Fake Teeth: A 101 on Dentures

by Bre, 12:59 AM

A staple of cartoons for a long time was granny and grampy depositing their dentures in cups of water before bed. It was so common that some children assumed that it was a part of growing old–you get old, you lose all of your hair and all of your teeth. Of course, after getting older we know that this isn’t quite as common as we believed, and many older adults keep a full set of teeth well into old age, never requiring dentures at all.

There are times, however, that dental appliances such as dentures may become a necessity. A variety of things can happen to a person’s teeth. Here we’ll explore and learn more about dentures that you can eat with and we’ll also touch on some alternatives that may fit better for your lifestyle and situation.

What are dentures?

Dentures are a type of dental appliance, made to serve as a replacement for some or all of a patient’s teeth. While commonly associated with old age, dentures can be used for replacing multiple teeth at any age. Dentures are made to be custom-fitted to a patient’s mouth. The teeth are normally made with porcelain or plastic, while the piece that connects to the gums is also made of plastic. Typically plastic teeth are used in temporary dentures, and porcelain teeth are in permanent dentures.

There are also several ways dentures can be inserted into the mouth, with it sometimes taking time to find out what method will work best for you. Some denture users make use of an adhesive, sometimes called a denture cream. There are many popular brands of adhesives available over the counter. There is also the option of having special implants inserted into the jaw bone. These will allow a denture to be secured into place without the use of an adhesive.

What is the process of getting dentures made?

Dentures can take several weeks to be made, with constant visits to a dentist’s office to have them adjusted before you receive your finished dentures. A dentist will take a mold of your mouth tissues once your mouth has reached a point of stability after tooth extraction, which at times can be a healing period of 8-12 weeks. Once the dentures arrive and are fitted, you’ll have frequent visits during your first month of owning your new dentures, to make sure the dentures fit properly and there are no issues. 

Here is more information on adjusting to dentures.

Sometimes, your dentist will assist you with a temporary set of dentures. Often, temporary dentures are made of plastic, and are not meant to replace getting a permanent pair of dentures made. They can be made and delivered quickly. However, these temporary dental appliances can help you start adjusting to them and allow you to continue to eat a soft food diet. They will also allow you to appear as if you have not lost teeth.

What is it like to adjust to dentures?

During the first few weeks of your new dentures, you’ll be required to eat liquid or very soft foods. These foods should not be too hot: excessive heat can warp dentures, requiring adjustments be made. You’ll slowly progress from liquid to harder foods. In terms of biting force, you won’t be able to bite down quite as hard. This means some food becomes off-limits.

Tough foods, such as tough cuts of meat. These types of foods require extra chewing, which can wear on your gums and cause sores. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and corn on the cob can result in uneven bite force, which may damage your dentures. Sticky foods and foods with very small pieces such as seeds can gum up dentures.

It will take some time to adjust to speaking with your new dentures. It may be hard at first but keep at it and you will get better with it. You may experience excessive drooling, but this too will abide with time.

Care and Keeping of dentures

Dentures are relatively simple to take care of, and the process is similar to taking care of your real teeth. Dentures should be washed daily with a toothbrush and soap. They are then placed in a container of either water or denture cleaner when not in use. Never use hot water with dentures–this will warp your dentures and you may have to have them adjusted or replaced. Your mouth should be rinsed daily without dentures to continue to guard against gum disease and rinse away plaque.

What are the Alternatives to Dentures?

Does that sound a little overwhelming? That’s alright. There are two different types of implants that can be done in the mouth as an alternative to dentures.

A bridge is a type of dental implant that sees teeth on either side of the area to be filled capped. There are false teeth put into place in the empty space. Since this structure is cemented into the mouth, it is considered to be permanent. This method can only replace two to three teeth in a row, however. It may not be a feasible solution depending on the state of your teeth.

There are also implants. These consist of a metal screw with a fake tooth. These are placed into the jaw, where the bone and gums will fuse with them. This option is the most like having the original tooth in place, allowing a patient to have most of their bite forced back. That means a patient will be able to eat crunchy vegetables and tough foods again.

Dentures are a daunting proposition for some people and are not going to be the best choice for everyone. Make an informed decision based on your dental insurance and budget, as well as your quality of life. Cheaper is not always going to be best. No matter the option you choose, dental appliances can go a long way to raise quality of life as well as confidence in appearance.

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