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In-Depth Guide to Dentures

October 12, 2021
by: Dr. Ammons

There are some important things you should know about dentures before you seriously consider having them installed in your mouth. First of all, you should know exactly what they are and what they're made out of, and you should also have an understanding of why people would wear dentures in the first place. You should also know about the various types of dentures, and which oral conditions they are best suited for, so you will have an idea about which one might be best for you.

You'll also want to know how to care for your dentures, so that you can prolong their useful life, and get the most out of them. Finally, you should be aware of what implant-supported dentures are, and why they might be desirable for some patients. It's entirely possible that you may want to choose implant-supported dentures for yourself, because of their increased stability and longevity.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are oral devices which serve as replacements for your missing teeth, and since they're removable, they can be taken in and out of your mouth whenever the need arises. It will generally take some getting used to when you first have dentures installed, and you should be aware that they probably won't ever feel quite like your natural teeth did. However, there have been tremendous advances in the preparation of dentures over the last decade, and that means dentures of today look much better and are far more comfortable than those which were made in the past.

There are two primary types of dentures, those being full and partial. If you're missing an entire arch of upper or lower teeth, you will probably need a full denture to replace it. If you're missing several teeth on either the top or the bottom, a partial denture will be sufficient to replace the missing teeth. The way dentures work is by applying a flesh-colored acrylic base over the gums of your mouth.

The bottom of the upper denture covers the roof of your mouth, and the lower denture has the shape of a horseshoe, so as to better accommodate your tongue. All full dentures are custom-made in a laboratory, using impressions which were obtained from your mouth. Your dentist will discuss with you which of the various types of dentures is best suited for your circumstances.

Types of Dentures

As mentioned above, partial dentures are often used to replace two or more missing teeth in your mouth, especially when the surrounding natural teeth don't have the strength to support an oral device such as a dental bridge. Partial dentures are also used when there are more than two teeth missing in adjacent spots, because this is too large to fill with other devices. Partial dentures will be fitted to the gum line and fastened to nearby natural teeth, so they don't slip or fall out of place. They are not permanently fixed in place however, and can be removed when necessary.

Full or complete dentures are those which replace all of your natural teeth. They can easily be fitted for the top or bottom gum line, and they are fixed in place by suction, generally with assistance from some type of oral adhesive. In the same way that partial dentures can be taken out whenever necessary, so can full or complete dentures be removed and replaced in the mouth.

Immediate dentures are somewhat different from either full or partial dentures, and they get their name from the fact that they can be used immediately after tooth extraction, while your gums are healing. To make this work, impressions have to be taken of your teeth before they are extracted, because it could take as long as six months for your mouth to heal totally.

Immediate dentures can be refitted as changes in your mouth occur, for instance gum swelling will subside, and the jawbone may be slightly repositioned during the process. These dentures will then become disposable once your permanent ones have been prepared by laboratory. Full or partial dentures can be thought of as conventional dentures, whereas immediate dentures have a different purpose and are therefore non-traditional in nature.

What Does the Process of Getting the Dentures Involve?

If you're thinking of having dentures installed, here's what you can expect throughout the process. First of all, any teeth which need to be extracted will be taken out by your dentist, and you'll be made to feel as comfortable as possible during that process. Then an impression will be taken of your mouth, so that a customized denture can be prepared for you in a laboratory.

Your bite will be measured in a bite cast which consists of a wax block that accurately records biting action. Wax models may be prepared of your new artificial teeth so that you have an idea of what the completed denture will look like. Once the denture has been prepared, it will be fitted to your mouth, and any necessary adjustments will be made. Your dentist will then give you instructions on how you should care for your new dentures.

What Can You Expect with New Dentures?

In the immediate aftermath of having your new dentures installed, you can expect to have some sore spots around your mouth, and this is very natural. This soreness will gradually subside however, and you should have no discomfort after that. You can expect that it might take as long as a month or two in order to learn how to bite and chew efficiently with your new dentures.

You'll also need to practice speaking with your dentures in place, because it takes a while for the tongue to accommodate itself to new positions when engaged in speech. You should get in the habit right away of taking good care of your dentures, so that they last a long time and provide great service.

Denture Care and Maintenance

After each meal, you should start rinsing your dentures under running water, and rinsing your mouth out as well. You should clean your dentures with some kind of denture cleaner, and these will be easy to find at your local pharmacy. Once a day, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush the tissues of your tongue and mouth, so you can remove food particles and stimulate blood flow.

Make sure to leave your dentures out while you're sleeping, to give your mouth a rest. If you use any kind of dental adhesive, you should ask your dental professional for a recommendation, or at least look for the Seal of Acceptance by the ADA.

Schedule an Appointment with Ammons Dental by Design Today!

We have four convenient offices in South Carolina, one of which is sure to be close by. Contact our office in Charleston, James Island, Summerville, or Camden, so you can arrange for an appointment that will get you on the road to good oral health. If you're interested in having dentures installed, we can determine if you're a good candidate, and set up an initial consultation that will begin the process.

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Multiple Convenient Dental Locations Near Charleston

Ammons Dental By Design has four locations so you can find the most convenient office for your family.
1015 Fair St.
Camden, SC 29020
Monday – Thursday:
8am – 5pm
P: (803) 969-0365
F: (803) 432-2625
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14 Lockwood Dr,
Charleston, SC 29401
(Suite A on the exterior of the Ashley House Building, across from the marina)
Monday – Thursday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-2734
F: (843) 577-4464
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1739-B Maybank Hwy.
Charleston, SC 29412
Tuesday – Friday:
7am - 4pm
P: (843) 380-8889
F: (843) 990-9504
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1710 Old Trolley., Ste.B
Summerville, SC 29485
Tuesday – Thursday: 8am – 5pm
Monday & Friday*: 8am – 5pm
*Rotating schedule
P: (843) 380-8904
F: (843) 871-0617
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