Images from Loughton Dental Centre

DENTURES

What is a denture?

People wear dentures to replace lost or missing teeth so they can enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence.

A ‘complete' or ‘full' denture is one which replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

A ‘partial' denture fills in the spaces left by lost or missing teeth. It may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps or ‘precision attachments'.

What are dentures made of?

Dentures are made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal.

Why should I wear dentures?

Full dentures, to replace all your own teeth, fit snugly over your gums. They will help you to eat comfortably and speak clearly, and will improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Partial dentures replace teeth that are missing and can sometimes be supported by the teeth you have left. If you have gaps between your teeth, then your other teeth may move to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth. This could affect the way you bite and could damage your other teeth.

What is the procedure for having dentures fitted?

The dentist will use a putty like material to make some mould of your mouth, a dental technician will then use them to make models for the denture to be built on.

A trial denture is then made and placed in your mouth, the dentist will ask you how it fits, feels and looks before they make any final changes.

The trial denture then goes back to the technician who will make the permanent denture. You will then need to see the dentist so that he can fit this in your mouth and show you how to put it in correctly and take it out.

Will I be able to eat with dentures?

Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth at the same time to stop the denture from moving. As you become more used to your denture, add other foods until you get back to your normal healthy diet.

Will dentures change how I speak?

Pronouncing certain words may take practice. Reading out loud and repeating difficult words will help. If you find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile, reposition them by gently biting down and swallowing. If this continues see your dentist.

How do I take care of my dentures?

Dentures may break if you drop them. Always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them.

To clean your denture, the general rule is: brush, soak, brush. Brush your dentures before soaking, to help remove any bits of food. Using a fizzy denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher - always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Brush the dentures as you would your own teeth, being careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves in the surface. Make sure you clean all the surfaces of the dentures, including the surface which touches your gums. This is especially important if you use any kind of denture fixative.

If you notice a build up of stains or scale, have your denture cleaned by your dentist or hygienist.

Are dentures the only option for my missing teeth?

No they are not, you could be a suitable candidate for a bridge, or even implants.

What are the benefits of dentures?