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What Are Dentures?

Dentures are removable dental appliances designed to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They are custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth and can be made of acrylic, metal, or other materials. Dentures help restore the functionality and appearance of your natural teeth, enabling you to chew, speak, and smile confidently. 

Types of Dentures

1. Complete Denture

Complete dentures are full sets of artificial teeth designed to replace all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, or both. They are designed to fit comfortably in your mouth and are typically constructed from acrylic resin.

2. Partial Denture

Partial dentures are removable dental appliances designed to replace one or a few more missing teeth in a jaw, while some natural teeth remain. They consist of replacement teeth attached to an acrylic or metal base that blends in with your gums, which may include a metal framework for added support and stability.

3. Immediate Denture

Immediate dentures are a type of complete denture made in advance and placed in the mouth immediately after the removal of natural teeth. Here are the key features:

Implant-Retained Dentures and Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-retained dentures are a type of denture that is anchored to dental implants, which are surgically placed into the jawbone. These implants provide a stable and secure foundation for the dentures, offering several advantages over traditional removable dentures.

How Are Dentures Made?

    1. Taking dental impressions

Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, including its measurements, impressions, and bite registration.

Following this, the impressions are made using dental putty or digital scanning technology to create moulds of the mouth.

    1. Creating a dental model

Using the impressions, a dental laboratory creates precise models of the patient’s mouth. These models serve as the basis for crafting the dentures.

A wax model of the dentures is created based on the initial impressions and measurements.

The patient tries on the wax model to assess the fit, appearance, and bite. Adjustments are made as necessary.

Once the patient and dentist are satisfied with the fit and appearance, the final design of the dentures is determined.

    1. Customising the denture

The dental laboratory fabricates the dentures using materials such as acrylic resin or porcelain. Then, the artificial teeth are set into the base material according to the finalised design.

    1. Fitting and adjustments

The completed dentures will be tried on you to ensure their proper fit, comfort, and aesthetics. Further adjustments may be made by your dentist to ensure its optimal fit and function.

Benefits of Dentures

Improving chewing function

By replacing missing teeth, your dentures enable you to chew food more effectively and speak clearly, improving overall oral function.

Enhanced appearance

Dentures restore the natural appearance of the smile, enhancing facial aesthetics.

Preserved facial structure

Dentures help distribute chewing forces evenly across the jaw, reducing the risk of additional tooth loss caused by uneven pressure on remaining teeth. Dentures provide support for the lips and cheeks, preventing sagging which can occur with missing teeth, and maintaining the natural contours of the face.

Improved self-confidence

Being able to smile, speak, and eat comfortably with dentures can significantly enhance your confidence and quality of life.

Customisable

Dentures are customisable to fit each patient’s unique oral anatomy and aesthetic preferences, ensuring a personalised and natural-looking result.

Easier to maintain

Properly fitting dentures help maintain oral health by preventing problems associated with missing teeth, such as shifting of remaining teeth, gum irritation, and bone loss.

Drawbacks of Dentures

 

    1. Potential discomfort and adjustments

Dentures can affect the sense of taste and may alter speech, especially initially. Some individuals may need time to adapt and regain normal speech patterns.

Dentures may shift or slip out of place while eating or speaking, leading to discomfort or embarrassment. Adhesives may be required to improve stability.

It can take time to get used to wearing dentures, and some individuals may experience discomfort, difficulty speaking, or changes in eating habits during the adjustment period.

 

    1. Maintenance and care adjustments

Dentures may be artificial, but they still require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent plaque buildup, staining, and odour, just like with real teeth. Improper care can lead to oral health issues such as gum irritation and infections.

Dentures may need to be replaced or adjusted over time due to changes in jawbone structure, wear and tear, or changes in oral health. This can involve additional costs and dental visits.

Caring For Your Dentures

Daily cleaning

Brush your dentures daily using a soft-bristled brush and a mild denture cleaner or gentle soap. Avoid using regular toothpaste, as it may be too abrasive and can scratch the dentures. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled toothbrush or gauze pad every morning before inserting your dentures. This helps to stimulate circulation in your mouth and remove plaque buildup. Ensure to rinse your dentures after eating to remove food particles and debris and help prevent staining and bacterial growth. 

