Dentures and partial dentures can provide an effective solution for missing teeth and help to restore your smile.
A ‘complete’ or ‘full’ denture is one which replaces all the natural teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.
A ‘partial’ denture fills in the spaces left by lost or missing teeth. It may be fastened to your natural teeth with metal clasps or ‘precision attachments’.
Modern dentistry has moved on a lot and whilst dentures are one option, nowadays there are also other options available. If you have missing teeth and are unsure whether partial or full dentures are the solution, please come and talk to us. The dentist can explain your options, listen to your requirements and advise on the best way forward.
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Wearing dentures replaces lost or missing teeth and allows you to eat your food comfortably and smile with confidence.
If have gaps between your teeth where teeth are missing, then your other teeth may move to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth. This could affect the way you bite and could damage your other teeth.
Yes, usually dentures can be fitted straight after your teeth have been removed. These are called 'immediate dentures'. You will need to visit the dental team beforehand for them to take measurements and impressions of your mouth.
With immediate dentures you don't have to be without teeth while your gums are healing. However, bone and gums can shrink over time. If they do, then your immediate dentures may need relining, adjusting or even replacing.
Sometimes we advise waiting until your gums are healed, as this can result in a better fit. Healing may take several months.
A full denture gives support to your cheeks and lips. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person look older and they will find it harder to eat and speak properly, so dentures should actually enhance your appearance if you have had missing teeth previously.
Partial dentures can be made to closely match your natural teeth.
Eating with dentures takes a bit of practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth at the same time to stop the denture moving. As you become more used to your denture, add other foods until you get back to your normal healthy diet.
If you are concerned about this, please talk to us about other dental options available to replace missing teeth, such as dental implants and bridges. You may find these suit you better.
Pronouncing certain words may take practice. Practice reading out loud and repeating difficult words and you will get used to talking with dentures.
If you find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile, reposition them by gently biting down and swallowing. If this happens a lot, come back to see us as it may be that the fit is not right.
During the first few days, we may advise you to wear them for most of the time, including while you are asleep. After your mouth gets used to the dentures, we may advise you to take them out before bed. This allows your gums to rest and helps keep your mouth healthy. If you are not wearing your dentures at night, it is best to store them in a small amount of water to stop them warping.
You shouldn't need a denture fixative. Some people like to use one to give them extra confidence or if their dentures start to become loose before they have them replaced. A poorly fitting denture may cause irritation and sores, so please pop in to see us if you are having problems with your dentures.
This will be explained to you when we fit your dentures.
Always take care when taking dentures in and out. Dentures may break if you drop them. Clean dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them.
To clean dentures, brush them before soaking them, to help remove any bits of food. Use an effervescent denture cleaner to remove stubborn stains – always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Then brush the dentures again, as you would your own teeth, using toothpaste and a small- to medium-headed toothbrush. Clean all surfaces but be careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves in the surface.
If you notice a build-up of stains or scale, ask our dental team for advice and help.
Yes. Every morning and evening, brush your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth with a soft brush. This removes plaque and helps the blood circulation in your mouth. If you wear partial dentures, it is even more important that you brush your teeth thoroughly every day. This will help tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to you losing more of your teeth. Ask the dentist for advice if you are unsure.
Yes, regular check ups are still important. These examinations allow the dentist to spot any infections, mouth conditions or even mouth cancer at the earliest stages. Check with us about how often you should visit.
If you treat your dentures well, they should last for several years. However, they will need to be re-lined or re-made because of normal wear and tear or because your bone and gum ridges have shrunk, causing your jaws to meet differently. Loose dentures can cause discomfort, and health problems including sores and infections, as well making eating and talking more difficult. It is important to replace worn or badly fitting dentures before they cause problems.