Losing your teeth can be a very depressing experience. With the teeth gone, the facial muscles tend to sag and can make you look much older, affecting your self confidence. It's harder to eat, and more difficult to make certain sounds. Dentures can restore normalcy to your life.
What are dentures?
Dentures are a set of false teeth that are custom crafted to fit in your mouth and replace any missing teeth. They offer an advantage over other tooth replacement procedures because they are removable and non-invasive. Both full and partial dentures are available.
What is the difference between full and partial dentures?
Full dentures are a complete set of false teeth. If you have teeth remaining, these will be removed, and the tissue allowed to heal completely before the dentures are placed. This can take up to a few months, during which time you will not have any teeth and be limited to soft, easily chewed foods. Partial dentures are a better option if you're missing numerous teeth, but the remaining teeth are healthy and strong. This type of denture replaces only the missing teeth, leaving the remaining natural teeth.
Are they uncomfortable?
There is a period of adjustment when you first start wearing dentures. It can take some time to get used to the feeling of the dentures in your mouth, especially if you've been without your teeth for an extended period of time. You may find it difficult or awkward to chew certain foods, and speaking may feel strange. Some soreness or irritation is to be expected at first. However, once you've gotten used to your dentures they will feel completely natural. If you continue to experience soreness for a long period of time, contact your dentist and set up an appointment to make sure your dentures are a proper fit and there are no signs of gum deterioration.
Can I eat normal foods with dentures?
Certainly; however, keep in mind that it will take some time to get used to chewing. It's best to start with small pieces of soft foods until you learn to control your chewing a little better. Chew slowly. Move on to more difficult foods as you become comfortable.
How do I care for my dentures?
It's very important to maintain good dental hygiene. Brushing at least twice daily, and soaking the dentures in a solution overnight, is recommended. There are special brushes available made specifically for use with dentures that should be used. It's also important to gently brush the gums and tongue with a soft-bristled brush each morning before placing the dentures in your mouth.
How long can I expect my dentures to last?
There is no set time line. Dentures will require adjustments over their life span due to normal wear and tear. When the dentures and mouth are cared for properly, they will last many years. Regular dental appointments will be necessary.