Dentist in Quincy explains everything you need to know about dentures to restore your smile
Tooth loss can cause discomfort in your life in more ways than one – it can affect the foods you are able to eat, your oral health, your self-confidence, and even change the appearance of your face. At the dental practice of Dr. Stephen Matarazzo in Quincy, MA, you will find the high-quality, compassionate care you need to help decide on the best tooth replacement option for your needs, preferences, and budget. One of the most common tooth replacement options for patients who have lost multiple teeth is dentures. Below, Dr. Matarazzo explains everything you need to know about dentures so you can restore both your smile and your confidence!
I’ve only lost a few teeth – can I still get a denture?
Yes! When most people think of dentures, they are thinking of what is called “full dentures” that replace a full arch of teeth, but “partial dentures” that replace only a few teeth are also available and commonly chosen by patients as their tooth restoration option. Partial dentures can be used to replace several missing teeth in a row or teeth that are missing in different places throughout the dental arch.
How do dentures stay in place?
That depends on the type of denture you get.
- Full dentures cover the bony ridge of your dental arch and are kept in place with natural suction; the soft palate on the roof of your mouth also helps stabilize upper dentures, and denture adhesives can be used if needed to keep full dentures firmly in place
- Partial dentures attach to your natural teeth and cover the bone and gums where your teeth are missing
- Dental implants can be used with both full and partial dentures to improve their stability and function; these implants act like tooth roots to help firmly fix the dentures in place so you don’t need to worry about them slipping or falling out
How long does it take to get used to dentures?
For most patients, it takes about a month to become fully accustomed to the feel of dentures in their mouth, as well as how to talk and eat normally again. Your gums may be sore during this period, but if it seems like your dentures are exceedingly uncomfortable, you may need to see the dentist to get them adjusted for a better fit. While you get used to your dentures, the following tips can come in handy:
- Start by eating soft, pureed foods and then gradually move to small, bite-sized pieces of food, making sure to chew them well before you swallow
- Avoid eating chewy or hard foods until you are confident in your eating and swallowing abilities
- Use denture adhesive until you are used to eating with dentures
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water as needed to help alleviate soreness and prevent bacteria from growing
- Practice saying any difficult speech sounds at home so you can speak with confidence
How do you take care of dentures?
Dentures are largely made of plastic, so your care for them is slightly different from what it would be for natural teeth.
- Dentures should always be taken out at night and soaked in water or a cleaning solution to keep them from drying out and warping; this gives your mouth a break and helps prevent sores from forming on your gums
- You should gently brush your dentures every day with a non-abrasive denture toothpaste (normal toothpaste should not be used because it is too abrasive) and either a soft-bristled toothbrush or a special denture toothbrush; this will help prevent stains from forming and will also prevent bacteria from affecting your oral health
- If staining occurs, you can use over-the-counter denture cleaners or soaking agents to gently lift stains and deep clean your dentures
- Whitening products should not be used on dentures because the bleaching agent will not work on the denture material and can weaken it
Are dentures right for me?
Dentures are one of the most affordable tooth replacement options for patients who are facing the extraction or loss of multiple teeth in an arch. The best way to determine whether dentures are a good choice for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephen Matarazzo. He will conduct a thorough examination of your existing teeth, the health of your jawbone and gums, and take x-rays as needed to determine what the best tooth replacement choices are for your unique needs. Dr. Matarazzo is always happy to discuss the pros and cons of various options with patients so they can feel comfortable with their decision. At our dental practice, helping you achieve a beautiful smile for a lifetime is our goal! Call us at (617) 405-3939 to schedule a consultation today.
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