Dentures are removable replacements for lost teeth. One great benefit is that they can work if you’ve lost all your teeth and choose not to have full mouth reconstruction. Partial dentures may replace one or two lost teeth, especially if your bone structure or gums aren’t strong enough to support an implant. Dentures are often less expensive than implants, too.
Dentures are created and fit over the course of a few appointments. You’ll first need an impression of your jaw to be made and measurements of your mouth to be taken. The dentist then makes models -- either from wax or plastic patterns -- to test the fit, size, comfort, and color. The final denture is then cast and any fine-tuning adjustments made.
Dentures rely on your existing jawbone and gums for stability. With time, these structures change their shape. You’ll need regular alignments of dentures every year or two to keep them fitting optimally. Bones and gums shrink over time, especially when places where you’ve lost teeth heal.
Dentures should look like your natural teeth. Even partial dentures should blend in with your existing teeth in terms of color, size, and shape. Most of the time, dentures make your mouth look healthier and improve your smile.
You may have some challenges eating with dentures, especially if they’ve replaced most of your teeth. Focus on using both sides of your mouth to chew. Soft foods are best at first as you become accustomed to the feel and bite of the dentures. Over time, you can resume a normal diet, but will always need to be careful of especially hot, hard, or sticky foods. Chewing gum should be avoided.
When you first get dentures, you may find your pronunciation of certain words is off. In this case, practice makes perfect and your normal speech will come with time.
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