“Oh No Not Dentures!” – For some people, having a denture can have a certain stigma associated with it. We have a picture in our mind of false teeth in a glass on the bed side table which was a common occurrence with our grandparents. This is no longer the case due to the advances in denture dentistry!
Dealing with tooth loss isn’t easy, but dentures are one of the many options for restoring areas where we have missing teeth. The most common reasons for needing them is due to periodontal disease or better known as gum disease. Gum Disease is relatively common unfortunately but with regular check-ups with Caroline your gum scores are always taken and you will be informed if Caroline has any concerns. We score gums on a scale of 0 – 4, with 0 being excellent and 4 being possibly wobbly teeth. On the whole if you have a 2 or higher Caroline will advise seeing Claire our hygienist in order to get back of track. Remember gum disease is treatable and the earlier treatment and management starts, the longer you will keep your teeth.
Improperly fitted existing dentures may be uncomfortable and can move around in the mouth, causing pain and chewing difficulties. To help avoid these problems try to discuss with Caroline any concerns, she is a great listener! Taking good care of your dentures will also result in a longer life span for them. Dentures must be removed and cleaned regularly to avoid infections or disease and allow your gums to breathe. Gum is still skin, even if it is very specialised and skin needs to air. Think of how your skin looks after you have had a plaster on for a couple of days, that is how your gum can look underneath a plate if the plate is left in situ for too long.
One of the main issues associated with dentures is the use of fixative. If you are having trouble with your denture then it’s important to see Caroline and to try to avoid using fixative or your denture will never fit the same again. Using fixative gives you a false sense of security and isn’t good long term for the denture.
Making New Dentures
Have you ever wondered what’s involved with making a denture? The process cannot be rushed and is actually quite complicated. There are four main appointments that include various impressions and try-ins to make the best fitting and most comfortable denture. However, from start to finish you can have the perfect smile in 4 weeks! You may then need to return occasionally during the first month after the denture is fitted to have some adjustments made. We describe it as the change from wearing your old beloved slippers to having new shoes. The new shoes fit but they just need a little wearing in.
Types of Dentures
Finally there are three types of dentures. There are acrylic which are plastic, there are cobalt chrome which have metal in them and there are immediates which are normally used as an interim denture. Caroline calls these “learner plates”. Caroline will always explain your options and advise you of the pros and cons of each option which are specific to your needs.
Hope this whistle stop tour of dentures helps and breaks down some of the stigmas associated with them.
Thanks for reading!
Moreton-in-Marsh Dental Team x