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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. Denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods.

Advantage of denture

  • Help give the edentulous patient better masticatory (chewing) abilities.
  • Enhance their aesthetic appeal by providing the illusion of having natural teeth.
  • Provide support for their lips and cheeks.
  • Correct the collapsed appearance commonly seen between the nose and the chin.

Type of denture

  • Complete denture
  • Partial denture

Complete denture
Complete dentures can be either "conventional" or "immediate", Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.

Partial denture
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (permanent) bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This "bridge" is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.

Procedure of denture

  1. Make a series of impressions of your jaw and take measurements of how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them.
  2. Create models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made. You will "try in" this model several times and the denture will be assessed for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is cast.
  3. Cast a final denture
  4. Adjustments will be made as necessary

Cares for denture

  1. Rinse the denture under water after meals to remove loose food debris.
  2. Brush regularly after each meal, or at least before bed. This removes the plaque and some stains.
  3. Brush with water, soap, or a mildly abrasive toothpaste, or denture paste. Scouring powders or other abrasive cleaners should not be used because they scratch the denture. Scratches make the denture more susceptible to collecting debris, plaque and stain.
  4. You can use a denture brush or a regular soft toothbrush to clean the denture, but use a separate brush for cleaning any natural teeth you have.
  5. Make sure you reach all areas of the denture.
  6.  The denture can be soaked in a solvent (such as Efferdent, Polident) or a detergent with a chemical action that removes or loosens light stains and deposits. Rinse the denture with water afterwards. Chemical immersions can be done daily or several times a week.
  7. Ultrasonic cleaning is done during a dental appointment to remove heavy stain and calculus (tartar).
  8. The most effective way to keep your dentures clean is by daily brushing, in combination with soaking the dentures in a chemical solution.

Some helpful hints

  1. When brushing the appliance do not hold it firmly or with pressure as this can break the denture.
  2. Clean the denture over a sink half filled with water and place a towel in the sink to act as a cushion in case the denture should drop.
  3. Do not soak or rinse the denture in hot water, this can distort the shape and fit of the denture.
  4. Never scrape the denture with sharp instruments in an attempt to remove hard deposits. Instead, take it to a dental professional for them to remove the deposits.
  5. Never use a hard bristled brush to clean the denture. This can scratch the denture.
  6. Make sure to leave your denture out overnight or out of the mouth for a period of 6 to 8 hours daily. Wearing them at all times without allowing your gums a chance "to breathe”, can result in infections of the soft tissues under the denture.
  7. When your dentures are not in your mouth, keep them in water or denture solutions. They need to be kept in a wet environment in order to maintain the proper fit.

Your gums are important too
Not only do your dentures need maintenance, but care also needs to be given to the tissues under your denture.

  • The gums should be cleaned daily with a soft toothbrush or a washcloth. This removes the plaque and debris on the gums. It also massages and stimulates circulation of tissues.
  • Massage your gums by placing the thumb and index finger over the ridge and use a "press-and-release" stroke.
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