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QUESTIONS REGARDING DENTURES




If you're here, you're either thinking of having some type of dental work or oral surgery done, or are looking for after-care advice. First, let me make this perfectly clear:

I am NOT a dentist or oral surgeon.
I am merely a person who's had lots of dental work done, and hopefully can offer some assistance, advice or ideas to you.






QUESTIONS ABOUT DENTURES


Q: What do new dentures feel like?

A: New dentures may feel a little odd or loose for a few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you get comfortable inserting and removing them. Also, it is not unusual for minor irritation or soreness to occur and for saliva flow to increase when you first start wearing dentures, but these problems will diminish as your mouth adjusts to the new denture.


Q: Will dentures make me look different?

A: Dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth, so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile and fill out your facial appearance.


Q: Will eating with new dentures be difficult?

A: Eating with new dentures will take a little practice and may be uncomfortable for some wearers for a few weeks. To get used to the new denture, start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to your new dentures, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. And, avoid foods that are extremely sticky or hard. You may want to avoid chewing gum while you adjust to the denture.


Q: Will dentures change how I speak?

A: You may have difficulty pronouncing certain words. If so, practice by saying the difficult words out loud. With practice and with time you will become accustomed to speaking properly with your denture.

If your dentures "click" while you're talking, you should contact your dentist. Your dentures may occasionally slip when you laugh, cough, or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If any speaking problem persists, consult your dentist or prosthodontist.


Q: Are dentures worn 24 hours a day?

A: Your dental professional will instruct you as to how long to wear your denture and when to remove it. During the first several days after receiving your denture, you may be asked to wear it all the time, including while you sleep. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is the quickest way to identify the areas on your denture that may need adjustment. Once adjustments are made, you should remove your dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. The denture can be put back in your mouth in the morning.


Q: Should I use a denture adhesive?

A: A denture adhesive may be considered under the following circumstances:

- To enhance your satisfaction with a properly constructed denture. Adhesives enhance retention, stability, bite force, and an individual's sense of security To assist individuals with dry mouth conditions that lessen denture adherence, such as individuals taking cold medications, those with neurologic disabilities including strokes, and the elderly
- To provide added stability and security for those who place unusual demands on their facial muscles, such as public speakers or musicians

When shouldn't adhesives be considered?

- When used as a "fix" for ill-fitting or poorly constructed dentures. If your dentures begin to feel loose, cause discomfort or cause sores to develop, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
- When a dentist has not evaluated your dentures for a long time. Dentures rest on gum tissue and your jawbone, which shrink and deteriorate, respectively, over time. Therefore, the real problem might be a need for a denture adjustment or new dentures.
- When oral hygiene practices cannot be sustained
- When adhesives have been used for a long time, especially when visits to the dentist are infrequent, and when the frequency and volume of the adhesive use increase. These developments may indicate the need for a denture adjustment or new dentures.
-When any known allergy exists to the adhesive's ingredients


Q: How are denture adhesives applied?

A: Here are some tips to consider when applying denture adhesives:
- Use the minimum amount necessary to provide the maximum benefit. Apply less than you think you need, and then gradually increase the amount until you feel comfortable.
- Distribute the adhesive evenly on the tissue-bearing surface of the denture.
- Apply or reapply when necessary to provide the desired effect.
- Always apply the adhesive to a thoroughly clean denture.
- Remember adhesives work best with a well-fitting denture.


Q: What are the types of adhesives?

- Paste application: Apply to a dry or preferably wet denture. Avoid placing adhesive close to the denture borders. If the adhesive oozes, use less of the product. For dentures on the upper jaw, apply three short strips of adhesive-or s series of small dots-along the ridge area and one down the center. For dentures on the lower jaw, apply three short strips of adhesive-or s series of small dots-in the center of the ridge area.
- Powder application: Sprinkle a thin, uniform layer throughout the tissue-bearing surface of the denture. Shake off excess powder and press the denture into place. Powders may be preferred over pastes because they are easier to clean off the denture and tissue. In addition, they don't have the same tendency as pastes do to "shim" (keep the denture away from the tissue).


Q: Are denture adhesives safe?

A: Dental adhesives are safe as long as they are used as they were meant to be used. If the denture is well-fitting and the adhesive is only used to give added stability, there should be no ill effects. If adhesives are used excessively to fill voids for an ill-fitting denture, they can be harmful to the underlying soft and hard tissues. Occasionally, in these cases, inflammation of the soft tissues can result. In addition, because of its movement on the soft tissue and underlying bone, an ill-fitting denture can cause bone loss.





CARING FOR & CLEANING DENTURES


Proper denture care is important for both the health of your dentures and mouth. Here are some tips:

- Handle dentures with great care. To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling dentures.

- Brush and rinse your dentures daily. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food and plaque. Brushing also helps prevent the development of permanent stains on the dentures. Use a brush with soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush; it can damage dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the denture and be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. In between brushings, rinse your dentures after every meal.

- Clean with a denture cleanser. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleansers and many toothpastes may be too abrasive for your dentures and should not be used. Also, avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to care for dentures. These cleaners are small bathtub-like devices that contain a cleaning solution. The denture is immersed in the tub and then sound waves create a wave motion that dislodges the undesirable deposits. Use of an ultrasonic cleaner, however, does not replace a thorough daily brushing. Products with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance are recommended since they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

- Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. However, if your denture has metal attachments, the attachments could tarnish if placed in a soaking solution. Your dentist can recommend the best methods for caring for your particular denture. Dentures should never be placed in hot water, as it can cause them to warp.






PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS & DENTURES


New denture wearers have various questions regarding personal relationships and sexual activity.
I have created a special adult only section to address those issues. Please access that area by clicking HERE.

You must be 18 years or older to access these pages.
















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This information and advice published or made available through
DENTAL-SURGERY-AFERCARE.TRIPOD.COM
is not intended to replace the services of a dentist or oral surgeon,
nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship.
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only
and is not a substitute for professional dental or medical advice.
2008 Dental Care & Oral Surgery