An important step in maintaining a healthy smile is to replace missing teeth. When teeth are missing the remaining ones can change position by drifting into the surrounding space. Teeth that are out of position can damage tissues in the mouth. In addition it may be difficult to clean thoroughly between crooked teeth.
Complete or full dentures replace all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Complete dentures are either ﾔconventionalﾔ or ﾔimmediate.ﾔ A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about 4 to 8 weeks after all of the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing. A conventional denture is also made to replace an existing denture. An immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback with an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place. A denture helps you to properly chew food a difficult task when you are missing teeth. In addition a denture may improve speech and prevent a sagging face by providing support for lips and cheeks.
In order to fit a denture a dentist will take an impression of your jaw along with measurements of how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them (bite relationship). The color or shade of your teeth will also be determined either from your natural teeth or a denture you may already be wearing. The impression bite and shade are given to a dental laboratory so a denture can be made just for you. The dental laboratory makes a mold of your jaw places the teeth in a wax base and carves the wax to the exact form wanted in the finished denture. Usually a ﾔwax try-inﾔ of the denture will be done at the dentist's office so any adjustments can be done before the denture is completed. The denture is completed at the dental laboratory using the ﾔlost waxﾔ technique. A mold of the wax-up denture is made the wax is removed and the remaining space is filled with pink plastic in dough form. The mold is then heated to harden the plastic. The denture is then polished and ready for the patient to wear. It usually takes a little while to get used to wearing a full denture. There may also be minor adjustments that your dentist will make to fine-tune the fit of your denture. It is very important to wear a new denture every day. If you don't wear your denture for an extended period of time the denture may no longer fit as well as it should. Over time your mouth will change. The bone and gum areas may shrink or recede causing the space between the jaws to change. Because your denture keeps its shape adjustments will be needed to keep your denture fitting properly.
Caring for your dentures after they have been fitted is very important not only for oral hygiene but also to make sure that the dentures last for a long time. In order to take good care of dentures a person should:Rinse their denture thoroughly after every meal. Clean their denture thoroughly at least once a day using a toothbrush and a non-abrasive denture cleanser. Don't use alcohol abrasive cleaners bleaches whiteners or boiling water to clean or soak your dentures.
A complete denture should not be worn at night and should be removed and stored in normal tap water or in denture cleaning solution. Dentures can dry out and distort if they are left outside a moist environment.