Getting dentures is a big decision, and you'll want to work with the right people when it comes time to switch out your teeth for permanent replacements. As you consider embarking on the process of getting dentures, it's natural to have a lot of different questions, and getting satisfying answers to these questions can put your mind at ease about how dentures will affect your life and well-being. To help you learn everything you need to know about getting dentures, we've compiled this exhaustive guide detailing the ins and outs of the procedure of getting dentures and how these replacements for missing teeth will affect your day-to-day life.

What Types of Dentures Are There?

Your dentures will be molded to your teeth, which means that no two sets of dentures are the same. However, every set of dentures can be sorted into one of three basic categories:

Immediate Dentures

Your dentist will provide you with a set of immediate dentures the day that you go in for a consultation. Immediate dentures aren't usually made to last for the long haul, but they do make it so that you don't have to go home without teeth. These dentures are made from a model of your jaw that is created during a preliminary visit, and the shape and size of your dentures may be altered slightly based on how things go with your immediate set. For instance, your gums and bones shrink once they are without teeth, which means that immediate dentures will need to be adjusted a number of times before they can really be considered permanent.

Partial Dentures

If you don't need all of your teeth replaced, you might require one or more partial dentures. These devices replace single teeth or adjacent groups of teeth, and they are often attached to plastic bases that are designed to look like your gums. In other cases, partial dentures may be kept in place with a metal framework. One type of partial denture is known as a fixed bridge, and this dental appliance consists of crowns that are attached to an artificial tooth and to its adjacent teeth. These types of dentures are permanent since they are cemented into place once they are installed.

Another type of partial dentures is called a precision denture, and it uses special clasps to attach to adjacent teeth. One of the advantages of precision partial dentures is that they can be removed if necessary. Also, they aren't as noticeable as bridges. When you have partial dentures installed in your upper or lower jaw, your other teeth will be prevented from moving around. Of course, these appliances also bridge the gaps between your remaining natural teeth.

Complete Dentures

When partial dentures don't cut it, you'll need to opt for complete dentures. We've already talked about immediate dentures, which are installed immediately after your initial consultation. Conventional complete dentures, however, only go in after your gums have had time to heal from the tooth removal process and your jaws have acclimated to the presence of your immediate denture. Complete dentures cover the entirety of your upper or lower tooth bed, and they completely replace the teeth at either the top or bottom of your mouth. Complete dentures are removable, and it's generally recommended that you remove these dentures before bed. These types of dentures also partially cover your gums, which means that they are equipped with pink bottom portions that mimic the appearance of your natural gums. While partial dentures might be the right choice if you want to keep some or most of your teeth, complete dentures are often the best choice if you've lost a lot of your teeth or you're having recurring tooth problems that are causing your medical bills to skyrocket.

Do Dentures Change How You Look?

It's undeniable that dentures will change the way that you look, but they often change your appearance for the better. For instance, if you've suffered from tooth problems that have made your teeth brown or unsightly for your entire life, switching to dentures can actually make your smile look better and cleaner. Some types of partial dentures require crowns, but these crowns are often gold in color and may make your teeth look flashy and bright. In general, dentures are made to look exactly like your natural teeth, so they shouldn't make you look that different. If your jaw has shrunk or become deformed from losing teeth, however, dentures can actually fill out your face and make you look healthier.

Do Dentures Make Your Voice Different?

In some cases, getting dentures can change the sound of your voice. However, if you've already lost a lot of teeth, getting dentures can actually make your words clearer for others to hear. For a while after you get dentures, you may find that it's hard to pronounce certain words and syllables. Therefore, it's best to give yourself an ample acclimation period as you get used to how your voice sounds with dentures. That way, you'll be able to teach yourself to modulate your voice until it closely resembles the way it sounded back when you had a head full of natural teeth.

However, if your dentures make a clicking sound while you speak, you should get in touch with your dentist immediately; it's likely that you'll need to have your dentures adjusted. If your dentures slip out of place while you're smiling, talking, or laughing, you can simply bite down to put them back into position.

Do Dentures Make It Hard to Eat?

Eating with your new dentures definitely takes some getting used to. You might need to practice quite a bit over the first few weeks of having your new dentures until you're able to eat in the ways that you used to enjoy. While certain mouth-related substances, such as chewing gum and toothpicks, will always be off-limits while your dentures are in, you'll soon be able to eat most of the foods that you used to eat with your natural teeth. While you're getting used to your dentures, try to avoid large bites, and cut your food into small pieces.

Start by chewing slowly as you get used to how your dentures feel in your mouth, and eventually, you'll be able to chew larger bites that are in the sizes that you're used to. However, you may find that you'll want to avoid chewing overly sticky or hard foods with your new dentures, and spicy foods might get stuck between your dentures and your gums, which can be uncomfortable. If you take your time when getting used to eating with your new dentures, you'll find that eating with them is just as easy as it was with your natural teeth.

Do You Need to Brush Dentures?

No, it isn't necessary to brush your dentures. You should, however, observe good oral hygiene by brushing your gums in the morning and at night. Also, don't forget to properly clean the roof of your mouth and your tongue with a soft toothbrush. This practice helps circulate the blood in your gums, and it will also remove any plaque that has caked onto the various surfaces in your mouth.

How Do Dentists Make Dentures?

The first step in making dentures that are tailored to fit the exact contours of your jaws consists of a routine appointment with your usual dentist. As you and your dentist discuss your needs, it may become apparent that the talents of a prosthodontist are needed. A prosthodontist is a special type of dentist who specifically focuses on the replacement or restoration of teeth, and this doctor will help your dentist decide which type of dentures you need.

