Dentures can be a mystery to patients who don’t have them. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about how they work and how to care for them, even for those who wear dentures. Before getting to the interesting facts about dentures, let’s start with the basics.
What are dentures?
Dentures are removable false teeth that come in full or partial sets.
- Full or Complete: Sometimes a person needs a new full set of teeth on their top or bottom jaw, as their natural teeth are either all missing, or some are missing but the rest are unhealthy. The full or complete denture set fits over the jawbone and gums, usually attaching with suction.
- Partial: Partial dentures are for people who are missing one or more natural teeth, but not all the teeth in the entire lower or upper jaw. Partial dentures attach differently than full ones, using clips to attach to the other nearby natural teeth.
Custom v. one-size-fits-all
Well-fitting dentures replace natural teeth. In addition to their chewing functionality, they also help preserve a sense of self, image and a person’s dignity. That’s why it’s important to have the best quality and custom fit with the dentures.
Here’s what you need to know about custom dentures:
Custom dentures are time-consuming to make. The patient needs to schedule several visits to ensure a quality fit. After the dentist takes molds or impressions, the dentist and lab technician build the dentures, which are checked in the patient’s mouth at every step, to ensure not only how they look, but also the bite and fit. A custom denture should look like the natural teeth, and no one will know the difference.
High quality lasts. It’s not surprising that dentures using high quality materials will last longer than lower quality materials. Customized dentures usually use a high quality material, just as we do at Klement Family Dental.
Immediate dentures: Sometimes a patient will get a denture to wear immediately after teeth are removed, as a temporary or interim (or short-term) appliance. They’re worn until the gum and bone heal, and custom dentures can be made.
With poorly made dentures or ones that aren’t customized, it’s more likely the patient will experience problems.
What can happen with poorly fitted dentures?
- Bad breath
- Mouth sores
Interesting myths and facts about dentures
Patients have all kinds of ideas about dentures. Here are some of the myths and explanations about them.
- They’re teeth for life! Unfortunately, dentures do need periodic replacing. Just like natural teeth stain and wear down, so do dentures. Plus, your jawbone and gums are constantly changing, so to ensure the best fit and function, dentures need to change with it.
- No more dentist! Aside from visits to adjust the dentures if there’s a problem, a yearly trip to the dentist is still important to ensure a good fit and gum health, as well as having the dentures professionally inspected to be sure they’re still in good shape. Dentures can get contaminated with bacteria, which can cause other health problems for the entire body.
- Everyone needs denture adhesive. Not true! A well-fitted custom full denture relies on suction for stability. Partial dentures work well with clasps. Adhesive can certainly be used as well with custom dentures, however.
If you have questions about dentures, dentistry, sedation dentistry or dental implants, contact a dentist in St. Petersburg FL. Klement Family Dental is available for consultation as well as for an emergency dentist visit as well.