Soaking

Soak dentures in water or a denture cleaning solution overnight to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soaking solutions. When not in use, store dentures in a denture cleaning solution or plain water. Avoid storing them in hot or dry environments, as this can cause them to deform.

Handling with care

Handle dentures carefully to avoid dropping them. Use a towel or basin of water to cushion them if they do fall. Do not use hot water to clean or soak your dentures, as it can cause them to warp or lose their shape.

Regular dental checkups 

Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and adjustments. Your dentist can assess the fit of your dentures, address any issues, and ensure your oral health is maintained. If your dentures become damaged or loose, do not attempt to repair them yourself. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist for professional repairs or adjustments immediately if you feel something may be wrong.

Don’t sleep with dentures

Soak dentures in water or a denture cleaning solution overnight to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soaking solutions. When not in use, store dentures in a denture cleaning solution or plain water. Avoid storing them in hot or dry environments, as this can cause them to deform.

Beware of dental adhesives

If necessary, use denture adhesives to improve the fit and stability of your dentures. However, use them sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any excess buildup.

When to Seek Your Dentist’s Help

Fit and comfort

If your dentures feel loose, slip out of place frequently, or seem to no longer fit properly, it’s imperative to have them examined by your dentist as quickly as possible. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to gum irritation, sores, and difficulty eating, with continued use. 

Pain or sores

If your dentures are causing pain, discomfort, or irritation, it’s essential to have them evaluated by your dentist. This could indicate an ill-fitting denture or other underlying oral health issues. 

Cracked or broken dentures

If your dentures are cracked, chipped, or broken, it’s crucial to have them repaired promptly by your dentist. Using damaged dentures can cause further harm to your oral tissues and compromise their function. If you notice changes in the fit or appearance of your dentures, such as changes in your facial contour or difficulty keeping them in place, it’s essential to have them evaluated by your dentist.

Visible signs of gum wear

If you notice signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or sores on your gums, it’s important to seek dental care. These symptoms may indicate underlying issues that need to be addressed. If you experience persistent bad breath or notice an odour coming from your dentures, it could indicate the presence of bacteria or other oral health issues that need to be addressed.

Difficulty in speaking or eating

If you’re having difficulty chewing or speaking properly with your dentures, it may indicate a need for adjustments or repairs.

Costs of Dentures

Insurance and financial assistance

The cost of dentures typically ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars per arch (upper or lower jaw), depending on the complexity of each individual’s situation and the materials used. Many dental insurance plans provide coverage for dentures, although the extent of coverage can vary. Some plans may cover a percentage of the cost, while others may cover a fixed dollar amount. It’s important to check your insurance policy for details on coverage for dentures. Some dental practices offer financing options, such as payment plans, to help patients manage the cost of dentures over time.

Long-term cost benefits

The financial cost may be worrisome for many however, your oral health is a crucial investment for your quality of life. The long-term benefits of dentures include:

 

    1. Improved Oral Function: Dentures restore the ability to chew food properly, which can promote better digestion and overall nutrition.

    1. Enhanced Speech: By replacing missing teeth, dentures can improve speech clarity and pronunciation, enhancing communication abilities.

    1. Prevention of Further Tooth Loss: Dentures help distribute chewing forces evenly across the jaw, reducing the risk of additional tooth loss caused by uneven pressure on remaining teeth.

    1. Support for Facial Structure: Dentures provide support for the lips and cheeks, preventing sagging and maintaining the natural contours of the face. This can help prevent premature aging and maintain a youthful appearance.

    1. Boost in Confidence: Restoring a complete smile with dentures can boost self-esteem and confidence, allowing you to feel more comfortable in social and professional settings.

    1. Preservation of Oral Health: Dentures help maintain oral health by preventing problems associated with missing teeth, such as th shifting of remaining teeth, gum irritation, and bone loss. This will contribute to your overall oral health and well-being.

