Dentures are a type of removable dental prosthetic for missing teeth and surrounding tissues made of acrylic resins, sometimes combined with metal attachments. They look like natural teeth and are designed to give you back the comfort of smiling, eating, and speaking without hesitation.
There are different types of dentures available for different needs. Dr. Sunitsch will review your case to offer an individualized treatment plan with the best option. Complete dentures are used in patients lacking any natural teeth, while partial dentures are used when you have some gaps only.
Complete dentures replace all missing teeth and fit snugly over the patient’s gums and jawbone. They are ready for placement when the gums have begun to heal after the patient’s upper and lower teeth are pulled.
The extraction process can occur all at once or over a couple of weeks. The patient can have a temporary denture made that will allow them to smile and eat regularly while the gum tissue heals completely, which takes 8 to 12 weeks.
Removable partial dentures replace the missing teeth in a patient who lacks only one or some teeth. Artificial teeth are affixed to a pink or gum-colored plastic foundation, held in place in the mouth by a metal framework.
There are many variations of partial dentures, including semi-permanent options that attach artificial teeth to natural teeth on either side of the gap.
Once you attend your consultation, Dr. Sunitsch will take X-rays of your mouth to ensure you have no dental conditions that might prevent you from getting dentures.
If you have experienced considerable tooth loss due to trauma, periodontal disease, or an accident, you would be an ideal candidate for total dentures. However, if you have one or more gaps in your teeth, but still have natural teeth, the best option for you could be partial dentures.
Dentures are developed in multiple stages that require several appointments with time between each appointment. The process is as follows:
- Dr. Sunitsch will make impressions of your jaw and mouth.
- Wax models of your dentures will be made in the exact final shape to be tried on and adjusted.
- The final denture model is sent to a lab and made in acrylic on the desired color and size.
- The doctor will make the needed adjustments to ensure you are a good fit.
Once your gum tissue has healed and you’re starting to wear your new dentures, you might feel mouth soreness or irritation. This will eventually disappear when your tongue and cheek muscles adjust to keep your denture in place.
If you keep experiencing irritation and soreness even after a few weeks, we suggest having a denture adjustment.
If you have partial dentures, do not stop wearing them while waiting for an adjustment appointment. Your remaining natural teeth might start shifting into the gaps your dentures fill, and you will have to begin the process of shaping and to create your dentures again.
It might take some time to get used to eating with dentures. We recommend the following:
- Start with soft foods.
- Cut your food into small pieces.
- Chew with both sides of your mouth.
- Keep adding other foods until you eventually return to your regular diet.
- Avoid sticky or extremely hard foods.
- Avoid spicy foods if your gums are sore or still healing.
- Drink liquids with your meals.
- Be cautious of hot temperatures since you won’t be able to tell right away.
Initially, Dr. Sunitsch recommends that his patients wear their dentures 24 hours a day, even while sleeping, to get used to wearing them. As you adjust to your new dentures, you can remove them before bed.
While adjusting to your new dentures, you might feel some discomfort speaking. Over time and practice, you’ll notice these issues will fade away.
Cleaning your dentures is just as important as cleaning your natural teeth. We recommend the following:
- To remove any food and plaque on them, carefully brush them with a soft-bristled brush and denture cleaning solution daily. Do not use toothpaste since it can stain your denture.
- Handle your dentures carefully and always wipe them over a towel or sink full of water.
- Dentures need to be kept moist when not in use. If they don’t have metal parts that can tarnish, keep them in a denture cleanser-soaking solution or water.
Your dentures could last between 5 to 10 years if cared for properly. Once they have lost their shape due to wear, a replacement might be needed.
Keep up with your regular dental appointments so that your dentist can monitor your progress.
Dental adhesive can help with keeping your dentures in place throughout the day. It also forms a seal that keeps food particles from sticking between the gums and dentures.
Use a small amount of paste or powder adhesive onto your clean dentures and then place them in your mouth. At the end of the day, remove your dentures, rinse your mouth, and clean your dentures thoroughly.
Do not use adhesive to replace a denture adjustment since this could deteriorate your oral health and cause further issues.
At Pine Desert Dental, we offer denture consultations to patients who need removable replacements for a missing tooth or teeth. Dr. Zach Sunitsch and the Pine Desert Dental team can handle all your dental needs.
He is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Oregon Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. We offer comprehensive dental services, including removable dental prosthetics.
If you’d like to know if you are a candidate for dentures, call us at (541) 549-01-09 or request an appointment online. You can also visit us at our clinic in Sisters, Oregon.