What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable restorations for missing teeth. They are usually made from a gum coloured plastic base, with artificial teeth positioned so they restore your smile and bite. They can be complete (replacing all teeth) or partial (replacing some teeth). Having missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile and make eating and speaking difficult. It also has a negative impact on your oral health, so it is vital that they be replaced.
Dentures should last for several years if you take good care of them. However, your gums and jawbone will eventually shrink and the dentures may not fit as well as they used to and become loose, or they may become worn.
You should see your dentist if:
• your dentures click when you are talking
• your dentures tend to slip, or you feel they no longer fit properly
• your dentures feel uncomfortable
• your dentures are visibly worn
• you have signs of gum disease or tooth decay, such as bleeding gums or bad breath
If poorly fitting or worn dentures are not replaced, they can cause great discomfort and lead to mouth sores, infections or problems with eating and speech.
It's important to regularly remove plaque from your dentures, as unclean dentures can also lead to problems such as bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay and oral thrush.
Clean your dentures as often as you would normal teeth (at least every morning and night), by:
• brushing them with paste before soaking, to remove food particles
• soaking the dentures in a fizzy solution of denture-cleaning tablet to remove stains and bacteria – follow the manufacturer's instructions and do not soak them overnight
• brushing them again, as you would your normal teeth (but don't scrub too hard)
For more information, read the British Dental Health Foundation leaflet about denture cleaning.
Dental Implants for Dentures
Denture the fit and functioning of your existing dentures can be dramatically improved with dental implants which secures your dentures in your mouth. Dental Implants are private treatment options at our practice.
Losing your teeth leads to bone loss which continues over time. If a substantial amount of bone loss occurs, the lower jawbone may not be able to support a denture. Inserting two dental implants e.g. into the lower jawbone provides a solid foundation for a denture that otherwise a patient may not have been able to wear.
Some people may not be able to wear traditional upper dentures because their jawbone has shrunk away with no ridge and insufficient palate depth to hold a full upper denture in place. Patients can also have a gag reflex which is uncontrollably oversensitive and they cannot tolerate the roof of their mouth being covered with a denture base. Having e.g. upper dental implants placed allows the size of the denture base to be reduced and made into a smaller arch shape, rather than occupying the entire palate.
Book a consultation at our Faces & Smiles Advanced Treatment Centres to enquire about dental implants.