What is a denture?
A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
- An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
- A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination thereof. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.
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Advice and tips on caring for your dentures
- Only your dental professional is qualified to diagnose your oral health and adjust your denture or partial.
- Dentures should be brushed inside and outside daily with a soft, large nylon denture tooth brush with round-ended bristles.
- Use denture creams instead of toothpastes, which are too abrasive and will scratch your denture. Rinse with cold water.
- Dentures warp if placed in hot water.
- Inspect your denture regularly for worn teeth.
- Worn and stained dentures can make you look older and cause your dentures to function poorly.
- Discuss all your current medications with your doctor and dental professional.
- Be sure to visit your dental professional regularly.
- Have loose dentures checked immediately as they can cause friction and pressure on the gum tissues and bones.
- When not in use, cover dentures with water or a denture-cleaning solution to prevent them from drying out.
- Most dental insurance policies provide coverage for new dentures every 5 years.
Denture Exams & Maintenance
Your dentures are an investment and require care and attention to maintain their optimum performance. The fit of your dentures will have a profound affect on your oral tissues and health. An annual examination by Drs. Daryl Eckland, DDS, Keagan Eckland, DDS, Colby Eckland, DDS or Kale Eckland, DDS will help ensure your denture is functioning properly.
Medical and dental history
Updating your medical and dental history with any significant changes is critical to maintaining your oral health and well-being. A variety of medical and dental conditions can alter a dentures fit.
Annual examinations can assist in detecting oral abnormalities including cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions. Early detection of these conditions is generally beneficial for treatment.
Tissue and bone
Ill-fitting dentures may cause bone and tissue changes and need to be corrected for your oral health. Our practice can assess and recommend solutions to suit your personal needs.
Comfort, fit, and integrity of dentures
Bite problems, speech impediments and tissue irritations can be caused by an ill-fitting denture and should be remedied. Leaving this condition unchecked can lead to complicated situations in the future. Drs. Daryl Eckland, DDS, Keagan Eckland, DDS, Colby Eckland, DDS or Kale Eckland, DDS can assess your dentures for cracks, chips, and broken or loose teeth and suggest solutions.
Overview of exam
- Update of Medical and dental history chart
- An examination of your oral cavity
- Tissue and bone assessment
- Denture stability and bite examination
- Cleaning and polishing of your denture
- Oral hygiene review
When do Dentures Need a Reline?
New dentures will typically fit your mouth very securely as it has been designed specifically for your gums. As time goes on, your gum tissues will change and the fit of the denture will become more loose and thus more prone to movement inside your mouth. Having the denture professionally relined every one to two years will keep the denture secure and functional.
Types of Denture Relines:
All full dentures should have a hard reline every two years. Eckland Family Dentistry removes a layer of plastic from the dentures interior surface, and then fills the denture with a putty-like material which conforms to the contours of your mouth creating an accurate impression. The denture is sent to the lab where it is adjusted to the new shape of your gum tissue. This results in maximum contact between the denture and your mouth.
Some patients are unable to wear ordinary dentures because of tender gums or sore spots. Eckland Family Dentistry may recommend relining the denture with a material that stays pliable for one to two years before needing replacement. This material is much less likely to give the patient sore spots than the standard hard reline acrylic. Patients experiencing these problems may also consider a more permanent solution of implant retained dentures.
If dentures have not been serviced in quite some time, a patient’s gums may be red, swollen, or misshapen. This creates problems in taking impressions for a new hard or soft reline and may lead to a denture that would perpetuate the problem.
A temporary, or palliative (medicated) reline material may be recommended to allow the inflammation to subside. This reline makes the denture fit much more tightly, and is usually soft and pliable. After a few weeks, the gums return to a more normal state. The patient is then ready for his new denture or hard reline.
Denture Rebase & Repairs
Rebasing may be recommended when the teeth of your denture are still in good condition and have not worn out in comparison to the denture base material. Rebasing is the process of replacing the entire acrylic denture base providing a stable denture without replacing the denture teeth. A rebase for a denture maybe required if your denture is old or is cracked. A rebase is very similar to relining, the difference being that, a rebase replaces all the pink-acrylic denture base material instead of just the lining.
Reasons for the rebase procedure may include:
- Broken or damaged denture
- Weakened or old pink denture base
- Replacement of an immediate denture
A variety of circumstance can lead to a damaged denture and should be addressed immediately. Repairs restore a fractured or damaged denture close to its original condition. Eckland Family Dentistry can often provide denture repair procedures on a same day basis. Eckland Family Dentistry will advise you of the condition of your denture and will recommend steps needed in preventing further breakage.
A soft liner is a layer of soft, pliable material that is fitted between the surface of a denture and your oral tissues. It absorbs shock between the hard base of your denture and your gums. Soft liners can be used when creating new dentures or retrofitted into existing dentures.
Permanent soft liners provide comfort and relief for individuals with receded and flattened gum tissues that don’t respond well to the stress of dentures. They may also be a suitable solution for patients with chronically sore gum tissues or gums with sharp bony areas.
Advantages of Soft Liners
- More comfortable to use
- Virtually all patients respond well to soft liner materials
- Easier chewing
- A proven technology with over 20 years of innovation
Soft liners require regular follow-up visits with Eckland Family Dentistry to examine the fit of dentures and general oral health.