Dentures are false teeth that are worn to replace missing teeth. If you have missing teeth, wearing dentures can make eating and speaking easier. It can also avoid a loss of confidence in the way you look.
When might you need dentures?
If you have missing teeth, your dentist might speak to you about getting dentures fitted. Dentures are specially made to fit your mouth.
There are 3 main types of dentures:
- A full denture rests on your gum and replaces all your teeth on your upper or lower jaw, or both.
- A partial denture replaces some teeth and is held in place by clasps around your remaining teeth.
- An implant-retained denture replaces one or more teeth and is fitted through implants in your jaw.
What happens during a denture fitting?
If you’re having your teeth removed, you might choose to have dentures inserted on the same day. This is called an immediate denture. You may need frequent adjustments as your gums heal.
Your dentist might ask you if you would wait a few months before getting dentures. This allows your gums to heal so you won’t need as much adjustment once the dentures are in place.
What to expect after a denture fitting
Wearing dentures might feel strange at first. Most people take a few months to get used to how they feel. At first, you might need follow-up appointments so the dentist can make adjustments. After you have become used to the dentures, you’ll still need an appointment with your dentist, at least yearly, to check they fit correctly.
You’ll need to learn how to take care of your dentures daily. The Australian Dental Prosthetist Association recommends brushing your dentures nightly with regular hand soap and lukewarm water, using a soft-bristle toothbrush.
You should also brush your gums and tongue each day with a soft-bristle toothbrush, with or without toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth with salty water.
Benefits and risks of denture fitting
Dentures can help make eating and speaking easier for most people. If you don’t replace missing teeth, the muscles in the face will sag. Dentures can help fill out a person's face.
Most people take a few months to adjust to wearing a new set of dentures. They may feel awkward or loose at first. You might feel irritation or soreness. You might have more saliva than normal. These problems should go away after 4 to 12 weeks. But make sure you see your dentist if your mouth is sore, or if you have bleeding gums, swelling or ulcers. They may need to adjust your dentures.
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Last reviewed: January 2019