What are complete dentures?
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, with the patient opting for either “conventional” or “immediate” dentures.
After the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is made for placement in the mouth and is ready eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. A disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
Why do I need dentures?
Upon the removal of your teeth, it is imperative to replace the missing teeth with either dentures or implants, because without them, the wearer has no way of chewing food, which is life essential.
What can I expect from wearing dentures?
Finding out you need dentures can be stressful. But in a short period of time, with a few small changes in your oral care routine and diet, you can feel comfortable and confident about living with them. At first, speaking and eating take practice, and the dentures may feel loose or bulky in the mouth. Usually, some extra saliva flow is present. With time, though, these effects fade.
While adjusting to living with dentures, practice speaking alone or with a close friend to build back confidence when speaking in public situations. Over time, the mouth’s muscles will adjust and your speech will improve. Eat soft foods cut into small pieces at first, and gradually return to your normal diet as you learn to chew and bite with your new teeth. Be sure to avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods that your dentures may not be able to handle.
Once adjustments are made, dentures should be removed before going to bed, which will allow gum tissues to rest and permit normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva.