Dentist in Carrollton, TX helps his patients understand what to expect with dentures
By Dr. Adnan Saleem
Losing a tooth, or several teeth, can be an overwhelming experience. First is the emotional response of losing what most people think are permanent. Next, is deciding how to replace the missing tooth. Patients of Dr. Adnan Saleem of Hebron Smiles in Carrollton, TX offers his patients several choices, including bridge and crown appliances, dental implants, and dentures. Many patients are familiar with the concept of dentures, but don’t completely understand what to expect. Dr. Saleem answers many questions and addresses patients concerns about which types of dentures to choose, how they will be placed, and how to best care for them.
Types of dentures
There are several types of dentures available. The kind each patient chooses depends on how many teeth need to be replaced and how the patient is most comfortable with having them placed. For example:
Partial Dentures: Patients who only have one, or a few, missing teeth will need a partial denture. This type of denture secures the replacement tooth or teeth to a plastic plate, attached to metal framework which snaps into place. The denture can either be removable or permanent, depending on the patient’s preference.
Complete Dentures: Patients who are missing all upper or lower teeth will need a complete denture. This type of denture is similar to partial dentures, but it includes all the teeth in an arch. Like partial dentures, complete dentures are custom made to give patients a comfortable fit, as well as an attractive and natural looking smile. The complete denture will be held in place with denture adhesive or dental implants.
Creating your dentures
Regardless of which denture option patients choose, they can choose to either have the dentures placed immediately or have a set that are custom made. Immediate dentures offer patients the benefit of speed, however, dentures that are custom made usually fit better and are more comfortable. Some patients opt to use the immediate dentures while their conventional dentures are being created. The process for conventional dentures can take up to 12 weeks to be complete.
Once patients receive their denture, they often wonder how long it will take to get used to the denture and how to best care for the appliance. Dr. Saleem provides some practical advice:
Comfort: It may take a few weeks before you become comfortable wearing the denture. This is normal, and it will get better with time, as your mouth and the muscles in your mouth adapt to the dentures. While some discomfort is to be expected, you should not feel pain. If you’re very uncomfortable, call the dentist to discuss having the denture adjusted.
Eating: Once you become comfortable with the denture, you should be able to speak clearly without worry about the denture slipping or causing slurred speech. You should be able to eat most of your favorite foods. However, just like with your natural teeth, some foods could cause the dentures to break or could pull the dentures out of place. Caramel or foods that are very chewy could be troublesome, as could pretzels or other foods that are hard.
Out of mouth care: Patients should be careful with the dentures when they’re removed from the mouth. Try placing a soft towel across the bathroom counter or filling the sink with water just in case they slip from your hand. In addition, dentures should be kept moist when they’re not in the mouth, so be sure to keep them in water or a denture solution.
Brushing: Finally, when brushing the dentures, be sure to use an appropriate cleaner. Most regular toothpastes are too abrasive for dentures. Ask your dentist what he or she recommends.
Benefits of dentures
In addition to helping a patient feel more confident with a full set of teeth and a nice smile, dentures have additional oral health benefits. When a tooth is missing, the remaining teeth can shift out of place and create an environment in which the teeth become crooked or pockets that are hard to clean are created. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease over time. Furthermore, if many teeth are missing, it can lead to a loss of support and sagging of the face. Dentures provide much needed support to the rest of the mouth and face.
Dr. Saleem has been helping patients achieve and keep beautiful smiles for many years. For more information about dentures or other tooth replacement options, call our office today at (972) 388-3320.