There are several different types of Dentures, all of which are designed to replace missing teeth.

Full Dentures are made when all the natural teeth are missing in either jaw.  They are made to fit either the upper or the lower jaw, or both jaws if all teeth are missing.  Complete dentures are usually made of acrylic.  The teeth are usually acrylic or porcelain.

Over-dentures can be constructed when the dentist is able to keep the roots of one or more teeth.  These may be cut off at the gum line, or slightly above it.  A denture can be constructed to fit over these roots.  This method gives additional support to the denture.  The roots of the natural teeth help prevent the bone and gum from shrinking too much.  When all the teeth are removed, gums often shrink right away, sometimes to almost nothing.  When this occurs, fitting, and retaining a denture is very difficult.  If the gums can be prevented from dissolving away, the denture fits and stays in place better.

It is often possible to use clips or magnetic attachments in these retained roots to aid in the retention of the denture.  This will increase the comfort of the denture.  Over-dentures can also be attached to dental implants.

Partial dentures are used to fill the spaces left after teeth have been extracted.  Partial dentures rely on the gums for support, but are usually attached to the remaining teeth by wires or clasps.  The clasps hold the denture in place.  Generally, a partial denture with fewer teeth will be more stable and successful.  They can be constructed of metal or acrylic.

Immediate Dentures are so called because they are placed in the mouth immediately after the extraction of one or more teeth.  The denture has to be made (or remodelled) prior to the extraction of the teeth.

Maintenance of your denture is essential.  If a crack starts to develop, have it repaired before it actually breaks.  Professional adjustment of sharp edges or spots that rub on the gums and cause soreness is far better than trying to do it at home.  At our office, no charge is levied for minor adjustments.  Over a period of time your gums may shrink, resulting in a loose ill-fitting denture.  A reline is the way to get the denture fitting well again.  While a denture adhesive may be helpful or necessary if your denture has little or no suction, it is not the answer in the case of an ill-fitting denture.  Ill-fitting dentures can cause damage to the gums and soft tissues of the mouth.

Getting used to a new denture can be a frustrating time.  Sometimes several adjustments need to be made before all the sore spots are eliminated.  Both your dentist and you want the dentures to settle in as quickly as possible, with a minimum of problems.  It may take a few weeks to get used to a new denture, especially if it is your first time at wearing a denture.  You may experience some or all of the following symptoms.

-         you may be aware of an excessive amount of saliva in your mouth, or the need for continual swallowing

-         you may have sore spots on your gums

-         you may not be able to immediately eat everything you would like to eat

-         you may feel that you have a real mouthful

-         you may talk a little funny for the first little while

-         you may feel self-conscious because the new denture looks or feels different

 Caring for your denture is a task that must be done at least once or twice a day.  All dentures must be removed to clean them.  If you have any remaining natural teeth, they can only be properly cleaned with the denture out of the mouth.  Always have some water in the sink or basin, or a towel over the bench when you are cleaning your dentures.  So many times dentures are accidentally dropped and broken during the cleaning process.

Dentures should be cleaned regularly to avoid ‘denture breath’.  Gentle brushing with mild toothpaste (one that is not too abrasive) or a denture cleaner or even soap, and a soft brush is the best way to clean your denture.  Always rinse them under running water prior to reinserting them back in the mouth.  There are certain things to avoid in cleaning your dentures:

-         white king or other bleaches or abrasives

-         harsh cleansers of any kind (e.g. Jif)

-         chemicals of any kind (e.g. caustic soda, or acid)

 If you leave your denture out of your mouth for any period of time, it is best to leave it in a glass of water.  That will prevent to denture from drying out and warping.  Never place a denture near or on top of a heater

Calculus or tartar may build up on your denture over time.  Although many people will use a sharp knife or even sandpaper to remove this calculus, it is not recommended.  At the dental office, we can remove these build-ups with specially designed products that are compatible with the acrylic of the denture.  However, please be aware that some stains and build-ups are virtually impossible to remove.

Broken Dentures are most annoying.  They always seem to break at the most inopportune time.  What is frustrating is that they often break while you are eating something soft.  Careful examination of a broken denture will often reveal that there has been a subclinical (unnoticed) crack in the denture for some time, which has gradually deteriorated until the denture actually splits in two.

Unless it is an absolute emergency, avoid trying to repair a broken denture at home.  Superglue, Araldite and Tarzan’s Grip rarely work for very long.  They can cause damage to the denture, resulting in a more expensive repair, or in the worst-case scenario, even complete ruination.   Call our office for immediate attention to your broken denture.