    1. Improved Quality of Life: Dentures enable individuals to enjoy a more varied diet, speak and smile with confidence, and engage in social activities without worrying about missing teeth or oral discomfort.

    1. Longevity: With proper care and regular dental check-ups, dentures can last for many years, providing long-term benefits for oral health and overall quality of life.

Overall, dentures offer a practical and effective solution for restoring oral function, appearance and confidence, leading to an improved quality of life in the long term.

Alternatives to Dentures

Dental bridges

Dental bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They consist of one or more artificial teeth (pontics) attached to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges are cemented into place and offer a stable, permanent solution for tooth replacement. 

These are fixed prosthetic solutions that replace an entire arch of missing teeth with a full set of artificial teeth supported by four or six dental implants, respectively. All-on-4™ or All-on-6™ implant-supported dentures offer a stable, permanent solution for individuals missing all of their teeth in one or both arches.

Implants

Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. They provide a stable foundation for crowns, bridges, or implant-supported dentures. Dental implants offer a long-term, durable solution that closely mimics natural teeth in both appearance and function.

Oak Park Denture Clinic’s Comprehensive Denture Service

FAQs

What are dentures made of?

Dentures can be made from various materials, depending on factors such as durability, aesthetics, and cost. The primary materials used in the fabrication of dentures include:

 

    • Acrylic resin: Durable, lightweight and easy to adjust. They’re cost-effective and can be easily repaired if necessary.

    • Metal framework: Made from alloys such as cobalt-chromium or titanium, to provide additional support and retention for the denture, especially in cases where there are multiple missing teeth.

    • Porcelain: Has a natural appearance and is extremely durable. It is more brittle than acrylic resin however and so they may wear down natural teeth if they come into contact with each other.

    • Composite resin: Tooth-coloured material that can be used to repair or replace individual teeth in dentures and is less expensive than porcelain. 

    • Flexible resin: Newer material that is flexible, lightweight, comfortable and less prone to fracture or breakage. 

What do new dentures feel like?

New dentures may feel different for each individual, but there are common sensations and experiences that many people report when first wearing them. You may feel the initial discomfort of an unfamiliar prosthetic. They could feel bulky or too large in the mouth and you may have difficulty speaking or eating at first. New dentures may stimulate increased salivation, a natural response to the presence of foreign objects in the mouth. However over time, this all subsidises as you get used to your dentures and soon, it won’t cross your mind that you’re wearing dentures. 

Will eating with new dentures be difficult?

Eating with new dentures may initially feel challenging for some individuals, but with time and practice, most people adjust and regain their ability to eat comfortably. Some tips for eating with new dentures include starting with soft foods and cutting your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Chew slowly and mindfully and most importantly, practice speaking and chewing so you adjust to your dentures quickly.  Remember that it’s normal to experience some initial difficulty or discomfort while eating with new dentures. If you have persistent difficulty eating or adjusting to dentures, consult your dentist for guidance and assistance.

How long do dentures last?

The lifespan of dentures can vary depending on factors such as the quality of materials, the wearer’s oral hygiene habits, changes in oral anatomy, and regular dental care. On average, dentures typically last between 5 to 10 years, but they may need to be replaced sooner or last longer depending on individual circumstances. The frequency of your replacements depends on the material of your dentures, how well you’re looking after your oral hygiene, and if there’s been any wear and tear to your dentures or any medical or lifestyle conditions. You may even experience changes in your oral anatomy, such as changes in your jawbone structure, gum tissue and facial contours that can affect the fit and stability of your dentures. 

It’s important to monitor the condition of your dentures regularly and seek professional dental care if you notice any signs of wear, damage, or changes in fit. Your dentist can assess the condition of your dentures, make necessary adjustments or repairs, and recommend a replacement when appropriate to ensure optimal oral health and function.

Is it okay to sleep with dentures in?

It is generally not recommended to sleep with dentures in place, as doing so can increase the risk of several oral health issues and discomfort. Here are some reasons why:

 

    1. Oral Tissue Irritation: Wearing dentures continuously, including during sleep, can lead to irritation and inflammation of the gums and oral tissues. This can result in soreness, redness, and discomfort.

