What Is A Denture?
A Denture is defined as a removable appliance which is used to replace any missing tooth/teeth in the oral cavity. Dentures are commonly used among elderly people to replace missing tooth/teeth. In general, dentures are classified into 2 types, namely partial denture and complete denture. When all the teeth are missing in a dental arch, complete denture is used. However, when only some of the teeth are missing in a dental arch, partial denture is used.
For a denture to fit and work well, you need to work at adjusting it. No denture ever fits and feels natural from the first day.
Would you be able to walk in new boots made out of hard leather? You probably would get some sores. Once the skin toughens up and the sore areas adjust, it all works out. Dentures are similar, except they need more time for acclimating.
For success, you need to commit to keeping the denture in your mouth for as long as possible for the first few weeks. This is so your mouth learns to adjust. Keeping the dentures in your mouth also helps identify the areas that are sore from the denture pressing and need additional adjustment by the dentist.
It is important to visit your dentist to adjust your denture 48 to 72 hours after receiving it. You will need another adjustment about a week of two later.
Even if you are handy with a nail file or a polishing tooth, you should never attempt to make your own adjustments or repair the denture at home. Always let your dentist to adjust the denture.
While dentures are an adequate replacement for your missing teeth you should not expect the dentures to have the same chewing efficiency as your natural teeth. Initially wearing the new denture may cause new sensations and increase amount of saliva in your mouth. Both of these are normal because your mouth is adjusting to the new dentures in your mouth. The saliva increase should subside as you and your denture adapt to each other. You may also accidentally bit your cheek, lip or tongue. This happens to almost everyone. It is normal to develop some sore spots after wearing the denture for a few days. Please visit your dentist for all necessary adjustments of your denture.
Tips For Denture Wearers:
- Avoid eating hard or sticky food for the first few weeks.
- Break your food into smaller pieces; this makes it easier to chew.
- Chew with your back teeth instead of your front ones.
- Balance the denture by chewing food on both sides of your mouth.
- Practice speaking with your dentures as wearing dentures normally change the way you pronounce some words.
Denture Care & Maintenance:
- Remove your denture from your mouth, brush your tongue, gums and palate to clean the area as well as increase the blood circulation in these areas.
- Clean the denture using a denture cleansing paste or liquid soap with a soft denture brush.
- Rinse the denture with cold or warm water. (Stay away from using hot or boiling water because it will warp the denture and it will not fit.
- Dentures need to stay moist at all times, so soak the denture in a cleansing solution or normal water when you are not wearing the dentures.
- Avoid using a regular toothbrush and toothpaste on your denture as they scratch the denture teeth and cause scratches that collect food and cause discolouration.
- You can use a denture adhesive for better retention of the dentures. Do not use an adhesive on a loose or denture that does not fit well. A loose denture may need a Reline or other repairs to improve it’s fit.
Visit your dentist as directed or at least visit once a year even if everything feels fine. Your dentist will evaluate the fit and the functionality of your denture and do a routine oral examination. If you have any questions, always contact your dentist.
Article written by,
Dr. Wong Kee Cheong (Tommy)
BDS (AIMST), MBA (SEGi), YCDP