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Happy Wellness Wednesday! This week we have a guest post from Miara Lee about the 5 things you need to know about dentures. We all know how big of a part our teeth play in normal eating and many times take them for granted. If we get to a point where dentures are required this can significantly affect our eating and nutrition, so it is crucial if you happen to get to a point where you need dentures to know who needs them, what type of dentures are available, the potential problems, and some potential solutions that will help these issues. Being knowledgeable about dentures can help limit negative effects on your health and nutrition and help make the transition to using them much easier.

Dentures, also referred to as prosthetic teeth, are custom designed for patients to replace missing or diseased teeth. These prosthetic devices fit snugly and are supported by the surrounding soft tissues and hard tissues of the oral cavity.

Who Needs Dentures and Why?

People with missing teeth require dentures once other forms of treatment have not been successful. Patients with tooth loss caused by periodontal disease or dentin genesis imperfect a may qualify for partial or complete dentures.

 Whether or not your teeth are real, they are crucial to your facial structure. The teeth provide support to your lips and cheeks for a mouth youthful look. Being completely devoid of teeth also causes chewing and speaking difficulties among other oral issues.

Types of Dentures

The type of denture used is dependent on the specific needs of the individual; these include partial or complete dentures. Each type of denture will be discussed in further detail below.

Partial dentures: This is used when a patient is only missing a few teeth. Patients can choose whether they would like their dentures to be removable or fixed. It is likely that a dentist will recommend a fixed partial denture in the form of a crown and bridge arrangement for patients missing one or two teeth.

Complete dentures: This is used when the entire set of teeth on either the lower or upper jaw requires replacement.

There are four types of complete dentures, these include:

•    Standard dentures: Used for patients who are missing their entire teeth. Four appointments are required to have a set of standard dentures.

•    Immediate dentures: Also referred to as temporary dentures. They are constructed before the natural teeth are extracted. This denture is inserted post extraction over top of the bleeding sockets to numb any pain. One to two appointments are required to have a set of immediate dentures fitted.

•    Implant retained dentures: This entails a titanium screw that is fitted into a hole drilled into the bone that secures the position of the tooth. Over time, the titanium and bone fuse together and the implant is exposed. After which, a post thrusts through the gums and is attached to the implant. Implant retained dentures are high in cost but the retention and functionality is much more stable and enhanced.

•    Cu-Sil dentures: This type of denture works with natural teeth providing suction. It stabilizes loose teeth and extends their lifetime. 

•    Plastic or porcelain dentures: This type of denture is made from plastic or porcelain. There is debate over which material dentists should use and although porcelain is stronger than plastic, porcelain dentures can wear down natural teeth.

Common Problems Associated with Complete Dentures

It is normal for the mouth to increase salivary secretions when a new set of dentures are worn. This is because the brain recognizes them as food. The body will require a bit of time to adjust to this device. In addition, patients may experience mouth sores when the dentures rub against the epithelium that lines the mouth cavity. Gagging can also occur due to psychological reason or just an ill-fitting appliance.

You can overcome some of the discomfort or soreness by using a topic gel or cream. To avoid the occurrence of gagging or the appliance not fitting properly, you can use denture adhesive, which allows them to fit securely in the mouth.

Important Factors to Consider When Getting Dentures

When visiting dental clinic for dentures consider the following:

•    Support: The denturist must use the border molding process to ensure the most support possible.

•    Stability: The more in contact the denture base is with the edentulous ridge the better the stability.

•    Retention: To achieve the best retention, the inner surface of the denture base must align well with the surface of the underlying mucosa.

Replacing a Set of Dentures

Dentures are not intended to a last a lifetime due to changes in muscle length and bulk. Visit your Edmonton dental clinic for replacement every five to seven years.

I hope you enjoy these “need to knows” from our guest blogger and would love to hear your feedback or any other tips you have found successful in managing a transition to or getting comfortable with dentures!

Wishing you a week of health and wellness,

Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN

Denver’s Dancing Dietitian

A Taste of Health, LLC

“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”