Dentures – Your Complete Guide

Whether you’re contemplating acquiring a set of dentures for the first time, own existing ones, or aware of somebody who uses them, there are a number of things you’re most likely eager to find out about them. This article explains what dentures are made from, how best to look after them and how they help enhance your oral strength and wellbeing.

Dentures explained

A denture is another name for false teeth and gums that are specially designed by a denture clinic, dental technician, prosthetist or dentist to fit the contours of your mouth. Their appearance and function replicates that of ordinary teeth. There’s a complete range of different styles of dentures including acrylic, chrome, flexible and more. People who have no more original teeth left at all, require full dentures, while those who still have some natural teeth will opt for partial dentures instead. There are other times when a person may lose a tooth in an accident, in which a case single tooth denture can be inserted.

What are dentures composed of?

In years gone by, dentures were commonly composed of porcelain or plastic, but these have now largely been replaced in favour of specially formulated compounds that look and feel like regular teeth. Even with the constant advances in denture technology, they are still less durable then natural teeth and special care must be taken to prevent them from becoming fractured or tarnished. Even when well looked after, dentures will often have to be renewed every several years or thereabouts.

The artificial gums are either composed of a compound that closely matches that used for the teeth, or sometimes made from a malleable substance that rests on your existing gums.

The importance of dentures

Far more than being a superficial accessory that enhances a person’s outward presentation, dentures reinforce the interior of the mouth, helping to restore the wearer’s natural chewing function. Dentures allow wearers to once again digest food that is difficult to break down, allowing them to retain the same nutritional intake that they always enjoyed.

Beyond this, dentures are a reasonable substitution for existing teeth that are a source of significant discomfort, while generating other underlying problems. Replacing such teeth with dentures ensures that these problems are completely resolved.

Full Dentures

These are for people who no longer have any of their original teeth left. Full dentures can be installed in the upper or lower gums and are typically secured using a special denture glue.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are typically worn when other alternative solutions are not suitable for the wearer, such as when original teeth in the immediate area are insufficient for dental arches or when multiple teeth have fallen out from the same area. Partial dentures are installed on the gums and secured by attaching them to original teeth located in the vicinity.

Looking after your dentures

No matter what type of dentures you own, special care must be taken to prevent damage and they need to be rinsed on a daily basis. While the false teeth themselves are made from chemical compounds, they still attract the same germs and residual gunk that regular teeth do, which can be detrimental to your remaining teeth, as well as gums and general oral health.

The following steps should be used when cleaning dentures:

  • Remove them from your mouth
  • Rinse them with fresh water to remove any excess gunk in and around the exterior surfaces of the teeth, the surrounding gums and beneath the artificial gums
  • Gently scrub the dentures with a soft bristled toothbrush, with the help of a delicate soap or specially formulated false teeth cleaning agent
  • Rinse them thoroughly

When your dentures have been removed, it’s important that you also clean inside of your mouth and any remaining regular teeth a gentle toothbrush.

Can you wear your dentures when going to bed?

It’s important that you always take your dentures out before going to bed. Failure to do so can break them or loosen them. Taking them out also allows your natural teeth and gums to rejuvenate themselves. When going to bed, place the dentures into a cup or glass containing a denture restorative liquid.

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