New Dentures: What to expect
Getting dentures for the first time can be both exciting and frightening. On the one hand you’re excited to get a new set of “teeth”, while on the other hand, losing your natural teeth is not a very pleasant thought.
It is a very emotional time, and knowing what you can expect to go through is something that many new denture wearers would love to know more about before they invest their time, money, and emotion into such an endeavor.
Let us explore first what dentures are.
What are dentures?
Dentures are an acrylic replacements that are removable: this means that they are to be taken out and inserted back into your mouth during the day. While dentures will take some time to get used, new technology has made today’s dentures very comfortable and very natural looking.
How do dentures work and function?
With full or complete dentures, a gum colored dental acrylic that has acrylic teeth based within it covers fits over your gum tissues (the upper denture also covers your palate).
There are two main types of traditional dentures:
- Conventional (or Traditional) Full Denture: These are made and placed inside of your mouth after all your teeth have been removed and your gum tissues have healed for approximately 8-12 weeks. Interim or temporary dentures may be made by your dentist in the meantime while your gum tissues are healing.
- Immediate Full Denture: This is very similar to your full denture except in this method, the patient is never without teeth during the process. First, your back teeth are removed and the gum tissue is allowed to heal for 4-6 weeks. Next, an impression is taken whereby a dental lab sends back a wax model that is used to take measurements. After the measurements are taken, these are sent back to the lab who makes a set of full dentures. Your final appointment includes removing your front teeth and the insertion of these “immediate dentures.”
What are partial dentures?
Partial Dentures: Very similar to full dentures, partial dentures are dentures that use an acrylic or metal framework to attach to your existing teeth. Just like full dentures, they are removable, but because they actually hold onto your existing teeth as well as your gum tissue, they tend to be more stable than traditional full dentures.
How long is the adjustment period to where I’ll be comfortable with my new dentures?
Your new dentures may feel awkward and uncomfortable for a few weeks to a few months as your mouth adapts to them. Sore spots may form once the new dentures are initially inserted. These sore sports need to be adjusted by your dentist. As your dentist adjusts your dentures, inform them of any areas that are bothering you.
The feeling of looseness and “something bulky in my mouth” are not uncommon complaints as your cheeks, tongue, and palate all get used to your new dentures.
You may also experience excessive saliva, and difficulty moving your tongue around like before. These again are all normal as your mouth adapts to the new dentures.
How long will my dentures last?
Over time, dentures will have to be relined or re-based as your gum tissue continues to change shape. These procedures essentially use an acrylic based material to reshape the inside portion of your denture to adapt with your changing gum tissue.
If you take good care of your dentures, they should last you many years. All dentures may eventually need to be replaced, but if they were constructed properly, and with good home care and annual check ups you should be able to use them for the foreseeable future.
If you are in need of a new set of dentures, or if you need dentures for the first time please contact Best Dental today.
Dr. Jasmine Naderi is a family dentist in Richmond, TX