Dentures, often known as false teeth or artificial teeth, are more than just an aesthetic solution. When natural teeth surrender to factors such as tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, dentures come to the rescue by replacing lost or missing teeth, restoring not just smiles but also the basic functions of teeth. Specially crafted by skilled Perth dentists, these dentures are custom-made with meticulous precision to fit perfectly into a patient's mouth and mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Acrylic resin, renowned for its durability and likeness to natural gums and teeth, is the primary material used in their creation.
Full dentures, often referred to as complete dentures, are a complete set of removable, false teeth. They are used when all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw or both are missing.
Carefully crafted to resemble your natural teeth, full dentures not only fill the void left by tooth loss but also support the cheeks and lips, maintaining the integrity of a person’s facial structure.
They are an essential solution for those who have lost all their teeth, helping to restore oral health and functionality.
There are two main types of full dentures:
Conventional dentures are made and placed in the patient’s mouth after the remaining teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, which can take several months.
These dentures are inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. The primary benefit of an immediate denture is that denture wearers do not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, adjustments will likely be needed as the mouth heals and changes shape.
Partial dentures are a type of removable denture that fill the gaps created by one or more missing teeth.
Here are two main types of partial dentures to replace missing teeth:
Cast Metal Removable Dentures: These are the most common type of partial dentures. They consist of replacement teeth attached to a metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. They are durable and designed to last many years.
Flexible Partial Denture: These are a newer option made of flexible, translucent material that blends with the natural colour of the oral tissues in the mouth. They are more comfortable and aesthetic but are usually more expensive.
Choosing between full or partial dentures depends on how many natural teeth remain in the mouth. A complete denture is a common solution for individuals who have lost all their teeth in either the upper or lower jaw or, in some cases, both.
They replace all your teeth, offering a complete set of artificial teeth that restores functionality and aesthetics.
On the other hand, partial dentures are apt for individuals who still have some natural teeth remaining. These dentures are carefully designed to fill in the gaps created by missing teeth, acting as a bridge anchored to the existing natural teeth. A partial denture ensures the remaining natural teeth don’t shift positions, maintaining alignment and oral health.
Aesthetically, full and partial dentures are designed to look like your teeth and significantly improve the wearer’s smile. The main difference lies in the extent of the transformation.
A full denture offers a total makeover, replacing missing teeth and creating a new, complete smile. They can be customised to match the shape, size, and colour of the patient’s original teeth or even offer a more aesthetically pleasing smile than the original teeth.
Partial dentures, however, blend in with the natural teeth. They fill in the gaps, ensuring seamless integration with the teeth. That allows the wearer to maintain the familiarity of their original smile while enhancing it by replacing their missing teeth.
When it comes to comfort, both dentures require an adjustment period. Individuals starting to wear dentures may initially find them uncomfortable or odd-feeling. The feeling subsides over time as the mouth, and the muscles in the cheeks and tongue adapt to holding the dentures in place.
Due to their larger coverage area, complete dentures might present a more significant initial adjustment, particularly in speaking and eating. Over time, however, wearers generally become comfortable using them.
A partial denture, on the other hand, is often considered more comfortable from the start as they are smaller and anchored to existing teeth. However, care must be taken to avoid dislodging them during eating and speaking until the wearer becomes accustomed to their presence.
In both cases, any ongoing discomfort should be discussed with a dentist because it could indicate that the dentures need adjustment. Comfort is crucial when wearing dentures – they are, after all, a part of your new smile!
Initial Consultation and Examination: The first step to getting dentures is a consultation with a dental professional. During this appointment, the dentist will assess your oral health, discuss your options, and help you decide whether dentures are right for you. They will examine your gums, remaining teeth, if any, and bone structure and may also take X-rays.
Impressions and Measurements: If dentures are deemed suitable, the next step involves taking accurate impressions and measurements of your mouth. Ensuring that your new dentures will fit properly and comfortably is crucial.
Creation of Denture Models: Based on the impressions and measurements, a dental lab will create a model of your denture. This model, usually made from wax or plastic, is used to assess the fit, colour, and shape of the denture before the final piece is made.
Fitting of the Denture Model: You will try on the model during your next appointment. The dentist will check the fit, make necessary adjustments, and assess the appearance of the denture. This step may be repeated several times until the fit is perfect. It’s essential to communicate with your dentist about how the model feels and looks, as this will be the basis for your final denture.