    1. Increased Risk of Infections: Leaving dentures in overnight can create a warm, moist environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and fungi. This can increase the risk of oral infections such as thrush (oral candidiasis) or denture stomatitis (inflammation of the oral mucosa).

    1. Bone Resorption: Removing dentures at night allows the jawbone and oral tissues to rest and recover from the pressure and stress of wearing dentures during the day. Continuous pressure on the jawbone can contribute to bone resorption (loss of bone density), which can affect the fit and stability of dentures over time.

    1. Alteration of Saliva Flow: Wearing dentures continuously can interfere with the natural flow of saliva in the mouth, leading to dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva plays a crucial role in oral health by lubricating the mouth, washing away food particles and bacteria, and maintaining a pH balance.

    1. Denture Maintenance: Removing dentures at night allows for proper cleaning and maintenance, which is essential for preserving their appearance, function, and longevity. Dentures should be cleaned thoroughly and soaked in a denture cleaning solution overnight to remove plaque, debris, and bacteria.

If you have a medical or dental condition that requires you to wear dentures continuously, such as severe tooth loss or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), it’s essential to consult with your dentist or prosthodontist for personalised advice and guidance. In some cases, your dentist may recommend wearing dentures overnight for specific medical reasons, but this should be done under professional supervision and with proper oral hygiene practices in place.

Does insurance cover the cost of dentures?

Yes, some health insurance plans in Australia cover part of the cost of dentures. However, coverage varies depending on the level of extras covered in your health insurance policy. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your policy, including any waiting periods, benefit limits, and out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, some government programs and dental schemes may offer assistance to eligible individuals. Always review your plan details or speak with your insurer to get the most accurate information regarding your coverage for dentures.

Are dentures painful?

While dentures shouldn’t cause pain if properly fitted and maintained, some individuals may experience discomfort or soreness, especially during the initial adjustment period. Here are some common reasons why dentures may cause discomfort and tips for managing it:

 

    1. Initial Adjustment Period: It’s normal to experience some discomfort or soreness when first wearing new dentures. This discomfort typically arises as the mouth adjusts to the presence of the dentures and may include sore spots, pressure points, or irritation against the gums.

       

        • Tip: Give yourself time to adjust to wearing dentures. If discomfort persists beyond the initial adjustment period, consult your dentist for evaluation and possible adjustments.

    1. Poor Fit: Ill-fitting dentures can cause discomfort, soreness, and irritation due to pressure points or rubbing against the gums or oral tissues. Dentures that are too loose may also cause slipping, shifting, or difficulty eating and speaking.

       

        • Tip: Visit your dentist for a denture adjustment or reline if you experience persistent discomfort or soreness. Properly fitting dentures should feel comfortable and stable in the mouth.

    1. Gum Irritation: Dentures can sometimes cause irritation or inflammation of the gums, especially if they are worn continuously or not cleaned properly. This can lead to soreness, redness, or even oral infections if left untreated.

       

        • Tip: Practice good oral hygiene by cleaning your dentures daily and removing them at night to allow your gums to rest and recover. If you experience gum irritation, consult your dentist for advice on proper care and treatment.

    1. Bone Resorption: Over time, wearing dentures can contribute to bone resorption (loss of bone density) in the jaw, which may affect the fit and stability of the dentures. Changes in jawbone structure can lead to discomfort or difficulty wearing dentures.

       

        • Tip: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and adjustments to ensure that your dentures fit properly. Your dentist can monitor changes in your oral anatomy and make necessary modifications to maintain the comfort and function of your dentures.

If you experience persistent or severe pain or discomfort while wearing dentures, it’s essential to consult your dentist for evaluation and treatment. Contact Oak Park Denture Clinic at (03) 9306 5432 and we can assess the cause of your discomfort and recommend appropriate measures to alleviate pain and improve the fit and function of your dentures.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are removable dental appliances designed to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They are custom-made to fit each patient’s mouth and can be made of acrylic, metal, or other materials. Dentures help restore the functionality and appearance of your natural teeth, enabling you to chew, speak, and smile confidently. 

