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Dentures 101 Introduction

Dentures 101 – Dentures have been around for centuries, providing millions with a solution to tooth loss. Whether due to age, injury, or dental issues, dentures can restore not just one’s smile but also functionality and self-confidence. With advances in dental technology, today’s dentures are more comfortable and natural-looking than ever. However, choosing the right type and ensuring proper care and maintenance is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different types of dentures, how to care for them, and the best maintenance practices.

doctor holding a set of teeth with an implant to attach dental prothesis.

Types of Dentures

Dentures come in a variety of types to cater to individual needs and preferences. Depending on the extent of tooth loss, jawbone structure, and personal comfort, one can select the most suitable option. Here’s an in-depth look at the different kinds of dentures available:

Complete Dentures:

These are for individuals who have lost all their teeth in one or both jaws. Complete dentures are molded to fit the individual’s gum line. They are made of a flesh-colored acrylic base, which fits over the gums, and the upper denture covers the palate, while the lower one is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate the tongue. They are typically held in place by natural suction, denture adhesive, or sometimes even with the help of dental implants for added stability.

Partial Dentures:

Ideal for those who still have some natural teeth intact. These dentures fill in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from shifting. Partial dentures can be made from a combination of metal and acrylic, or entirely from acrylic. The design often includes a metal framework with clasps that grip onto the natural teeth, ensuring a secure fit.

Implant-Supported Dentures:

A revolutionary solution for those seeking a more stable and comfortable fit. Dental implants, which are titanium posts, are surgically placed into the jawbone. The dentures are then attached to these implants. This method ensures that the dentures won’t shift or slip in the mouth, offering a more natural feel and efficient chewing capability.

Overdentures:

A versatile option that can be placed over a small number of remaining teeth or dental implants. The existing teeth or implants serve as anchors, providing better stability and preventing jawbone deterioration. Overdentures can be removed easily for cleaning and are known to offer a more natural bite than traditional full dentures.

Immediate Dentures:

As the name suggests, these are inserted immediately after tooth extraction. They act as a temporary solution, allowing patients to have teeth while waiting for the gums and bone to heal. Once the healing process is complete, they will be replaced with conventional dentures for a better fit.

Flexible Dentures:

Made of different materials than traditional dentures, flexible dentures are a newer option. They use a flexible, lightweight, nylon base, which offers a more comfortable and snug fit. They are also more aesthetically pleasing as they don’t use metal clasps to stay in place.

Snap-In Dentures:

These are secured in the mouth using dental implants or mini-implants. They have locator attachments embedded within the tissue side of the denture, which snap onto the implants, ensuring a tight and secure fit. They’re easily removable for cleaning and are known for their stability.

Understanding the different types of Dentures 101 and their unique features can help individuals make an informed decision. Consulting with a dental professional will also provide insights into which type would be the most suitable, considering the individual’s oral health, budget, and lifestyle.

Denture Care

Proper care of dentures is not only crucial for maintaining oral hygiene but also for ensuring the longevity and functionality of the dentures themselves. With the right care, dentures can remain fresh, clean, and comfortable for years. Here are detailed steps and considerations for optimal denture care:

Daily Cleaning:

Just like natural teeth, Dentures 101 accumulate food particles, plaque, and can get stained. It’s essential to brush them daily using a soft-bristle brush specially designed for dentures. Regular toothbrushes can be too hard, and regular toothpaste can be abrasive. Instead, use a non-abrasive denture cleaner or mild soap.

Rinse After Eating:

Make it a habit to remove and rinse your dentures thoroughly after every meal. This simple step can prevent the accumulation of food particles and reduce the risk of plaque buildup.

Handle with Care:

Dentures 101 are delicate and can break if mishandled. When cleaning or adjusting them, do so over a soft towel or a sink filled with water. This precaution ensures that even if they slip from your hands, they won’t get damaged from a hard fall.

Soak Overnight:

Dentures need to remain moist to maintain their shape and integrity. If you’re not wearing them, ensure they’re soaked in a mild denture-soaking solution or plain water. However, remember that some dentures with metal attachments can tarnish in soaking solutions, so it’s best to follow your dentist’s advice.

Avoid Hot Water:

Using hot water to clean or soak dentures can cause them to warp, leading to an improper fit. Always stick to cold or lukewarm water for all denture-related activities.

