Frequently Asked Questions about Dentures
At North Vancouver Denture Clinic, we believe in educating our patients about what they can expect from the dentures process as much as we possibly can to ensure happy, satisfied patients. Feel free to view our frequently asked questions below or call our office with any other questions you may have and one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff members would be more than happy to answer your questions!
Q. Why do I need dentures?
Dentures replace lost or missing teeth and can have numerous benefits for your overall health and appearance. A complete or full denture not only replaces your natural teeth but also provides invaluable support for your cheeks and lips. Without this added support, sagging facial muscles can cause you to appear older and reduce your ability to eat and speak clearly.
Q. What is a denture and what is it made of?
A prosthetic appliance worn to replace lost or missing teeth, a denture allows you the ability to enjoy a healthy diet and smile with confidence. Complete dentures can be used to replace natural teeth in either your upper or lower jaw, while partial dentures help to fill in the gaps created by lost or missing teeth. Partial dentures are attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices also known as precision attachments. The base of a denture is referred to as the plate and it can be constructed of either acrylic or metal (vitallium). Teeth are typically made of acrylic and can be colour-matched to your natural teeth, especially in the case of partial dentures. Our clinic uses two types of acrylic: hard-pressed and the Ivocap system.
Q. Will dentures make me look different?
Because dentures are created to resemble your natural teeth as closely as possible, you should expect minimal changes to your overall appearance. Thanks to continuing advances within the profession, modern dentures should improve your smile’s appearance and help fill out the appearance of your face.
Q. Will I be able to eat with dentures?
Of course! Though eating will take a little practice and getting used to. We recommend you begin with softer foods cut into small bites and chewing slowly, using both sides of your mouth at the same time, to prevent your denture from moving. As you adjust to your denture, you can begin incorporating other foods until you return to your normal, healthy diet.
Q. Will dentures change the way I speak?
Yes, dentures should allow you the ability to speak more clearly. However, pronouncing certain words may require a little more practice than others. If you read out loud and repeat difficult words, you should notice improvement. If you ever feel like your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile, you may reposition your denture by gently biting down and swallowing. However, if this continues or does not prove to be effective, please consult our office!
Q. How long should I wear my dentures?
During your first few days, we usually recommend you wear your denture most of the time, including while you’re asleep. Once your adjustment period is over, we may advise that you remove them before going to bed. This will allow your gums the ability to rest, while promoting good oral health.
Q. Should I consider using a denture fixative?
Because dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth, denture fixatives are not usually necessary. However, if you’ve worn immediate dentures for a long time and they ever become loose or ill-fitting, a fixative may be used as a temporary solution prior to having them replaced. Because poorly-fitting dentures may cause irritation or sores, we recommend you get them replaced as soon as possible.
Q. Do I need to do anything special to care for my mouth?
Wearing dentures does not exclude you from practicing good oral hygiene. You should still be accustomed to brushing your gums, tongue, and palate (roof of your mouth) with a soft-bristled brush every morning and evening. This will ensure the removal of plaque and stimulate circulation in your mouth. It is imperative that partial denture wearers brush their remaining natural teeth thoroughly every day to prevent further tooth decay and gum disease, which can result in the removal of more teeth.
Q. What’s the difference between conventional and immediate dentures?
Conventional dentures are constructed and inserted after your teeth have been removed and your tissues have had the time to heal, which may take several months. Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after your natural teeth have been removed. In order to accomplish this, we will take measurements and create impressions of your mouth during your preliminary visit. A major advantage of immediate dentures is that you will not be inconvenienced without teeth during your healing period. However, because your bone and gums will shrink over time – especially during the first six months after your teeth have been removed – immediate dentures may require relining or even replacing to ensure an optimum fit.
Q. What will my dentures feel like?
While it’s true that new dentures may feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable to you at first, you should be accustomed to them after a few weeks. They may even feel loose while your cheek muscles and tongue learn to keep them in place. It’s also not uncommon to experience minor irritations or soreness during the adjustment period. You may also find that your saliva flow may temporarily increase. As you become accustomed to your new dentures, you can expect these problems to diminish. However, if they continue, please consult with our office.
Q. Will my dentures ever need to be replaced?
While you’d like to think your dentures will last forever, it’s part of the normal process to have them relined or remade due to normal wear and changes in your mouth’s shape over time. Your bone and gum ridges may shrink or recede, causing your jaw to align differently. Loose or ill-fitting dentures can cause health problems as well as discomfort. They can also make eating and speaking more difficult. That’s why it’s so important to replace them before they cause you any problems. Standard dentures typically require refitting or replacement after 5 years.
Q. How do I take care of my dentures?
The general rule-of-thumb for dentures is “brush, soak, brush.” You should always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them. Brush them before soaking to help remove any food debris. Using an effervescent denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and allow your dentures to feel fresher. We recommend always following manufacturers’ instructions. Brush your dentures again like you would your own teeth, but be careful not to scrub them too hard, as this may cause grooves to develop in their surface. We recommend you use a small- to medium-headed toothbrush and toothpaste. Be sure to clean all of your denture surfaces, including the one that comes into direct contact with your gums. This is especially important if you use any kind of denture fixative. Should you notice a build-up of stains or scale, you may opt to have your dentures professionally cleaned by us or a dental hygienist. In fact, it’s very important that you have your dentures professionally polished and cleaned on a regular basis.