For most of us, protecting our natural teeth is a process we follow daily by brushing and flossing in order to ensure that they are healthy and strong. However, some people are not so fortunate. They end up ruining their natural teeth, or what is left of them, and replacing them with dentures. With dentures you will have to follow certain guidelines and work closely with your trusted dentist. Here is more information about what to expect:

 The Challenges:
Dentures are prosthetic appliances designed to imitate the function of teeth – in other words they should not be regarded as replacements for them. Everyone has a different shaped mouth, gums and teeth so each and every application is unique. Difficulties when wearing dentures include post-fitting speech impediment, food problems, lack of retention, a need for adhesives to secure dentures, experiencing a “fullness” feeling general poor-fitting causing these. As with any manufactured article it all depends on the quality of material used, and the planning that goes into it.

The Process:
A lot has to happen before your dentist can go through with this treatment of new dentures. You may need to have remaining teeth extracted. After that your gums need to be left to shrink, usually for a six-month period. Hopefully you can use “immediate” or temporary dentures while you wait for nature’s healing as your final dentures are being made. Fitting regular dentures too soon may result in wearing problems caused by the gums and jaw bone regeneration, following surgical removal of natural teeth.

New Dentures:
A standard denture is for patients who have lost their natural teeth, and comes in two parts. The top denture relies largely on “suction” to keep it in place and it generally takes four or more sittings to get it perfect. The lower denture is more reliant on gravity to stay in place. 

First, a thorough oral inspection is conducted with perhaps an x-ray to look more closely at the gum and bone. Then, a set of impressions is taken of the upper and lower gums so that a mould can be made to ensure a perfect fit. Your dentist will discuss the shade, size and shape of the new teeth that will be placed on these new dentures at that time. Sometimes, the dentist may recommend further surgery to adjust ridges and remove flabby tissue, as these may affect the stability of the final product.

On-Going Maintenance:
As a general rule, dentures require a laboratory reline or remake once every four years due to continued bone development and functional wear issues (mechanics). As with many other things in life, some patients will take well to their new dentures and others may not due to bone re-sorption and jaw alignment issues. Your family dentist will always make a plan to keep you happy wearing dentures.