Although some people can wear dentures without a single complaint, most denture wearers feel some discomfort. Because the hard acrylic liner that holds the prosthetic teeth makes contact with the gums, chewing can cause many denture wearers a good deal of pain. Even slight shifts back and forth can eventually translate into serious gum problems. The ever-changing conditions in the mouth can make dentures fit worse over time and increase discomfort. As you age, gum tissue shrinks along with the jawbone. Hard dentures don’t adjust to new shapes, and therefore, most long-time denture wearers end up using some form of denture adhesive to increase stability.
However, soft, or flexible, dentures can eliminate the problems associated with hard acrylic liners. Soft dentures require no adhesives, will adjust to irregularities in your mouth, and stay in place even under harsh chewing conditions.
Characteristics and Benefits of Soft, or Flexible, Dentures
A flexible denture is really just a traditional denture with a flexible resin coating as the last inner coating. The flexible resin locks into the undercuts of the gum ridge and acts as a buffer between your gums and the hard base. More flexibility can be added by constructing the entire denture out of this flexible material. The material used is nonporous, so no bacteria can build up within it. Yet, even though it’s nonporous, it can retain a small percentage of water to help interface with adjacent tissues.
Because soft dentures hook into your undercuts, they provide the stability you need to eat tough foods like apples and even hard nuts.
These flexible resins are more expensive but also longer-lasting than your traditional soft liner.
Another advantage to a soft denture is that the trial fitting can be used as part of the final denture, meaning that the overall production time of a soft denture is shorter than that of a hard acrylic denture.
If you’re tired of the pains of wearing a hard denture, talk to your dentist about the possibility of a soft, flexible denture.