Creation and Fitting of the Final Denture: The final denture is made once the model is approved. When you receive your new dentures, they may feel strange or loose for a few weeks until your cheeks and tongue muscles learn to keep them in place. You may need minor adjustments by your dentist to ensure a comfortable fit.
Follow-Up and Maintenance: Regular follow-ups are necessary to check the fit and health of the underlying soft tissues. Over time, your mouth naturally changes, which can lead to the denture becoming loose. In this case, a denture reline procedure will be done to refit the denture.
Remember, getting used to new dentures takes time and patience, but with regular care and adjustments as necessary, you’ll soon get accustomed to life with your new teeth. Regular cleaning of your dentures and maintaining good oral health are crucial to ensure the longevity of your dentures and overall oral health.
To keep your dentures clean and your mouth healthy, follow these steps:
Remove and Rinse Dentures After Eating: Run water over your dentures to remove food debris and other loose particles. Be careful not to drop your dentures while rinsing them.
Clean Your Mouth After Removing Dentures: Use a soft-bristled brush to clean your natural teeth, tongue, cheeks, and roof of your mouth. If you use any denture adhesive, remove it entirely from your gums.
Brush Dentures Daily: Brush your dentures daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Use a soft-bristled denture brush and a non-abrasive denture cleaner. Avoid harsh toothpaste and stiff-bristled brushes as they can damage the denture.
Soak Your Dentures Overnight: Most dentures must stay moist to keep their shape. Soak your dentures in water or a mild denture cleaning solution overnight to keep them clean and stains-free.
Rinse Dentures Before Wearing Them: After soaking your dentures overnight, rinse them thoroughly before wearing them in your mouth, especially if they were soaked in a denture cleaning solution.
Even if you wear full dentures, you should see your dentist regularly. During these visits, your dentist will perform a complete oral examination to check the health of your gums and the fit and condition of your dentures to ensure they are functioning properly and not causing discomfort or damage. Regular check-ups also allow the dentist to detect and treat conditions like Denture stomatitis, an inflammation of the mouth that can occur in denture wearers, early.
You may face some challenges when you start to wear dentures for the first time. Some common problems include:
Difficulty Eating and Speaking: This is quite common when you first start wearing dentures. Initially, it might be beneficial to stick to a diet of soft foods while you adjust to the new feel of the dentures in your mouth. With practice, your mouth gets used to the dentures, and these difficulties usually diminish. It’s also recommended to avoid chewing gum as it can stick to the denture material.
Loose Dentures: Over time, your mouth naturally changes shape. It can cause your dentures to become loose and may require a denture reline or new dentures. Using a denture adhesive can also help secure the dentures.
Irritation and Soreness: These issues usually improve as your mouth gets used to the dentures. However, if the discomfort persists, you must visit your dentist, as the dentures may need adjustment.
Denture Stomatitis: This condition can develop if dentures are not cleaned properly or left out overnight. It can cause inflammation and redness in the areas of the mouth covered by the denture. Regular cleaning and soaking dentures overnight can help prevent this condition.
Regular cleaning, good oral hygiene, and staying on top of any discomfort or changes in fit are crucial to maintaining a comfortable and healthy denture experience.
Becoming accustomed to dentures takes a little time and patience, but most people find they can adapt relatively quickly with practice. Here’s what you need to know about adjusting to eating and speaking with dentures and preventing them from slipping:
Eating and speaking with new dentures are typically the biggest adjustments for most people. Initially, it’s helpful to start with soft foods and gradually reintroduce harder foods as you get more comfortable. When speaking, practice reading out loud and repeating tricky words to get used to articulating with your dentures. Remember, it’s normal to experience a little saliva flow and slight irritation, but these issues will decrease as you become accustomed to your false teeth.
If your dentures tend to slip, here are a few tips that can help:
Use Denture Adhesives: Denture adhesives, also known as denture glue or denture fixative, can help keep your dentures in place. They come in different forms, including creams, powders, and strips. Choose the one you find most comfortable and convenient.
Ensure Proper Denture Fit: Over time, your gums and jawbone will change, which can cause your dentures to fit less snugly. Regular check-ups with your dentist can ensure that your dentures are adjusted as needed for a good fit.
Consider Metal Clasps: For some types of partial dentures, metal clasps can be used to provide additional stability. They hook onto the teeth on either side of the gap, helping to hold the denture in place. It’s important to note that the use of metal clasps depends on various factors, such as the health and position of the remaining natural teeth, the size of the gap being filled by the denture, and the specific design of the denture.
