Everything You Need to Know About Dentures
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 4/20/2023
Although often associated with seniors, dentures are a great dental treatment choice for patients of any age who have lost a majority of their teeth or want to cover up the gaps between their teeth. If you’re considering getting dentures, our comprehensive guide will help you learn more about this dental option and how it can help you regain a beautiful smile.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are a removable oral prosthetic made from resin, porcelain, nylon, or acrylic material. They mimic the look of natural teeth, and are a common solution for individuals who have missing teeth. With a special adhesive glue, dentures attach to the gums and bone tissue for a snug fit. When dentures are created with a proper fit — not too loose or too tight – the result is a painless and comfortable solution.
What’s the Difference Between Dentures and Implants?
Now you may be thinking: Aren’t tooth implants used for missing teeth? While implants are sometimes used as a solution to help fill in missing gaps, the difference between implants and dentures is that implants are a permanent solution to replace a tooth’s roots. Dentures are a removable solution to replace missing teeth. Implants require more healing time and may not be suitable if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or chronic illnesses.
Seniors often choose dentures because due to age they may have more missing teeth or weak teeth that need additional support. If you’re considering getting dentures, ask your dentist if it’s the right solution for you.
Four Types of Dentures
If your dentist confirms dentures are the appropriate treatment choice, the next step will be to decide which type of denture to get. Here are four different types of dentures to choose from.
- Full Dentures. This is a complete set of removable upper and lower teeth. Full dentures are a common option when you have lost almost all your teeth. Fortunately, preventing losing a majority of your teeth is easy when you are consistent with good oral hygiene habits. But if you do end up needing dentures in the future, a full set is a viable choice.
- Partial Dentures. If you still have most of your teeth, you may only need partial dentures. Partial options include only an upper or lower denture or a few artificial teeth to fill in gaps.
- Snap-In Dentures. Compared to regular dentures, this option is considered more stable. Screws or dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone to help “snap” these dentures into place. In addition to the stability, dental patients prefer snap-in dentures because they look more natural and allow wearers to eat foods with harder texture.
- Temporary Dentures. These interim dentures are used to help your teeth become accustomed to wearing dentures while you wait a few weeks for your permanent dentures to be created.
Five Benefits of Wearing Dentures
Still on the fence about dentures being a good option to fix your smile? These five major benefits may help finalize your decision. With dentures you can:
- Look More Youthful. If you have missing teeth, your facial muscles can start to sag, giving you a sunken look. Dentures support the muscles in your mouth, helping your face look fuller and creating a natural facelift.
- Improve Your Self-Confidence. If you’re embarrassed by the gaps in between your teeth or want to fill in missing teeth, dentures can help hide these issues. Enjoy a natural, uniform, and complete smile you can flash with confidence.
- Enjoy More Types of Foods. Some individuals experience difficulty eating foods that require a lot of biting or chewing. With dentures, you can expand your palate. Your artificial teeth are likely to be stronger and can bite and chew different textures. You'll still need to be careful about what you eat. You don’t want to accidentally chip, crack, or break your dentures.
- Provide Support to Your Remaining Teeth. Dentures evenly distribute chewing work to all your teeth. This means your natural teeth — which may be weaker than your dentures — don’t have to work alone or overtime to break down your food.
- Improve Your Pronunciation. Missing teeth can affect how you pronounce words. Dentures can help improve your diction so you can converse easily with friends and family.
How to Clean (and Care for) Your Dentures
With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why adults opt for dentures. But a common concern for our patients is cleaning and caring for their dentures. Fortunately, dentures are very easy to clean and handle. Learn more about the denture cleaning routine and care tips we recommend to our patients.
Cleaning Your Dentures
Just like your regular teeth, you should brush your dentures at least twice a day. You can also brush them after eating a snack to make sure food particles aren’t left behind.
To clean your dentures, remove and rinse them under running water. Then gently, but thoroughly brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Don’t forget to clean your mouth too. Your natural teeth, gums, and tongue will need to be cleaned so remaining bacteria don’t fester and turn into cavities. Brushing your mouth will also remove denture adhesive from your gums.
For your nighttime cleaning routine, soak your dentures in an overnight container with Polident or another type of denture solution. To retain their shape, dentures need to stay moist. This is why it’s recommended to soak them overnight.
In the morning, before putting your dentures in your mouth, rinse and lightly brush them again to completely remove the denture solution.
Handling Your Dentures
Proper care of your dentures includes always handling them with care. Be gentle when removing or brushing your dentures. Proper care also includes regular semi-annual dental visits. During your checkup your dentist will examine your dentures and provide a professional deep cleaning.
Dental Services for Dentures
Dentists, like your local Kimball and Beecher dental offices, provide a variety of denture services and procedures. These services include a complimentary consultation for interested patients and denture adjustments if the fitting is too loose or tight.
If you’ve decided you want to move forward with getting dentures, the standard denture procedure is similar to getting a night guard to protect your teeth from grinding.
In a 30 to 60 minute session, your dentist takes a complete impression of your teeth and sends the mold trays to an offsite lab to create your custom dentures. The lab may take up to two weeks to create them. Once the dentures are complete, you will visit your dentist to try them on for proper fit and comfort. There will also be follow-up visits to confirm dentures are fitting well and functioning as they should.
Although this is the standard timeline for denture creation, it may vary for each office. Cost of dentures may also vary. The average cost ranges from $600 to $1500. Check with your health insurance about coverage costs. Discuss with your dentist about pricing and timelines.
Denture Services From Kimball & Beecher
Interested in dentures or need to change the fitting of your existing dentures? Schedule an appointment with a compassionate Kimball & Beecher dentist today. We specialize in dental care for denture-wearers and have fitted many of our patients with the perfect prosthetic to help enhance their smile and appearance. Don’t let missing teeth stop you from smiling. Get dentures from a Kimball and Beecher dentist today!