If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You’ll also find it harder to eat and speak things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.
There are various types of complete dentures. A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patient’s mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed which may take several months.
An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. Your dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patients jaws during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque. And it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to maintain your overall oral health and get early warning of serious issues such as oral cancer.
Your dentures were made to fit you precisely and, if they are cared for properly, they do not change shape. But you may sometimes find that they can become loose due to natural changes in the gums and bone supporting them. As the jawbone begins to shrink, so do the gums.
If you find your dentures no longer fit properly, see your dentist as soon as possible so adjustments can be made. Trying to change the fit of your dentures yourself can damage them and make them unrepairable. Ill-fitting dentures repaired at home can also irritate the gums, tongue and cheeks. In an emergency, you could use denture adhesives to keep the dentures stable until you are able to see the dentist.