Patients who have all or most of their teeth missing can experience problems with everyday tasks, such as eating and talking. Having so many missing teeth might also cause them to be hesitant about smiling or talking. Dentures can replace missing teeth and help patients eat, talk, and smile with confidence again. At Los Altos Dental in Long Beach, California, Dr. Bonnie Bateman offers dentures for patients who need to have all or most of their teeth replaced.
Dentures Q & A
What are dentures?
Dentures are sets of artificial teeth that replace an entire set of missing teeth or several missing teeth in certain areas of the mouth. Tooth loss can occur from trauma, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and the aging process. When this happens, patients can encounter problems with self-confidence and trouble speaking and chewing food. Dentures fill in for these missing teeth, which helps patients feel more confident and secure.
What types of dentures are available?
Dentures can either be complete dentures or partial ones. A complete set of dentures is used when all teeth are missing, while a partial set of dentures is used to replace multiple missing teeth in one area of the mouth. Complete dentures sit on the gums where missing teeth were. Partial dentures are attached to the teeth on either side to hold them in place. The type of dentures patients need depends on how many teeth are missing.
Are patients able to sleep and eat while wearing dentures?
Patients can leave their dentures in while they’re eating, which makes it easier to chew food. Being able to eat comfortably with dentures in does take some adjustment. Patients shouldn’t eat foods that are tough to bite or chew and foods that are sticky since these can lead to denture damage. When it comes to sleeping, patients can leave their dentures in if they want to. However, removing them at night before going to bed is recommended. Taking dentures out at night prevents them from putting too much pressure on the gums, which can result in soreness.
How should patients care for their dentures?
Patients should clean their dentures on a regular basis to help them last longer and prevent bacteria from building up and causing gum problems. Denture care includes wiping them off with gentle cleaning products, such as dishwashing detergent, to get rid of bacteria. Patients should avoid putting toothpaste on their dentures to clean them. Toothpaste contains ingredients that can cause denture damage.
How many years do dentures last for?
Dentures are made to last for several years, especially with regular cleaning and care. Over time, dentures might have to be adjusted if they stop fitting properly. Patients might also need to have screws and other parts of dentures replaced if they break or wear down.