Complete dentures are made for fully edentulous (missing all teeth) patients. Function, aesthetics, and stability prognosis for upper and/or lower dentures varies for each patient.
The patient is involved in each step to provide feedback about how they would like their new smile to look. Every person is unique and every mouth takes on a different shape. All patients want to get their smile back and be able to enjoy eating again.
There are two types of dentures: conventional dentures, which are placed after the teeth have been removed and the tissues have had time to heal and immediate dentures, which are placed immediately after teeth have been extracted.
When you first get dentures, it takes some time to get used to them. They may feel awkward or loose until your cheek & tongue muscles learn to hold them in place. When first getting used to dentures, you may notice slipping when you laugh, smile or cough. You will eventually be able to better control these movements once you get more practice wearing them.
Eating may also be a challenge in the beginning. Starting with soft foods cut into small pieces & working your way up to returning to your normal diet is a good method to help you become used to chewing with your dentures. Avoid biting down on hard or crunchy foods, like whole apples, hard pretzels or crusty bread, as they can break due to the angle where the denture surface comes into contact with the hard surface. Other than these types of food, biting is limited only by the stability of the dentures themselves. Insufficient bone structure, old or worn dentures, & a dry mouth can decrease stability.
Sometimes dentures may feel sore or irritated, and it is important to have adjustments made to relieve this discomfort. Regular visits with the dentist is important to assess whether your dentures need to be adjusted, relined or remade due to gum or bone shrinkage or normal wear over a period of time.
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely 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 subside 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 in the life of your new dentures.