Regular Inspection:

While cleaning, inspect your dentures for any signs of damage, cracks, or chips. Addressing minor damages early can prevent more significant issues down the line.

Use the Right Products:

There are many products available for Dentures 101 care. From cleansers to soaking solutions, always choose products that are specifically designed for dentures. Avoid using bleach or abrasive cleaning materials, as these can weaken the dentures and change their color.

Maintain Oral Hygiene:

Even if you have complete Dentures 101, it’s essential to maintain the health of your gums, tongue, and palate. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean your gums and palate every morning before inserting dentures to stimulate circulation and remove plaque.

Avoid DIY Adjustments:

If your dentures feel uncomfortable or don’t fit right, never attempt to adjust or repair them on your own. DIY adjustments can damage the dentures and harm your oral health. Instead, consult with your dentist or prosthodontist.

Store Safely:

When not wearing your Dentures 101, store them in a secure place, away from children and pets. Using a denture case with proper ventilation can be beneficial.

By following these detailed care guidelines, you can ensure that your dentures remain in top-notch condition, providing you with a comfortable fit and a radiant smile for a long time.

Dental Plate on white background.

Dentures 101 Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the cornerstone of ensuring that dentures remain functional, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing. While daily care is vital, there are also periodic maintenance practices that one should be aware of to prolong the life of dentures and maintain optimal oral health. Here’s a detailed guide on denture maintenance:

  1. Professional Check-ups:

    Schedule regular visits with your dentist or prosthodontist. Even if your dentures feel fine, it’s essential to get them professionally examined at least once a year. Your dental expert can spot issues that might be invisible or unnoticeable to you.

  2. Relining and Rebasing:

    Over time, the shape of your gums and jawbone can change, causing your dentures to fit less snugly. Relining involves adding a new layer to the inner plate of the denture, whereas rebasing involves creating a new base while retaining the existing teeth. Both procedures aim to improve the fit of the denture.

  3. Repairs:

    Dentures can sometimes break, chip, or crack, or one of the teeth might become loose. If any of these happen, it’s crucial to seek professional repair immediately. Avoid using super glue or other adhesives to fix them yourself, as this can further damage the dentures and potentially harm your health.

  4. Replacement:

    Dentures don’t last forever. On average, dentures have a lifespan of 5-10 years. Even with meticulous care, they can wear out, stain, or no longer fit correctly due to natural changes in the mouth. When they reach this stage, it’s time to replace them.

  5. Denture Adjustments:

    As your mouth adjusts to the dentures, especially during the initial phase, you might experience some sore spots. If this occurs, visit your dentist for necessary adjustments. Never try to adjust the denture yourself as it might lead to damage.

  6. Oral Health Examination:

    Every time you visit your dentist for denture maintenance, ensure they also check your gums, tongue, jaw, and the roof of your mouth for any signs of infections, irritations, or other oral health issues.

  7. Ultrasonic Cleaners:

    These are small bathtub-like devices that use sound waves to create a cleaning action. While they can be an added tool in your cleaning regimen, they shouldn’t replace daily brushing.

  8. Update Dental Records:

    As you age, the structure of your mouth will naturally evolve. It’s beneficial to have periodic dental X-rays or impressions taken, so there’s an updated record of your oral structure. This will be beneficial if you need new dentures or other dental procedures in the future.

  9. Stay Educated:

    Dental technologies and care methods are continuously evolving. Stay informed about the latest advancements in denture materials, care products, and best practices. Your dental professional can be a valuable resource in this regard.

Remember, Dentures 101 are an investment in your oral health and overall well-being. With the right maintenance practices, you can ensure they serve you well, keeping your smile bright and your confidence high.

Dentures 101 Conclusion

Dentures can provide a lifeline for those with missing teeth, offering both aesthetic and functional benefits. However, like all dental solutions, they require proper care and regular maintenance to ensure longevity and comfort. With the right knowledge and practices, you can ensure that your dentures remain in top condition for years to come.

If you’re considering dentures or need expert advice on care and maintenance, look no further than Mirilis DDS. With their dedicated team and state-of-the-art facilities, they ensure you receive the best dental care. So, why wait? Regain your radiant smile with Mirilis DDS today. Your smile deserves the best!

Happy dentist holding a denture and looking at the camera smiling - oral health concepts