Set of denture on white background

What To Do Before and After Dentures

Before and After Dentures: What To Expect

Losing your natural teeth due to injury, tooth decay, gum disease or another cause can be a traumatic experience. It may cause difficulty speaking and eating, as well as change the shape of your face. If you need dental prosthetics for the first time, knowing what to expect before and after dentures can alleviate your fear and frustration.


Things To Consider Before and After Dentures

Fitting for dentures is not an easy one-shot procedure, but with planning and preparation, you can pretty much ensure that there will not be any surprises. Experienced dentists at Lakeshore Dental SC, located in Manitowoc, WI, can handle a variety of dental services as well as emergency cases. Here are the procedures associated with custom-made dentures.

Extracting Teeth

The first step to receiving dentures is getting your teeth extracted. Be prepared to wait a few weeks to a few months for the gums around the extracted teeth to heal. For best results and to avoid infection, you should wait until the gums heal completely and set into their final, permanent shape before placing your dentures. Your gums around the extraction area will change before and after dentures.

Although you can opt for the placement of dentures right after an extraction, it is not recommended to do so. These immediate dentures are not long-lasting and require several adjustments to ensure a good fit. The upside though is you will not be left with missing teeth for any period of time.

Selecting Denture Type

Depending on how many missing teeth you have. you will need either a complete or partial denture. If some natural teeth remain, partial dentures can be used to fill in spaces created by missing teeth. Even if only one tooth is lost, a dental prosthetic is still needed because the space left between will eventually alter the position of the other remaining teeth. A partial denture rests on a framework made with either acrylic or metal that attaches to your natural teeth. The resulting new smile should look the same before and after dentures.

A complete denture is for those who have lost all of their upper or lower teeth. It fits over the remaining natural gum tissue in your mouth and is held in place by suction created from chewing food or talking. Complete dentures can be made from composite resins or metal materials such as pure titanium or titanium alloy. To determine which option to go with, consider price, stability and longevity. One that is made from composite resin strengthened by metal wires is usually a good compromise.

Conducting Mouth Impressions

After your gums have adequate time to heal, the dentist takes an impression of your mouth to make the new dentures. The impression is sent to a lab where the denture is made, which usually takes about two weeks. Several impressions may be necessary to get the exact details of your tooth structures and surrounding tissues.

Matching Color

Matching the shade of your natural teeth is important to keep your new smile looking as natural as possible before and after dentures. Using a range of tooth sizes, shapes, lengths and colors, your dentist will help select the perfect combination for your unique needs.

Evaluating Fit and Function

The dental prosthetic should be placed to ensure comfort and function. Appearance-wise, your smile before and after dentures should look the same. Function-wise, you must be able to speak and eat without issues while wearing them. If the color or size is incorrect, your dentist will need to resend the prosthetic back to the lab for adjustments.

Adjusting To Comfort

It will take time to get used to wearing dentures, whether partial or full. The unnatural feeling of having a foreign object in your mouth is normal and should be expected. Some people may experience increased saliva, soreness and gag reflexes. When you get past the initial uncomfortable stage, it should feel the same before and after dentures.


Tips for Eating and Talking With Dentures

Eating and talking with dentures can be a learning experience. Here are some tips for a new denture wearer:

  • Choose food wisely. Opt for easy to chew and swallow foods such as cooked vegetables, eggs, fish, bread, yogurt and ice cream. Chewing gum, caramel and beef jerky are not recommended.
  • Balance food evenly. Try not to bite down hard with your front teeth. Distribute food evenly in your mouth and take small bites.
  • Avoid hot food. Your mouth cannot sense heat as it did before, so approach hot steaming food slowly and carefully.
  • Practice speaking. Read books or magazines aloud while wearing your dentures. You may find your speech flow slows down to be able to pronounce certain words. Practice speaking at your regular speed.
  • Set your denture. Bite down and swallow before you begin to speak. This helps put your denture in place.


Oral Care Before and After Dentures

Your dentures require daily cleaning. To keep them looking good and fitting well, remove your dentures daily and brush them with a soft bristle brush. Be sure to not use abrasive toothpaste because it may scratch the false teeth. Cleansers designed specifically for dentures can be purchased, then used as directed.

Before you sleep, dry your dentures thoroughly before storing them as directed by your dentist. Be sure to never place your denture in hot water, which can damage and warp the appliance. It is also recommended to rinse your dental prosthetic with warm water after each meal.

General oral care is similar before and after dentures. Twice daily tooth brushing removes plaque, which is made up of bacteria that causes cavities, gum disease and bad breath. Floss after every meal to remove food particles from between the teeth where a brush can’t reach.

Dentures have come a long way over the past few decades. They are now more affordable, natural-looking, and comfortable, and, if taken care of correctly, they can last a lifetime. If you need dentures, do not let fear of the unknown stop you from getting them. Now that you know what to expect before and after dentures, visit us at Lakeshore Dental SC to get started.