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Complete Dentures

A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional denture is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed.  During this time the patient will continue life's everyday activies without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and placed immediately after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. 

However, bones and gums can shrink over time, especially during the period of healing in the first six months after the removal of teeth. When gums shrink, immediate dentures may require rebasing or relining to fit properly. A conventional denture can then be made once the tissues have healed. Healing time may take between 6 to 8 weeks.

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks.  Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.  Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit.  Depending on which denture you will be receiving, final appointment will either consist of delivering the denture and making any adjustments as needed in the case of a conventional denture.  Or if you will be having an immediate denture, the final appointment will consist of extractions of the teeth, placing the denture in their place and making any necessary adjustments to ensure a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

Should I use a denture adhesive?

Denture adhesive can provide additional retention for well-fitting dentures. Denture adhesives are not the solution for old, ill-fitting dentures. A poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores. These dentures may need a reline or need to be replaced. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, consult with Dr. Basta immediately.

Can I make minor adjustments or repairs to my dentures?

You can seriously damage your dentures and harm your health by trying to adjust or repair your dentures. A denture that is not made to fit properly can cause irritation and sores.

See Dr. Basta if your dentures break, crack, chip, or if one of the teeth becomes loose. Dr. Basta can often make the necessary adjustments or repairs on the same day. A person who lacks the proper training will not be able to reconstruct the denture. This can cause greater damage to the denture and may cause problems in your mouth. Glue sold over-the-counter often contains harmful chemicals and should not be used on dentures.

Will my dentures need to be replaced?

Over time, dentures will need to be relined, rebased, or remade due to normal wear. To reline or rebase a denture, the dentist uses the existing denture teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture base. Dentures may need to be replaced if they become loose and the teeth show signs of significant wear. Dentures become loose because a mouth naturally changes with age. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, causing jaws to align differently. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections. A loose denture also makes chewing more difficult and may change your facial features. It's important to replace worn or poorly-fitting dentures before they cause problems.

How do I care for my denture?

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures.  Brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures.  This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth.  Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important.  Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

courtesy of ADA

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