Types of Dentures

 

    1. Complete Denture

Complete dentures are full sets of artificial teeth designed to replace all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, or both. They are designed to fit comfortably in your mouth and are typically constructed from acrylic resin.

 

    1. Partial Denture

Partial dentures are removable dental appliances designed to replace one or a few more missing teeth in a jaw, while some natural teeth remain. They consist of replacement teeth attached to an acrylic or metal base that blends in with your gums, which may include a metal framework for added support and stability.

 

    1. Immediate Denture

Immediate dentures are a type of complete denture made in advance and placed in the mouth immediately after the removal of natural teeth. Here are the key features:

Implant-Retained Dentures and Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-retained dentures are a type of denture that is anchored to dental implants, which are surgically placed into the jawbone. These implants provide a stable and secure foundation for the dentures, offering several advantages over traditional removable dentures.

How Are Dentures Made?

 

    1. Taking dental impressions

Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, including its measurements, impressions, and bite registration.

Following this, the impressions are made using dental putty or digital scanning technology to create moulds of the mouth.

 

    1. Creating a dental model

Using the impressions, a dental laboratory creates precise models of the patient’s mouth. These models serve as the basis for crafting the dentures.

A wax model of the dentures is created based on the initial impressions and measurements.

The patient tries on the wax model to assess the fit, appearance, and bite. Adjustments are made as necessary.

Once the patient and dentist are satisfied with the fit and appearance, the final design of the dentures is determined.

 

    1. Customising the denture

The dental laboratory fabricates the dentures using materials such as acrylic resin or porcelain. Then, the artificial teeth are set into the base material according to the finalised design.

 

    1. Fitting and adjustments

The completed dentures will be tried on you to ensure their proper fit, comfort, and aesthetics. Further adjustments may be made by your dentist to ensure its optimal fit and function.

Benefits of Dentures

Improving chewing function

By replacing missing teeth, your dentures enable you to chew food more effectively and speak clearly, improving overall oral function.

Enhanced appearance

Dentures restore the natural appearance of the smile, enhancing facial aesthetics.

Preserved facial structure

Dentures help distribute chewing forces evenly across the jaw, reducing the risk of additional tooth loss caused by uneven pressure on remaining teeth. Dentures provide support for the lips and cheeks, preventing sagging which can occur with missing teeth, and maintaining the natural contours of the face.

Improved self-confidence

Being able to smile, speak, and eat comfortably with dentures can significantly enhance your confidence and quality of life.

Customisable

Dentures are customisable to fit each patient’s unique oral anatomy and aesthetic preferences, ensuring a personalised and natural-looking result.

Easier to maintain

Properly fitting dentures help maintain oral health by preventing problems associated with missing teeth, such as shifting of remaining teeth, gum irritation, and bone loss.

Drawbacks of Dentures

 

    1. Potential discomfort and adjustments

Dentures can affect the sense of taste and may alter speech, especially initially. Some individuals may need time to adapt and regain normal speech patterns.

Dentures may shift or slip out of place while eating or speaking, leading to discomfort or embarrassment. Adhesives may be required to improve stability.

It can take time to get used to wearing dentures, and some individuals may experience discomfort, difficulty speaking, or changes in eating habits during the adjustment period.

 

    1. Maintenance and care adjustments

Dentures may be artificial, but they still require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent plaque buildup, staining, and odour, just like with real teeth. Improper care can lead to oral health issues such as gum irritation and infections.

Dentures may need to be replaced or adjusted over time due to changes in jawbone structure, wear and tear, or changes in oral health. This can involve additional costs and dental visits.

Caring For Your Dentures

Daily cleaning

Brush your dentures daily using a soft-bristled brush and a mild denture cleaner or gentle soap. Avoid using regular toothpaste, as it may be too abrasive and can scratch the dentures. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled toothbrush or gauze pad every morning before inserting your dentures. This helps to stimulate circulation in your mouth and remove plaque buildup. Ensure to rinse your dentures after eating to remove food particles and debris and help prevent staining and bacterial growth. 