Once it's been determined that you need dentures, your dentist or prosthodontist will make a series of molds of your jaw, which are called impressions. They will also measure your jaws in detail, and they will determine how much space there is between your upper and lower jaw. Next, your dental professionals will make model dentures that may be made from wax, plastic, or other materials. Finally, your dentist will make an immediate denture for you and schedule a checkup visit.

Do You Wear Dentures 24 Hours Per Day?

No, you generally won't wear your dentures around the clock. When you first get your new dentures, your dentist or prosthodontist may instruct you to wear your dentures 24 hours per day, but this period of never taking your dentures out generally doesn't last very long. If it's uncomfortable to wear your dentures for such a long stretch of time, keep in mind that keeping your dentures in constantly is the best way to determine which areas of your dentures that your dental team will eventually need to adjust.

Once the final adjustments have been made to your dentures, it's likely that you'll be instructed to remove them while you sleep. When your dentures are removed from your mouth, your gums are given time to rest and rehabilitate themselves for the day ahead. Also, your tongue and saliva will clean your gums while you sleep, which leaves you less at risk for gum diseases like gingivitis. Dentures are usually stored in special cases or liquids overnight.

What Are Denture Adhesives?

Depending on your situation, you might want to use denture adhesives. While these adhesives aren't used in ideal situations, they may be necessitated if you have some common issues related to having dentures in your mouth. Also, you may decide that the benefits of adhesives outweigh the detractors, and you might find that using denture adhesives improves the stability and force of your bite. Adhesives also make sure that your dentures won't fall out of your mouth, which is an uncommon issue that people with dentures nonetheless dread.

If your mouth is unusually dry, your dentist may recommend that you use denture adhesives. If you're currently taking cold medications, this treatment can sometimes cause your mouth to dry out, and people who have had strokes and elderly people are also more at risk for dry mouth.

Should You Use Denture Adhesives?

If you're using denture adhesives because your mouth is dry or you simply want the security of knowing that your dentures will stay in, that's totally understandable. However, you shouldn't use these adhesives if you feel like your dentures are too loose. Loose dentures are a sign that your jaw shape has changed, and you should check in with your dentist if you feel like your dentures might fall out at any second. Also, you shouldn't start using denture adhesives if you haven't gone to see your dentist in a while. Since the reasons that are spurring you toward trying denture adhesives might really be caused by changes in your jaw, you should always consult with your dentist before trying adhesives.

You should probably see your dentist if you've been relying on adhesives for a long time. Ideally, you should be able to choose whether or not you want to use denture adhesives, and if you're starting to feel like you can't do without them, something might be wrong. Lastly, you should make sure that you aren't allergic to any of the ingredients in an adhesive that you want to try before you allow it to make contact with your mouth.

What Types of Denture Adhesives Are There?

While there are many different brands of denture adhesives out there, they all serve the purpose of making sure that your dentures stay glued to your gums until you're ready to remove them. The various types of denture adhesives that are available can be sorted into one of the following two categories:

Paste Adhesives

These types of adhesives are brushed or otherwise stuck onto the part of your denture that makes contact with your gums. It usually comes in a tube, but this type of adhesive might also be offered in the form of strips. To use paste adhesives, apply a small part of the adhesive along the ridge of your denture. Take care not to get adhesive toward the edge of the denture, and if paste oozes out once you apply the dentures to your skin, use less adhesive next time.

Powder Adhesives

Powder denture adhesives are sprinkled instead of spread. To use these adhesives, sprinkle a uniform amount all across the part of your denture that connects to your gums, which is called the tissue-bearing surface of the denture. While these types of adhesives may be messier than paste adhesives to apply, they might be preferable if it's one of your highest priorities to be able to clean your dentures and gums with ease. Also, powder adhesives may create a cleaner seal than paste adhesives.

Can You Get Implants Instead of Dentures?

In some cases, it is indeed possible to get implants instead of dentures. Dental implants are usually made from organic material, which means that they have roots and connect to your jaw or skull in the same way that normal teeth do. These types of implants may be preferable to dentures, but they are relatively expensive. Therefore, it probably wouldn't be reasonable to replace all of your teeth with implants, but if you're only getting a partial denture, an implant or two might be the way to go.

Once you've installed an implant in your mouth, you'll find that it feels like a real tooth. It carries sensations of hot and cold, and it will hurt if you bite down on it hard enough. However, dental implants are similar to real teeth in a way that you might not like: They are susceptible to some tooth diseases. Also, while dentists do everything they can to make sure that implants connect to your body successfully, there's no guarantee that an implant won't be rejected, which means that you should carefully consider the decision to install implants before moving forward. If you're not sure whether you need dentures or implants, you should consult a trusted Downey, CA dental practice like The Downey Dentist.

Does Your Insurance Cover Dentures?

Most types of dental insurance will cover dentures. However, there are lots of differences between the various types of dental insurance, and if you're planning to get dentures in the near future, you may want to seek out an insurance plan that specifically covers these dental appliances. Even if your insurance plan doesn't cover the full cost of your dentures, it's likely that it will be able to help reduce the cost to a significant degree.

Contacting a Dental Implant Doctors Near Me

According to a study by S. Jayaraman et al., there's no real difference between the various types of materials that are used to make dentures. However, one factor has a way of truly making or breaking your denture experience: the people that you choose to install your dentures. As you carefully decide whether or not dentures are right for you, you'll want the right people at your side to advise you through the process and inform you of all the subtleties that only the experts know about.

When you work with Dr. David Ganji and Dr. Sam Ganji at The Downey Dentist, you can rest assured that your denture needs are in good hands. These two dental experts and their team know everything that there is to know about dentures, and they can guide you through the process of deciding between full and partial dentures. They can even provide you with advice as to the best ways to care for your dentures. To learn what the team at The Downey Dentist can do for you, call 562-746-0350 today.