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Dentures

What is a denture?

Do you have several missing teeth or a number of decayed teeth that need to be replaced? Do you find it difficult to eat your favourite foods- instead opting for things that are softer or easier to eat?

If so, a denture (most commonly referred to as false teeth) could give you a comfortable, strong and long-term way of restoring your ability to eat and talk- whilst also allowing you to show off a beautiful, natural looking smile with confidence.

Dentures can be used to replace all of your teeth or just a few as required. They can be used on the top or bottom teeth. A denture can also be combined with denture implants for a highly secure fit.

As well as the obvious change to your mouth, a denture will help restore structure to your face- particularly in areas such as the cheeks and lips. You will notice an instant and dramatically healthier more youthful look.

Modern dentures

Many of us will remember the ‘false teeth’ worn by our parents or grandparents in the past. Often they could look unattractive and fit uncomfortably. For these reasons, the thought of a denture can be a scary prospect!

Rest assured that today modern dentures look much more natural and fit very comfortably. In fact, when they are fitted correctly no fixing adhesive should be required.

With many dentures now made from highly flexible and aesthetically pleasing materials the finish is very realistic- meaning that it’s often difficult to tell whether someone is even wearing dentures at all.

What type of denture will I have?

We will assess the condition of your teeth and fully explain your individual requirements before any work is carried out.

Full dentures replace all of your teeth incorporating a plastic gum coloured arch with a set of crowns attached.

If extraction of your existing teeth is required it is normally possible to fit your denture straight away- without the need for any recovery time.

Be aware though that if your dentures are fitted immediately it is likely you will need to return after several months for a re-adjustment or replacement because the bone and gums tend to shrink slightly over the following months.

Partial dentures are used to replace one or more teeth. A plastic or metal plate will be used with crowns attached where required. The plate will be held in place with metal hooks anchoring to your existing teeth.

Both full and partial dentures can be easily removed for cleaning.

How are dentures made?

The manufacture of a set of dentures is an involved process which takes time and skill. You will need to attend several appointments whilst you are being measured for and fitted with your dentures so that we can ensure they are as secure, comfortable and natural looking as possible.

At your initial consultation a treatment plan will be produced. We will take impressions of your mouth so that wax model of your dentures can be produced. This wax model will be checked for fit, bite and comfort and used to produce your final set of dentures. When they are ready you will be invited for a fitting appointment. A check-up will be required around 1 week after your dentures are fitted so that we can make sure you are comfortable.

Will my dentures look natural?

A number of factors will be considered in the manufacture of your denture- from the height of your teeth, the muscles in your mouth, your centre bite and the support required for certain facial features (lips and cheeks). The size, shape and colour of the false teeth to be placed on the denture will also be well thought out.

Many people are keen to keep certain features in their previous teeth so that the results look very natural. You can ask for teeth to be slightly crooked (rather than perfectly straight). We can also place fillings if required.

How do dentures feel when they are first fitted?

It can take a little time to get used to your new dentures- particularly if they are a full set. However, the transformation will be quite dramatic and you are sure to be delighted with your new look.

  • You may find it strange to eat at first- if so, start with softer foods and introduce new items gradually.
  • Speech can be slightly affected at first- until you get used to your new dentures. If this is the case, try reading aloud to yourself and repeat those more difficult words when you are home alone, until you get the hang of them.
  • Occasionally, your dentures can cause sore spots on the gum. If this happens they may require adjustment. Please contact us for an appointment.

How to look after your dentures:

On the whole, dentures are strong and hard-wearing and should last for many years.

  • Visit us for regular check-ups once a year (even when you have a full denture) so that we can check the health of your gums.
  • Remove your dentures at night (unless otherwise directed) to give your gums a chance to rest.
  • Clean your dentures daily with a toothbrush or a special denture brush (don’t use toothpaste, denture cream is available).
  • When not wearing it store your denture in water or denture fluid. If a denture dries out it may go hard and change shape.
  • Rinse it thoroughly before you put it back in.
  • Remember your gums, tongue and any remaining teeth too- brushing them twice as day as normal.

Are you having problems with your dentures?

It is important to look after your dentures well and inform us of any problems. Left unchecked, uncomfortable or loose dentures could cause sores or infection.

Keep your eye out for any of the following:

  • Clicking when you talk or eat
  • If they start to feel loose or uncomfortable.
  • If they start to look worn.
  • If you notice any bleeding or bad breath- this could indicate gum disease.
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