When a patient reaches a point in life when their oral health deteriorates to a point where they must lose all of their teeth, they often face both an emotional and physical challenge. This challenge requires both an experienced dentist and staff and an excellent relationship with a master dental laboratory.
A properly contoured denture not only replaces missing teeth but also restores facial support. This is what separates our practice from many of the retail type “denture practices.”
Over the last 20 years, I have found crafting dentures to be one of the most challenging yet rewarding phases of dentistry. I have always viewed denture fabrication to be as much an art as it is science.
All of our prosthetics are custom made and fitted to meet YOUR specific facial structure!
Dr. Perrott’s Guide to Dentures
The Perrott Difference
All of our prosthesis are custom made and fitted to meet YOUR specific facial structure. We do not modify an “off the rack” denture mold to fit your mouth.
Our prosthetics are made in a certified dental laboratory in Roanoke, Virginia by a long time friend and outstanding lab technician, Tim Zuber. Tim is an absolute perfectionist and uses nothing but top of the line materials. His lab is certified and all of his work is done in his state of the art facility under the highest of standards. Our office offers several different types of prosthesis depending on your unique needs and circumstances.
In addition to traditional dentures, we also are well trained in multiple types of removable partial dentures and implant retained overdentures. Removable partial dentures utilize clasps that engage some of the patients remaining natural teeth to stabilize the partial. We make every effort to “hide” the clasp and at times can utilize clasps that are virtually invisible. Implant retained overdentures are an exceptional treatment option that utilizes dental implants placed into the jaw bone to retain and stabilize the denture. To begin the process of determining what treatment is best for you, call our office for an evaluation and explore all of your options. I am confident that in the end, you will choose our practice to meet your dental needs. We would consider it a privilege.
What is a denture?
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback behind an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.
Who needs a denture?
Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.
What happens when you get a denture?
A dentist can make a full conventional denture when all teeth have been lost or all extraction sites have healed (up to eight weeks or longer.) The denture process takes about one month and five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a “try-in” is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient’s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments. New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new “teeth” because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first.
Wearing dentures changes the sound and makes it seem louder. This change will be much less noticeable to others than to you. If your dentures “click” when you speak , try speaking more slowly. Slower speech helps avoid movements that raise or move the lower denture. The muscles of your lips, cheeks, and tongue are learning to keep the denture in place. Time and practice will help overcome this difficulty. For confident speaking try to bite and swallow to position your dentures before you speak. Practice reading aloud in front of a mirror to help your tongue to get used to your dentures. A small amount of denture adhesive like Fixodent will also increase your sense of security.
To improve eating, begin with small amounts of food. Instead of biting into food with your front teeth, cut it into smaller pieces. When you put food in your mouth, divide it so that you are chewing one half on the back left side of your mouth and the other half on the back right. This will even out the pressure on your dentures. Start with soft foods such as eggs, fish, chopped meat, cooked vegetables, and puddings. Once you’ve gained more confidence with your dentures, try tougher foods like steak and celery. At first you may feel that foods has lost its flavor. This is because the messages your brain is receiving about your dentures can, for a short time, overpower those from your taste buds. You may also have trouble sensing how hot food and drinks are at first. Taste carefully so you don’t burn your mouth.
While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. In addition, denture wearers often notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow, or minor speech difficulty.
Should a denture be worn at night?
While you may be advised to wear your denture almost constantly during the first two weeks – even while you sleep – under normal circumstances it is considered best to remove it at night. Research has shown that removing the denture for at least eight hours during either the day or night allows the gum tissue to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva.
This promotes better long-term health of the gums. Continue seeing your dentist regularly. It is important to continue having regular dental checkups so that a dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As of aging, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under your denture shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never attempt to adjust a denture yourself and do not use denture adhesives for a prolonged period because it can contribute to bone loss. When in doubt, consult your dentist.
How to care for your dentures and partials
A denture is fragile, so it is important to handle it with care. Remove and brush the denture daily, preferably with a brush designed specifically for cleaning dentures, using either a denture cleanser or toothpaste. Never use harsh, abrasive cleansers, including abrasive kinds of toothpaste, because they may scratch the surface of the denture. Don’t sterilize your denture with boiling water because it will cause it to become warped. If you wear a partial denture be sure to remove it before brushing your natural teeth. When not in use, soak it in a cleanser solution or in water. Get in the habit of keeping the denture in the same safe and handy place to reduce the likelihood of misplacement.
Steps to cleaning your dentures?
Steps to cleaning your dentures.
Plaque can form on dentures, just like natural teeth. If it is not removed every day, your dentures may look less white and bright. It is important to clean dentures daily to avoid denture odor.
- Clean your dentures over a sink filled with water to avoid breakage if they drop.
- Rinse dentures thoroughly in warm water to remove any loose food particles.
- Use a denture cleaner such as Fixodent. (Some conventional toothpaste, bleach, vinegar, and soaps are not designed for denture cleaning and could, in some cases, cause damage. Scratched dentures will harbor unsightly plaque and bacteria, causing denture odor. Harsh products like bleach may even turn the pink parts of your denture white.
- Moisten a denture brush (not a soft-bristle toothbrush) to clean all surfaces of your denture gently. Brushing too hard can damage any plastic or metal parts. Rinse and brush in clean warm water.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste to brush your gums, tongue, palate, and natural teeth before reinserting your dentures. This removes plaque from your mouth and stimulates circulation.
- Rinse with a mouthwash for a refreshing feeling.