Soaking

Soak dentures in water or a denture cleaning solution overnight to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soaking solutions. When not in use, store dentures in a denture cleaning solution or plain water. Avoid storing them in hot or dry environments, as this can cause them to deform.

Handling with care

Handle dentures carefully to avoid dropping them. Use a towel or basin of water to cushion them if they do fall. Do not use hot water to clean or soak your dentures, as it can cause them to warp or lose their shape.

Regular dental checkups 

Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and adjustments. Your dentist can assess the fit of your dentures, address any issues, and ensure your oral health is maintained. If your dentures become damaged or loose, do not attempt to repair them yourself. It’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist for professional repairs or adjustments immediately if you feel something may be wrong.

Don’t sleep with dentures

Soak dentures in water or a denture cleaning solution overnight to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soaking solutions. When not in use, store dentures in a denture cleaning solution or plain water. Avoid storing them in hot or dry environments, as this can cause them to deform.

Beware of dental adhesives

If necessary, use denture adhesives to improve the fit and stability of your dentures. However, use them sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any excess buildup.

When to Seek Your Dentist’s Help

Fit and comfort

If your dentures feel loose, slip out of place frequently, or seem to no longer fit properly, it’s imperative to have them examined by your dentist as quickly as possible. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to gum irritation, sores, and difficulty eating, with continued use. 

Pain or sores

If your dentures are causing pain, discomfort, or irritation, it’s essential to have them evaluated by your dentist. This could indicate an ill-fitting denture or other underlying oral health issues. 

Cracked or broken dentures

If your dentures are cracked, chipped, or broken, it’s crucial to have them repaired promptly by your dentist. Using damaged dentures can cause further harm to your oral tissues and compromise their function. If you notice changes in the fit or appearance of your dentures, such as changes in your facial contour or difficulty keeping them in place, it’s essential to have them evaluated by your dentist.

Visible signs of gum wear

If you notice signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or sores on your gums, it’s important to seek dental care. These symptoms may indicate underlying issues that need to be addressed. If you experience persistent bad breath or notice an odour coming from your dentures, it could indicate the presence of bacteria or other oral health issues that need to be addressed.

Difficulty in speaking or eating

If you’re having difficulty chewing or speaking properly with your dentures, it may indicate a need for adjustments or repairs.

Costs of Dentures

Insurance and financial assistance

The cost of dentures typically ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars per arch (upper or lower jaw), depending on the complexity of each individual’s situation and the materials used. Many dental insurance plans provide coverage for dentures, although the extent of coverage can vary. Some plans may cover a percentage of the cost, while others may cover a fixed dollar amount. It’s important to check your insurance policy for details on coverage for dentures. Some dental practices offer financing options, such as payment plans, to help patients manage the cost of dentures over time.

Long-term cost benefits

The financial cost may be worrisome for many however, your oral health is a crucial investment for your quality of life. The long-term benefits of dentures include:

 

    1. Improved Oral Function: Dentures restore the ability to chew food properly, which can promote better digestion and overall nutrition.

    1. Enhanced Speech: By replacing missing teeth, dentures can improve speech clarity and pronunciation, enhancing communication abilities.

    1. Prevention of Further Tooth Loss: Dentures help distribute chewing forces evenly across the jaw, reducing the risk of additional tooth loss caused by uneven pressure on remaining teeth.

    1. Support for Facial Structure: Dentures provide support for the lips and cheeks, preventing sagging and maintaining the natural contours of the face. This can help prevent premature aging and maintain a youthful appearance.

    1. Boost in Confidence: Restoring a complete smile with dentures can boost self-esteem and confidence, allowing you to feel more comfortable in social and professional settings.

    1. Preservation of Oral Health: Dentures help maintain oral health by preventing problems associated with missing teeth, such as th shifting of remaining teeth, gum irritation, and bone loss. This will contribute to your overall oral health and well-being.