Remember, living with dentures is a journey. You can eat, speak, and smile confidently with patience and practice.
While dentures are a popular choice for replacing missing teeth, they are not the only option. Two other common alternatives include dental implants and dental bridges.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots surgically implanted into the jawbone, providing a stable base for replacement teeth. They are often considered the most natural-feeling and functioning substitute for lost teeth. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth, or even an entire upper or lower set of teeth. A dental implant does not need support from surrounding teeth and helps maintain jawbone health by providing the same stimulation as natural tooth roots.
Dental bridges are another effective solution for missing teeth. A bridge comprises two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth) and a false tooth/teeth in between. The false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants and can be a good choice if the adjacent teeth are healthy and strong.
The cost of dentures can vary greatly. Generally, a full denture costs around $3000 AUD, while partial dentures cost about $1500 AUD. The exact cost depends on the type of denture and the number of appointments needed. These prices can change based on various factors, including the material used for the dentures, the complexity of the patient’s case, the geographic location, and the specific rates of the dental professional.
Many dental insurance providers offer coverage for dentures, typically categorised under restorative services. Standard dental insurance plans commonly cover 50% of denture services. However, there are often limitations, such as waiting periods of 6 months to 1 year for new patients and annual limits, which may not cover the full cost of dentures.
It is often suggested to avoid certain foods with dentures. These include sticky foods (like caramel and chewing gum), hard foods (like nuts and hard candies), and foods with small seeds that can get lodged under the denture. Cutting food into smaller pieces and chewing slowly can also help.
While it is technically possible to sleep with dentures, most dentists recommend removing them at night. It gives your gums and jaw a chance to rest, promotes oral health, and lets you clean your dentures properly.
Dentures typically need to be replaced every five to seven years. However, this can vary based on individual use, care, and changes in your mouth and jaw shape.
If your dentures are causing discomfort or pain, seeing your dentist is essential. They can make necessary adjustments or replacements. Do not try to adjust them yourself, as this can cause further damage.
Immediate dentures are pre-made dentures inserted immediately after tooth removal, allowing the wearer to have teeth during the healing process. Immediate dentures are typically made from acrylic, and while they’re convenient, they may have a different level of fit and aesthetics than custom-made dentures.
Implant-supported dentures are a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to implants in the jaw. They provide better stability than traditional dentures and are a good option for individuals with sufficient bone in their jaws to support implants.
Permanent dentures, also known as fixed dentures, are typically anchored to dental implants and cannot be removed by the patient. Removable dentures can be taken out for cleaning and sleeping. Each has pros and cons; the best choice depends on the individual’s needs and oral health situation.
Dentures can significantly enhance your appearance. They fill in gaps left by absent teeth, thereby improving your smile. In addition, dentures provide the necessary support for your facial muscles, helping to maintain the natural shape of your face and prevent sagging, which can occur with tooth loss.
Dentures may initially affect your speech, causing a slight lisp or difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. However, speech improves with practice and as your mouth gets used to the dentures. Reading aloud and repeating tricky words help speed up this adjustment process.
Denture adhesive is not always necessary, especially if the dentures fit well. However, some find it provides additional stability and comfort, particularly while eating.
Modern dentures often use more advanced materials and technologies to provide a more natural look and feel. They may also be more durable and comfortable than traditional dentures. However, the specifics can vary based on the type and brand of dentures.
Denture adhesives are generally safe.
At Acts Dental, we’re committed to bringing out the best in your smile with our top-of-the-line denture solutions.
Are you ready to boost your confidence, revitalise your appearance, and enjoy the foods you love without hesitation? Our experienced dental professionals are eager to guide you every step of the way, from consultation to custom-fit dentures that feel and look completely natural. We are Bupa preferred provider, Medibank preferred provider, HBF preferred provider, HCF preferred provider, and Nib preferred provider in Perth, making our high-quality dental services even more accessible. Our goal is to make dental care hassle-free and affordable without compromising quality.
Don’t let missing teeth or uncomfortable dentures hold you back. Step into the world of comfortable, high-quality, affordable dentures at Acts Dental. With us, you’re not just getting a denture—you’re getting a whole new reason to smile!
Act now, and let us help you unlock the door to your brightest smile. Contact us today at (08) 9474 5083 to schedule your consultation!