Dentures, also known as false teeth, have been used for centuries. Thankfully, dentures have come a long way since George Washington struggled with his search for a proper fitting denture. Contrary to popular belief, George Washington did not wear wooden dentures.
Dentures are not a perfect substitute for your natural teeth. They offer a reliable and aesthetically pleasing option to people struggling with tooth loss or severe periodontal disease.
Types of Dentures
Conventional dentures are typically fitted several weeks to several months after extractions. This allows the gums time to adequately heal and eliminate swelling.
Immediate dentures are placed immediately after extractions. This may be a preferable option for people who prefer not to be without teeth. It is imperative to keep your immediate dentures in place. They act as a type of bandage. Removing them may promote swelling and make them difficult to reinsert.
Partial dentures are used when the patient has lost some teeth, but have viable teeth remaining. This is a preferable option. Attaching a partial denture to natural teeth reduces floating and keeps your denture in place.
Fixed dentures are permanently anchored directly to your jawbone with titanium dental implants.
How Dentures Are Made
Making dentures can be an extended process. You may have to schedule five or more appointments with your dentist before the dentures are completed.
The dentist will make a mold of your mouth.
A dental laboratory will make a fitting tray from the mold.
The fitting tray is used to make the impression for your dentures.
Your dentist will determine the size and shape of your false teeth. You will also choose a color. It is important to be as natural as possible. A 70-year-old smoker would not have baby white teeth.
You will be fitted with the teeth placed. The dentist will measure and assess your bite, size, and placement of the teeth.
The lab makes your permanent denture.
Getting Used to Your New Dentures
There is a definite learning curve when you are first fitted for dentures.
You may experience some initial discomfort. This is especially true if you have immediate dentures. In most cases, an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen effectively controls the pain.
Your mouth may feel very full.
It is common to salivate more than usual as your body does not recognize the false teeth in your mouth.
Speaking may be difficult. Try reading a book aloud in front of a mirror for practice.
Learning to eat again may be a challenge. Start with soft food and gradually add new items to your menu. Take very small mouthfuls.
You may need to visit your dentist several times to make adjustments to your dentures.
If you are in need of dental advice or services, please contact the professionals at Northview Dental. We are happy to consult with you about any questions you may have about dentures or other dental concerns.