    1. Improved Quality of Life: Dentures enable individuals to enjoy a more varied diet, speak and smile with confidence, and engage in social activities without worrying about missing teeth or oral discomfort.

    1. Longevity: With proper care and regular dental check-ups, dentures can last for many years, providing long-term benefits for oral health and overall quality of life.

Overall, dentures offer a practical and effective solution for restoring oral function, appearance and confidence, leading to an improved quality of life in the long term.

Alternatives to Dentures

Dental bridges

Dental bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They consist of one or more artificial teeth (pontics) attached to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. Dental bridges are cemented into place and offer a stable, permanent solution for tooth replacement. 

These are fixed prosthetic solutions that replace an entire arch of missing teeth with a full set of artificial teeth supported by four or six dental implants, respectively. All-on-4™ or All-on-6™ implant-supported dentures offer a stable, permanent solution for individuals missing all of their teeth in one or both arches.

Implants

Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. They provide a stable foundation for crowns, bridges, or implant-supported dentures. Dental implants offer a long-term, durable solution that closely mimics natural teeth in both appearance and function.

Oak Park Denture Clinic’s Comprehensive Denture Service

FAQs

What are dentures made of?

Dentures can be made from various materials, depending on factors such as durability, aesthetics, and cost. The primary materials used in the fabrication of dentures include:

 

    • Acrylic resin: Durable, lightweight and easy to adjust. They’re cost-effective and can be easily repaired if necessary.

    • Metal framework: Made from alloys such as cobalt-chromium or titanium, to provide additional support and retention for the denture, especially in cases where there are multiple missing teeth.

    • Porcelain: Has a natural appearance and is extremely durable. It is more brittle than acrylic resin however and so they may wear down natural teeth if they come into contact with each other.

    • Composite resin: Tooth-coloured material that can be used to repair or replace individual teeth in dentures and is less expensive than porcelain. 

    • Flexible resin: Newer material that is flexible, lightweight, comfortable and less prone to fracture or breakage. 

What do new dentures feel like?

New dentures may feel different for each individual, but there are common sensations and experiences that many people report when first wearing them. You may feel the initial discomfort of an unfamiliar prosthetic. They could feel bulky or too large in the mouth and you may have difficulty speaking or eating at first. New dentures may stimulate increased salivation, a natural response to the presence of foreign objects in the mouth. However over time, this all subsidises as you get used to your dentures and soon, it won’t cross your mind that you’re wearing dentures. 

Will eating with new dentures be difficult?

Eating with new dentures may initially feel challenging for some individuals, but with time and practice, most people adjust and regain their ability to eat comfortably. Some tips for eating with new dentures include starting with soft foods and cutting your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Chew slowly and mindfully and most importantly, practice speaking and chewing so you adjust to your dentures quickly.  Remember that it’s normal to experience some initial difficulty or discomfort while eating with new dentures. If you have persistent difficulty eating or adjusting to dentures, consult your dentist for guidance and assistance.

How long do dentures last?

The lifespan of dentures can vary depending on factors such as the quality of materials, the wearer’s oral hygiene habits, changes in oral anatomy, and regular dental care. On average, dentures typically last between 5 to 10 years, but they may need to be replaced sooner or last longer depending on individual circumstances. The frequency of your replacements depends on the material of your dentures, how well you’re looking after your oral hygiene, and if there’s been any wear and tear to your dentures or any medical or lifestyle conditions. You may even experience changes in your oral anatomy, such as changes in your jawbone structure, gum tissue and facial contours that can affect the fit and stability of your dentures. 

It’s important to monitor the condition of your dentures regularly and seek professional dental care if you notice any signs of wear, damage, or changes in fit. Your dentist can assess the condition of your dentures, make necessary adjustments or repairs, and recommend a replacement when appropriate to ensure optimal oral health and function.

Is it okay to sleep with dentures in?

It is generally not recommended to sleep with dentures in place, as doing so can increase the risk of several oral health issues and discomfort. Here are some reasons why:

 

    1. Oral Tissue Irritation: Wearing dentures continuously, including during sleep, can lead to irritation and inflammation of the gums and oral tissues. This can result in soreness, redness, and discomfort.

