Dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. This may be required in the event that you have lost your natural teeth from gum disease, tooth decay or injury.

Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Facial muscles sag without support from a denture which makes a person look older. You will also be able to eat and speak normally, things that people often take for granted until they have lost their natural teeth.

What is a denture?

A denture is an appliance which is worn to replace lost or missing teeth. The base of a denture is called a plate and can be made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal. The teeth are normally made of acrylic and can be made to match your natural teeth. A complete or full denture is one which replaces all of the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaws. A partial denture fills in the spaces created by lost or missing teeth and is attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.

Who needs a denture?

Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.

What will dentures feel like?

New dentures may feel awkward or even uncomfortable for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place.

It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness during this period. You may also find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. If any problems persist, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist.

Will I be able to eat with dentures?

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 denture from moving. As you become more used to your denture, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells.

Will dentures change how I speak?

Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating difficult words will help. If you find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile, reposition the denture by gently biting down and swallowing. If this continues consult your dentist. If the problem persists you may need to have it adjusted by your dentist.

How long should I wear my dentures?

During the first few days, you may be advised to wear them for most of the time, including while you are asleep. After an initial period of adjustment your dentists may advise that you remove them before going to bed at night.

How do I take care of my dentures?

The general rule is brush, soak, and brush. Always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them so they don’t break. The use of an effervescent denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher – always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.

Brush your dentures as you would your natural teeth, be careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves in the surface.

Make sure you clean all the surfaces of the dentures including the surface which comes into contact with your gums. This is especially important if you use any kind of denture fixative. If you notice a build up of stains or scale, have your denture cleaned by your dentist.