the ridge area and some down the center. For dentures on the lower jaw, apply a series of small dots or three short strips of adhesive in the center of the ridge area.

In the case of powder application, you should sprinkle a thin layer of adhesive throughout the tissue that touches the surface of the denture. You should ensure that you uniformly apply the adhesive. Shake off the excess powder adhesive before you press the denture into place. Many people prefer powder to paste application because it is easier to clean off the tissue and denture. Powder application is also different from pastes because it does not keep the denture away from the tissue.

Whether Dental Adhesives Are Safe

A common question most people often ask is whether denture adhesives are safe. Dental adhesives are safe and do not have side effects, provided you use them as directed. There should be no adverse side effects if your dentures fit well and you only use the adhesive to give the dentures more stability. However, the adhesives could be harmful to the underlying hard and soft tissues if you use them to fill the gaps or voids of ill-fitting dentures.

If you fail to use denture adhesives as recommended, some of the side effects are inflammation of the soft tissues. In addition, applying an adhesive to ill-fitting dentures may lead to bone loss due to the movement of the dentures on the soft tissues and underlying bone.

Taking Care Of Dentures

Taking good care of your dentures enhances the health of your dentures and that of your teeth. Here are some tips that you can adopt to take care of your dentures:

  • You should avoid dropping your dentures — Instead, it is advisable to stand over a sink full of water or a folded towel whenever you are handling your dentures.
  • Keep your dentures clean by brushing and rinsing them daily but avoid using toothpaste — Due to the abrasive properties of toothpaste, it can make microscopic scratches on the dentures where plaque and food can build up. Just like your natural teeth, you should brush the dentures daily to remove food particles and prevent plaque accumulation. Brushing your dentures also helps prevent the formation of permanent stains. When cleaning your dentures, you should ensure that you use a soft-bristled brush to avoid damaging or wearing down the dentures. Ensure that you clean all the denture surfaces while being careful not to bend the attachments or break the plastic. You should also rinse your dentures after every meal.
  • You should use a denture cleaner to clean your dentures — Many kinds of toothpaste and household cleaners are too abrasive; it's best to avoid them. However, you can use mild dishwashing liquid or hand soap to clean your dentures. You should not use bleach because it might whiten the pink part of the denture. You may also opt to use an ultrasonic cleaner, a bathtub device containing a cleaning solution. When you put your dentures in this tub, the sound waves create a wave motion that dislodges the food deposits and other particles from the dentures. You should still brush your dentures even if you have an ultrasonic cleaner. The ultrasonic cleaner should not replace daily brushing. Any cleaning product you choose should be approved by the American Dental Association.
  • You should take good care of your dentures whenever you are not wearing them so as not to lose their shape or dry out — Put the dentures in water or a denture cleanser solution when you are not wearing them. You should be careful if the dentures have metal attachments because these might tarnish in the soaking solution. You may consult your dentist regarding the best methods of taking care of your dentures. Avoid putting dentures in hot water because this might cause warping.

Adjusting Or Repairing Your Dentures

You may need one or more follow-ups after getting your dentures for necessary adjustments. You should not attempt to repair or adjust dentures on your own. It is also advisable to avoid bending any part of the clasp or the metal attachment. Avoid over-the-counter glues or do-it-yourself repair kits because these could damage dentures. Over-the-counter glues may contain harmful chemicals that could ruin your dentures.

If the dentures do not have a perfect fit, they might cause sores and irritation in your mouth or gums. Therefore, it is advisable to contact your dentist immediately if your denture cracks, breaks, chips, or becomes loose. The dentist will make the necessary repairs and adjustments. If the dentures require complicated repairs, the dentist may send the dentures to a special lab.

Denture Replacement

Due to age-related changes to your face and the normal denture wear and tear, your dentures will need to be rebased, relined, or remade if they become loose. When relining or rebasing a denture, the dentist refits the base or makes a new base but re-uses the existing teeth. Your dentures could serve you for five to seven years before you need a replacement.

Your dentist will advise you regarding how frequently you should visit them if you have dentures. Regular dental visits are essential so that the dentist can examine the dentures to ensure a perfect fit. During the dental visits, the dentist will also clean your teeth and check you for signs of oral cancer or other disorders.

Find A Dentist Near Me

If you lose some or all of your teeth, dentures will come in handy in restoring your smile and oral health. If you need quality dentures, you can count on La Puente Advanced Dentistry for both complete and partial dentures. Contact us at 626-626-7075 and speak to one of our dentists.