YOUR NEW DENTURE: You’ve just received your new dentures, and whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a new denture wearer we’re sure there are many questions which may need to be answered. We hope that the following information will prove to be helpful during the next few weeks of your denture adjustment period.

Learning to wear your new denture can take time! Don’t become discouraged if you find some difficulty in the beginning. YOU’RE NOT ALONE! Please do not listen to friends who tell you how easy it was for them to get used to their new denture and how they can eat everything and anything. They are either bragging, have greater bone and gum support, or their memories may be poor. Your dentist will help you through any difficulties you may face or any situations that may arise during your adjustment period.

A lower denture usually takes more time to adjust to than an upper denture. The tongue may feel restricted and will tend to play, sometimes even subconsciously, with the new prosthesis. Soon your tongue will adapt to the restrictions and the new feelings that a denture presents.

Try to eat only soft foods for the first couple of days. Then, as you progress to more solid food try to eat slowly, and deliberately, attempting to place even amounts of food on both sides at the same time during the chewing cycle. By placing food on both sides of the mouth at the same time, you balance the biting forces on the new denture and will help to make it more stable. The longer you take to eat your meal, the faster you will learn to master your new prosthesis.

It is perfectly normal to experience some discomfort associated with sore spots during the adjustment period. Nature did not intend for us to wear hard plastic against soft gum tissue. It takes a while for the gum tissues to firm up and to accommodate to the hard plastic denture.

If sore spots should develop (and in some cases they do,) please continue to wear the denture and call your dentist for an adjustment appointment. This allows the dentist to see the sore area visually and make adjustments to the denture according to where the sore spots are located.

An unclean denture is neither healthy, attractive or comfortable. Clean your new denture every morning and night with either a denture toothbrush and denture toothpaste (if necessary any toothpaste can be used) or with one of the commercially available denture cleaners. Please be sure to check with your dentist to make sure that the commercial cleaner will not interfere with the denture liner you may have in your prosthesis. Permanent soft liners and temporary soft-liners react poorly to most commercial cleaners.

We prefer that you leave out one or both of your dentures at night. This allows your gum tissues to breathe and also relieves them of the constant pressure of mastication. When left out of the mouth, all dentures should be left in water to prevent the denture from warping.

REMOVABLE PARTIAL DENTURES

An important step in maintaining a healthy smile is to replace missing teeth. When teeth are missing, the remaining ones can change position, drifting into the surrounding spaces. Teeth that are out of position can damage tissues in the mouth and adjacent teeth. In addition, it may be difficult to clean thoroughly between crooked teeth. As a result, you run the risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to the loss of additional teeth.

A removable partial denture fills in the space created by missing teeth and fills out your smile. A denture helps you to properly chew food, a difficult task when you are missing teeth. In addition, a denture may improve speech and prevent a facial muscles from sagging by providing support for lips and cheeks. Partials also will help the opposing teeth from super-erupting (drifting downward). And if you are having stomach or intestinal problems, missing teeth and improper chewing my be the cause.

Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.

Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than metal clasps and they are nearly invisible. Crowns on your natural teeth may improve the fit of a removable partial denture and they are usually required with attachments. Dentures with precision attachments generally cost more than those with metal clasps. Consult with your dentist to find out which type is right for you.

How long will it take to get used to wearing a denture?

For the first few weeks, your new partial denture may feel awkward or bulky. However, with time you will eventually become more accustomed to wearing it. Inserting and removing the denture will require some practice. Follow all instructions given by your dentist. Your denture should fit into place with relative ease. Never force the partial denture into position by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.

RELINES

Gum tissues are in a constant state of change-but dentures are not! Therefore periodic relining may be necessary. If you find your denture/partial getting loose and mastication more difficult, this may be a sign that a reline may be needed. It is very important for your dentist to see you regularly to evaluate the state of your oral tissues and to determine if additional treatment is required. Dentures typically need to be relined or remade every 3-5 years. Teeth may become worn from chewing over time and a new denture or partial may be recommended. With partials, sometimes the framework still fits but the teeth are worn; therefore simply changing the teeth may be recommended. All are subject to what is the best for you and recommended by your dentist. Most lower dentures however are not the most stable to wear due to the lack of support and suction like the upper denture. If you are not happy with your lower denture see mini dental implants.

Never try to adjust your dentures yourself! Home remedies, although simple, will only lead to trouble. If any problems arise, or if you have any additional questions, your dentist is always available to help.

IMMEDIATE DENTURES

You have been advised to have an Immediate Denture, but what is it and how is it done? We hope that this information will help to explain the concepts and clear up any of the questions you might have regarding this type of prosthesis.

Let us explain what an immediate denture is by using an example: Suppose, for instance that you have eight (8) remaining upper teeth. These teeth are , unfortunately, in poor condition and cannot be utilized in any way to support a new prosthesis. If you were to have a traditional denture made, it would be necessary to have all of these teeth extracted first, the bone and gums would have to heal and then a denture could be fabricated. This process could take several weeks, if not longer, and for that time period you would have to go around without any teeth. In order to avoid this type of problem, we utilize an Immediate Denture technique. This involves taking impressions of your mouth while your teeth are still present. At the same time, when your teeth are extracted, we have a denture ready to be inserted. In this way, you never have to walk around without teeth. Immediate Dentures do present certain situations which we would like to list:

  1. Since we are unable to try in the denture prior to extracting your teeth, certain esthetic compromises may have to be made. This should not present any significant problem, however, and your esthetic result should be more than satisfactory.
  2. Since our goal is for you never to be without teeth, we will be inserting your new denture immediately after the extraction of your remaining teeth. This may seem odd, but it is perfectly normal. Typically, after the extraction of teeth, there may be some swelling. By placing your denture in immediately, this swelling can be kept to a minimum. If you did not place the denture immediately, the swelling that occurs might not allow you to wear your denture until the swelling subsided.
  3. It is very important that you follow the post-operative instructions of your dentist or oral surgeon very carefully. You must wear your new Immediate Denture for three (3) days, after the surgery, without removing it. This will help to control the swelling.
  4. Once healing has occurred, after approximately three (3) months, you will either need a reline of your existing denture, or the fabrication of an entirely new denture. If a new one has to be made, we will then he able to make any esthetic changes that you want within the limits of denture and your ridge. If a new denture is made, you will then be able to use the immediate denture as a spare (emergency) denture. This can sure come in handy if your new denture should break and need to be repaired at the laboratory.

VALPLAST AND THERMOFLEX PARTIALS

A rather comfortable tooth replacement option is a flexible partial denture. These dentures are made from a composite plastic resin and can include a bio-compatible metal for superior strength in some cases. These type of partial dentures offer unique physical and esthetic properties. The Valplast partial provides lifelike esthetics, flawlessly blending with your natural tissue and surrounding dentition. The Valplast partial provides ideal adaptation to both hard and soft tissues.

Sometimes partials made need to be supported by a metal substructure so a Valplast or therma-flex type partial will be made.

Valplast® with metal rest seats has the mobility and flexibility of a non-metal thermoplastic partial with the strength of cast metal rest seats. On partial removable dentures, forces are applied to retain the denture and the supporting teeth and tissues in an aesthetic fashion. In many cases, it is proven that non-metal thermoplastics, although aesthetically pleasing, would function better if they had metal rest seats to force down pressure along the supporting teeth. The rest seats are to help support and stabilize the flexible partial. Valplast® with metal rest seats is remarkably attractive due to its natural-looking clasps and minimal metal. For patients who need a removable denture with stability and beauty.