    1. Increased Risk of Infections: Leaving dentures in overnight can create a warm, moist environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and fungi. This can increase the risk of oral infections such as thrush (oral candidiasis) or denture stomatitis (inflammation of the oral mucosa).

    1. Bone Resorption: Removing dentures at night allows the jawbone and oral tissues to rest and recover from the pressure and stress of wearing dentures during the day. Continuous pressure on the jawbone can contribute to bone resorption (loss of bone density), which can affect the fit and stability of dentures over time.

    1. Alteration of Saliva Flow: Wearing dentures continuously can interfere with the natural flow of saliva in the mouth, leading to dry mouth (xerostomia). Saliva plays a crucial role in oral health by lubricating the mouth, washing away food particles and bacteria, and maintaining a pH balance.

    1. Denture Maintenance: Removing dentures at night allows for proper cleaning and maintenance, which is essential for preserving their appearance, function, and longevity. Dentures should be cleaned thoroughly and soaked in a denture cleaning solution overnight to remove plaque, debris, and bacteria.

If you have a medical or dental condition that requires you to wear dentures continuously, such as severe tooth loss or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), it’s essential to consult with your dentist or prosthodontist for personalised advice and guidance. In some cases, your dentist may recommend wearing dentures overnight for specific medical reasons, but this should be done under professional supervision and with proper oral hygiene practices in place.

Does insurance cover the cost of dentures?

Yes, some health insurance plans in Australia cover part of the cost of dentures. However, coverage varies depending on the level of extras covered in your health insurance policy. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your policy, including any waiting periods, benefit limits, and out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, some government programs and dental schemes may offer assistance to eligible individuals. Always review your plan details or speak with your insurer to get the most accurate information regarding your coverage for dentures.

Are dentures painful?

While dentures shouldn’t cause pain if properly fitted and maintained, some individuals may experience discomfort or soreness, especially during the initial adjustment period. Here are some common reasons why dentures may cause discomfort and tips for managing it:

 

    1. Initial Adjustment Period: It’s normal to experience some discomfort or soreness when first wearing new dentures. This discomfort typically arises as the mouth adjusts to the presence of the dentures and may include sore spots, pressure points, or irritation against the gums.

       

        • Tip: Give yourself time to adjust to wearing dentures. If discomfort persists beyond the initial adjustment period, consult your dentist for evaluation and possible adjustments.

    1. Poor Fit: Ill-fitting dentures can cause discomfort, soreness, and irritation due to pressure points or rubbing against the gums or oral tissues. Dentures that are too loose may also cause slipping, shifting, or difficulty eating and speaking.

       

        • Tip: Visit your dentist for a denture adjustment or reline if you experience persistent discomfort or soreness. Properly fitting dentures should feel comfortable and stable in the mouth.

    1. Gum Irritation: Dentures can sometimes cause irritation or inflammation of the gums, especially if they are worn continuously or not cleaned properly. This can lead to soreness, redness, or even oral infections if left untreated.

       

        • Tip: Practice good oral hygiene by cleaning your dentures daily and removing them at night to allow your gums to rest and recover. If you experience gum irritation, consult your dentist for advice on proper care and treatment.

    1. Bone Resorption: Over time, wearing dentures can contribute to bone resorption (loss of bone density) in the jaw, which may affect the fit and stability of the dentures. Changes in jawbone structure can lead to discomfort or difficulty wearing dentures.

       

        • Tip: Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and adjustments to ensure that your dentures fit properly. Your dentist can monitor changes in your oral anatomy and make necessary modifications to maintain the comfort and function of your dentures.

If you experience persistent or severe pain or discomfort while wearing dentures, it’s essential to consult your dentist for evaluation and treatment. Contact Oak Park Denture Clinic at (03) 9306 5432 and we can assess the cause of your discomfort and recommend appropriate measures to alleviate pain and improve the fit and function of your dentures.

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