Dentures are a removable dental appliance used to replace missing teeth; they closely resemble your natural teeth. They do not only help your ability to chew but they also help support lips, cheeks, and they correct the collapsed look that occurs with missing teeth. Another key advantage is that it helps in speech; having the support of the lips, cheeks, and the contact with the tongue helps patients better enunciate and pronounce words.
There are two types of dentures; conventional and immediate. A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks, sometimes longer. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process; this though will depend on the patients case. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made. Two to three in office relines are customary before a lab reline is required.
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments will be necessary to ensure proper color, shape, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will lessen as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid you in adjusting to your new smile!