Dentures are not just something for the elderly. In fact, they might be more common than you think. A 2020 survey found that 12% of US residents use dentures. Among people suffering from edentulism, or the state of missing one or more teeth, those percentages shoot up. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 90% of those with edentulism have dentures, and 15% of that same population has dentures made each year.
Dentures are popular because they are a practical and cost-effective way of replacing missing teeth. Almost anyone with missing teeth will benefit from the structure and strength that dentures provide. But if you’re considering dentures, you could be concerned about getting used to them. However, with a few simple tips and a little patience, you can easily integrate your dentures into a happy and healthful life.
Are you considering dentures as a replacement for missing teeth? If so, make an appointment with the team at Mark Kramer, DDS in Tustin, California. Dr. Kramer and his team pride themselves on their patient-centric focus and the exceptional results their patients see. In this blog, Dr. Kramer discusses denture basics, types of dentures, and how to get used to your dentures.
What are dentures?
Dentures, by definition, are replacements for teeth that can be taken in and out. In most cases they are made of a pink-colored base that rests on the gum and are topped with replacement teeth composed of porcelain or resin. Both materials look similar to real teeth and have distinct advantages. Porcelain dentures are stronger and tend to wear slowly; they’re also usually more expensive. Resin dentures don't last as long but are cheaper and less prone to cracks. Either is a good option.
Types of dentures
Full dentures are what you probably think of when you picture dentures. These dentures replace a full arch of teeth – when you remove them, you’re taking out your bottom or top teeth. Full dentures use suction and denture adhesive to stay in place.
Partial dentures replace a few teeth and close gaps left by missing teeth. They are affixed to other teeth with clips and can be snapped out for cleaning or when needed.
Implant supported dentures, like the TeethXpress procedure Dr. Kramer offers, are made up of a custom-built, implant-supported denture that is attached to implant posts embedded into your jawbone. These dentures are not removable.
Getting used to your dentures
Patience and realistic expectations are key, especially in the first few days after you get dentures. To start, you need to give up a few things. Gum and sticky candies, like caramels, do not mix well with dentures and should be avoided.
In the first few days many people will experience an increase in saliva and may feel sore spots on their mouth where the dentures apply pressure. This is totally normal, and both situations should improve with time. By two weeks in, excessive salivation and sore spots will largely be in the rearview mirror.
Speaking can feel odd for a few days as your tongue, lips, and cheeks get used to your new set of teeth. You might find that some words are hard to pronounce, but any speaking difficulties you have are probably not as noticeable to other people as you think.
When it comes to eating, you should stick to soft foods, like mashed potatoes, pudding, and ice cream for the first couple of days. You should start checking the temperature of your food with your lips – dentures have an insulating effect and you can burn your mouth more easily. Be prepared to take smaller bites and swap out chewy foods for alternatives; you don’t have to give up meat but should switch from beef to chicken.
By 30 days you should feel comfortable in your dentures.
To learn more about dentures and if they are right for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Mark Kramer, DDS today.