Melbourne Dental Practice

Dentures

Dentures

Dentures, or false teeth, are not like your own teeth, no matter how experienced you are as a denture wearer. If you are new to wearing dentures you need to be patient and get used to them gradually.

This is especially true if you have had a new denture after teeth have been extracted. To begin with the denture may fit perfectly well, but with time the denture may begin to feel loose. This is because the gums can shrink very quickly. It may be necessary to reline the denture, or sometimes have it remade.

It can take some weeks to complete your new dentures, with the work being transferred to a specialised dental laboratory after each appointment.

Stage One

Moulds (impressions) are taken of your mouth and sent to the Dental Laboratory. This may be done over two visits.

Stage Two

Wax blocks are inserted in your mouth to record the way your jaws meet. At this stage the colour and shape of the new teeth is discussed. If you have any views on this it is useful to let the dentist know at this stage.

Stage Three

A trial denture made of wax will be fitted. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you indicate any adjustments you wish be made at this visit. Once the dentures are finished additional alterations are very difficult to do. If you are uncertain about the appearance of the trial dentures at this stage it is possible to take them home with you to examine them, show relatives, friends etc. Only when you are completely satisfied with the trial denture, will treatment commence to the final stage.

Stage Four

You new denture will be fitted. It takes approximately 4-5 visits from start to finish while having new dentures made. Further adjustment appointments may be requested once the new dentures are fitted. This is entirely normal. If the new denture does rub it is very helpful to wear the denture for at least two hours before any adjustment so that the easing can be much more accurately done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What will dentures feel like?
A. New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation and soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. These problems should diminish with wear. More follow-up appointments are generally needed after the new dentures are inserted.

Q. Will I be able to eat with my dentures?
A. Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Be cautious with hot food/drink or hard sharp-edged bones or shells.

Q. Will dentures change how I speak?
A. Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading aloud and repeating troublesome words will help. If your dentures "click" while you're talking, speak slowly. You may find that your dentures occasionally slip out slightly when you cough, laugh or smile. Reposition them by biting down and swallowing. Soon you will be able to cope very well with your new dentures.

Q. How long should I wear my dentures?
A. During the day, you may be advised to wear them most of the time, including while your sleep. After the initial adjustment period, you may be instructed to remove the dentures before going to bed. This allows the tissues to rest and promotes good oral health. Generally it is not desirable for the oral tissues to be constantly in contact with the denture material.

Q. How do I take care of my dentures?
A. Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even only a few inches. Stand over a folded towel or basin of water when handling dentures for cleaning. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing prevents permanent staining and helps keep your mouth healthy. A tooth/ denture brush with soft bristles can be used, as hard-bristles brushes can damage the dentures. Some denture wearers use hand soap and mild dishwashing liquid to clean their dentures. More advanced denture creams and tables are widely available. Avoid using other household product cleaners, which may be to abrasive or even toxic.
The first step is to thoroughly rinse away loose food particles. Moisten the brush and apply denture cleaner. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently and avoid damage. Dentures may lose their shape if you allow them to dry out. When not worn, place in warm water. Never use hot water which could cause dentures to warp. Keep out of reach of children. You still need to take care of your mouth, brushing your tongue, palate, cheeks and gums daily. This removes plaque and promotes circulation.

Q. How often should I schedule dental appointments?
A. Your dentist will advise you about how often you need to visit. Regular check-up visits are important. Your dentist will examine your mouth to see if the dentures continue to fit properly. Your dentist also examines your mouth for signs of oral diseases including cancer at these scheduled appointments.