Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Complete Dentures

How can we help you?

Choosing a healthcare provider for your family is a big decision, and we respect that. 

You probably have a lot of questions about our practice, dentistry in general, and your own dental health in particular. 

No question is ever small or silly, and we welcome them here at Richton Dental Care. We will always be upfront and honest about your health and your treatment while remaining respectful and compassionate. 

We've collected a few of the questions we hear most often. If your question is answered here, fantastic! If not, or you would like more information, please call our office today or send us an email so we can help!

Complete Dentures

It takes lots of practice. Dentures require some breaking in like a new pair of shoes. It is normal to be sore for the first few days as your gums acclimate to the new prosthesis.  Many people return once or twice to Dr. Darby in the first week for small adjustments to remove pressure spots where the gums are irritated. After this initial week, then practice becomes important. Dr. Darby recommends daily practice sessions of talking and of eating to learn how to wear the dentures. 

Talking with Dentures

The best way to learn how to talk with dentures are to pick up your favorite book or newspaper and simply read aloud to yourself. It is normal to have a slight lisp when you are first adjusting to your dentures but it will go away will practice. While many patients will quickly master speaking with their dentures, occasionally some wearers take more time.

Eating with Dentures

The biggest mistake people make when they wear their dentures for their first meal is to go eat a po boy or a steak. These foods are literally too tough to learn how to chew properly. Starting with these foods is like trying to run a marathon on your first day of exercise in a long time. The best foods to practice eating are foods that can be easily cut with a plastic spoon. Dr. Darby recommends foods like eggs, red beans and rice, fish, spaghetti, and bananas. Learning how to eat right with dentures is a slow process and may take a few weeks or months to master well. Keep practicing each day.

Dentures are much like cars. Some people replace their cars because they want a better or prettier one. Others replace cars when the car starts getting worn down and not working as well as it did brand new. Many people will even wait until their car breaks down and is no longer functioning to decide it's time for a new model. Dentures are the same way.

 

Dr. Darby recommends replacing a denture every 5 to 10 years. Over time, the mouth with no teeth will change shape and the denture will no longer fit as comfortably as they once did. Also, while dentures are made from strong materials, it is still plastic, and plastic does wear down and break. When the teeth and denture wears down, wrinkles become more prominent, the lips and cheeks sink in, and the overall face seems to shrink giving an older appearance. A new set of dentures can add vitality to your face and to your smile.

Lower dentures can be difficult to wear and are the source of many headaches with denture wearers. Many dentists shy away from doing dentures altogether due to the common complaints with lower dentures. While most denture wearers adjust to their lower dentures, many simply carry it around in their pocket or leave it on their night stand.

The biggest reason why the lower denture is uncomfortable is because it doesn't "suck" like the upper denture. The shape of the upper jaw and palate allow the upper denture to have some suction and stay in place on the upper palate. The lower jaw is U-shaped and very rarely provides any suction and relies on the bony ridge to secure it. If you have bone loss, which is common with tooth loss, you many not have sufficient enough of a ridge to support your lower denture effectively.

The second reason is that there are more muscles around a lower denture which can move it around side to side. The tongue is right next to the lower denture and is a powerful muscle that has to learn new habits to adapt to it. Also, the cheek muscles and chewing muscles which attach to the lower jaw can lift the denture and push it out of place.

Yes, your smile will look natural. 

Many cheaper dentures have teeth only come in one or two colors with only three or four sizes of teeth. Also, the gums are bright pink and flat which adds to the phony appearance. While these dentures can pass muster for quick smile between strangers, friends and family will be able to notice the fakeness. The teeth will look like unnaturally straight and monotone chiclets that stick out from the gums.

 

Dr. Darby will customize your denture not only to fit your mouth but find the right size and shape of teeth so that your smile does not look "generic." The newer denture teeth can have a similar shine and color as natural teeth and the gums can be matched to look like your own gums. Also, most people don't realize that straight or "perfect" teeth don't always look the most natural on everyone. Sometimes it's the imperfections that make a smile unique and real. Dr. Darby gives his patients the option between perfectly straight "Hollywood" teeth or a more natural appearance. We create dentures that will make you feel good about the way you look. Patients leave our office smiling with their new dentures!

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