Considering Dentures: What are the first steps?

Considering Dentures: What are the first steps?

Dentures are an effective option when tooth loss has occurred. A consultation with your dentist will outline your choices and provide a treatment plan that will thoroughly explain what is involved based on your dental health, timeline, and budgetary considerations.

How many teeth are going to be involved with your denture? A partial denture is needed if one or a couple of teeth require replacement. If an entire arch is involved, a complete denture is needed. A thorough dental exam is necessary to ascertain your dental health, which may play a role in the type of denture you require.

Removable dentures are very common; a fixed denture requires minimal daily care. The health of the abutment teeth on either side of missing teeth will help determine whether you qualify for a fixed denture. With a fixed denture, your dentist will prepare the abutment teeth for dental crowns.

A partial denture will be made with crowns on the outside with the replacement teeth, called pontics, in the center. Before bonding it will be tried in for fit and appearance. When ready, the crowns will be cemented allowing the denture to be permanently affixed.

When the abutment teeth are not healthy due to decay or disease, the denture is often held in place with some type of clasp. A removable denture is usually a more economical approach as well.

An honest discussion with your dentist will include what you can anticipate as you adjust to your new denture. You might notice increased saliva production initially as any time you introduce something new into the mouth, this is a possible side effect.

Certain speech patterns may require a little practice. Try singing in the shower or conversing in front of a mirror.

Eating and chewing can be a little difficult at first. Cut food into small, manageable bites. You might wish to indulge in soft foods initially.

Caring for your removable denture involves storing it in a special case or denture soak at night to keep it moist. Always work with it over a soft surface so if dropped, it will not break.

If the fit of your denture changes over time, this could be due to gum shrinkage. Relining your denture may help.

Maintaining good oral health requires you to brush and floss daily; and see your dentist every six months for cleaning and exam.

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