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Similar to veneers, dentures cover existing teeth, but two key differences are that they are removeable and they sit on top of the gums in some cases. Dentures provide and option that appears natural and does not require a commitment to internal work, such as would be the case with implants. Some patients are missing more teeth than others, which is why there are options for partial dentures or full dentures.

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Full Dentures

This is usually what people picture when they think of dentures. If a full set of teeth needs to be replaces, this is a quick and painless option to allow for normal chewing without the hassle of implants. People who still have a few natural teeth, may even decide to have their remaining teeth extracted to switch to a full denture depending on the state of their teeth. If the patient has had a recent extraction they may notice that their dentures fit them differently overtime. This is normal as there is a differentiation between conventional dentures and immediate dentures that may need to be adjusted.

Partial Dentures

Teeth do not usually fall out all at once, so partial dentures offer a solution to those who only have a few missing teeth. These help to maintain a nice looking smile through filling in any gaps where teeth used to be. The artificial teeth are held together by a wire that fits around the natural teeth to create a seamless smile. Many people use partial dentures before committing to bridges or as an alternative that may better fit their budget or personal needs.

Am I a good candidate for dentures?

Dentures are less permanent than implants or bridges as they are removable. The decision to get dentures is very personal and depends on a variety of factors. If you are not yet ready to invest in implants or you need bone grafting to better prepare for future implants, dentures offer an excellent temporary solution. Alternatively, you may decide that you would prefer to continue to use dentures over implants for a number of reasons. It is important that you communicate your desires and concerns with your dental doctor to assure that you can achieve your best and more comfortable smile.

Taking Care of Dentures

Dentures are not worn overnight and are not composed of the same material as natural teeth. Thus it is important to note that taking care of your dentures will be slightly different to the average dental routine. Some tips include:

  • Mild hand soap or dish soap can be used to clean dentures, but be sure to look for the American Dental Association’s seal of approval
  • Make sure to rinse your dentures under lukewarm water after eating
  • Dentures should be flexible and need to be soaked in solution to remain in good condition. Ask your dentist which solution they recommend.
  • Brushing the dentures with a mild toothpaste and soft bristle brush can reduce the risk of plaque buildup and tartar, but this should be done gently.
  • Even without teeth, the mouth and gums, including the tongue, should still be brushed regularly to keep the soft tissue healthy.

Dentures should ultimately be handled with great care as they are somewhat delicate. If you notice any cracks or tears in your dentures be sure to schedule a consultation with your dentist as soon as possible. Dentures that slip out of place can cause irritation and make it difficult to chew properly. You can expect a good pair of dentures to last anywhere from five to seven years with a proper care routine in place.

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