Adjusting To Your New Dentures
Congratulations on the purchase of your new dentures! As you begin your journey with your new dentures, keep in
mind that everyone will have a unique experience. Dentures are a prosthesis designed to replace your missing teeth.
Just like any prosthesis, it will be different from what God gave us when we were born, and there will be limitations and a learning curve. Adjustments will most likely be required to fine tune the fit, but once everything has been adjusted and all extraction sites have healed, you will have a new set of teeth that will change your life.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
1. Learning to wear a denture takes time. Do not become discouraged. Everyone will have a different experience and will have different learning curves. Be careful listening to friends and relatives who tell you how easy it was for them. Most people do not clearly remember all of their initial struggles, but the good news is that they have learned how to use and function with their dentures. Each day will get better.
2. Most people will have good success with the upper denture, but the lower denture will be more difficult because it does not get suction. Your tongue may also feel restricted and confined at first, but over time it will adapt and become accustomed to having the denture in place.
3. You will need to learn how to balance your dentures when you eat. Dentures are a single prosthesis, and when you apply pressure on one side, it will create forces acting like a lever that will cause the other side to dislodge.
Cut your food into small portions, and chew on both sides at the same time. Start off with soft foods (for example: boiled or scrambled eggs, soups, pudding, mashed potatoes, Andy's Frozen Custard), and once you have mastered this, move on to more difficult foods (e.g. sandwiches, ham, steak).
4. If you develop sore spots as you eat with your denture, you will need to have the denture adjusted. Denture sore spots will not get better with time, and the denture will need to be adjusted. If you need an adjustment, please call for an appointment so we can address the issue as soon as possible.
5. Practice reading out loud with your dentures. The more you speak, the sooner your brain, mouth, and tongue will learn to adapt.
6. Just as we clean our teeth after meals, you should also clean your dentures a few times a day with a denture brush and warm soapy water or denture cleaners. never use water hot to the touch, or bleach. Only use toothpaste recommended for dentures (normal toothpaste will scuff the denture finish). Ultrasonic shakers (jewelry cleaners) can also help remove coffee or tobacco stains from dentures. If you do not clean your dentures daily, they may develop an odor from bacteria build-up.
7. If your teeth were extracted for immediate dentures, your bone ridges will recontour and shrink as the extraction sites heal. Although most of the swelling will subside in the first few weeks, your ridges will continue to heal and change for the next nine to twelve months before they completely heal and stabilize. You will be getting 3 to 4 sets of softliners to help refit the inside of your dentures as your ridges continue to change. At the end of the healing period, we will reline both dentures (this is all part of the immediate denture package). After healing is complete and your dentures are relined, your ridges may continue to slowly recontour and change with time. If your dentures become loose, you may need to have your dentures relined.
Remember there is a learning curve to wearing dentures. Dentures are prosthesis, and like any prosthesis, they have limitations. It will take time to learn to balance and use them. At first you will need to concentrate, and then it will become second nature (like learning to ride a bike). You can learn to master wearing dentures. Remember that we are here to help.
You also may be a candidate for dental implants. Dental implants can be placed at the time of extractions or afterwards if there is sufficient width and depth of bone. Implants allow you to connect the dentures to your ridges, providing better stability, chewing capability and function. Many people find this especially helpful to stabilize a lower denture. If you are interested in dental implants, please let us know!
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Immediate Denture Post-Op Instructions
Be sure to take your antibiotic and pain medications as prescribed by your dentist.
You will be sent home biting on gauze with your dentures in place. DO NOT remove your dentures for 24 hours, or until your post-op appointment. The post-op appointment will be scheduled for the next day.
If your surgery is on a Friday, you will remove your dentures after 24 hours and rinse lightly with warm salt water or Crest
ProHealth mouthwash. Wear your dentures for the rest of the weekend (except for cleaning) until your post-op appointment on Monday.
Try to keep your dentures in as much as possible for the first 72 hours. The first 72 hours will be the time when swelling will occur. If your dentures are in place, your gums will conform and adapt to the shape of the dentures during the swelling phase. If the dentures are not kept in place, your gums could potentially swell to the point where you will be unable to place your dentures back in for 2-3 weeks.
Extra gauze will be sent home with you after your surgery appointment. If bleeding continues and you need to replace the gauze, be sure to dampen the gauze and bite firmly (not clenching your jaws) on the damp gauze with your dentures in place. Do not remove your dentures to replace the gauze. Pressure stops bleeding. Bleeding usually subsides within the first few hours, but sometimes patients may bleed into the night. Firm biting pressure stops bleeding, along with ice compresses. Try not to talk or chew. The more you move around (talking, chewing, walking, etc.), the more you will tend to bleed. You can also bite down on wet tea bags (e.g. Lipton tea bags). The tannins in tea tend to reduce bleeding.
If you are bleeding profusely, please call the office. In case of complications causing a medical emergency, please go to
a hospital emergency room.
Be sure to try to eat something soft (scrambled eggs, Ensure® shake, mashed potatoes, etc.) on your first night. You will need to have something in your stomach to help prevent nausea from your medications.
Ice packs help prevent swelling, bleeding, and bruising. NEVER USE HEAT. Heat has the opposite effect of ice and will cause more swelling, bleeding, and bruising.
Try to sleep in a reclined position that is comfortable for the first night. Sleep on a towel or old pillow slip in case you bleed during the night.
NO SMOKING. Nicotine restricts blood flow and will inhibit proper healing.
NO ALCOHOL. Alcohol will thin your blood and prevent proper clotting.
You will need someone to drive you home and make sure that you take your medication as directed.
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What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium root that serves as the replacement for the lower portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the bio-compatible properties of titanium, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used as solutions for replacing single or multiple missing teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth - crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge does not.
Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. The protective enamel is removed. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.
Permanent solution: The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is needed after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
How will dental implants affect my life?
Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function more like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. But most importantly, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.
Who is a Candidate?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, fracture, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. The determining factor is the amount of available bone. Your dentist is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.
If I am older does age lower my chances of getting an implant?
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history.
How much time is required for a dental implant placement?
Today, state-of-the-art guided surgical techniques are convenient alternatives to place dental implants and allow you to have the dental implant placed in a single session using keyhole surgery. This new method has significantly simplified the procedure, for both patients and dentists. The major advantage of the guided surgical technique is the minimal amount of manipulation of the soft tissue due to keyhole surgery. The conventional process can take from two to six months. First, the dentist places the dental implant, which is left for two to four months to heal and integrate with the jawbone. The procedure chosen depends on several factors, such as your dental health, the number of teeth involved and which teeth are replaced. These factors will also determine the total number of visits to the office throughout the treatment period.
Is the treatment painful?
With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to eliminate any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your dentist will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur.
How will I feel after the treatment?
It is normal to have some mild swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day. Often patients comment that they are even more comfortable after implant surgery than an extraction.
How will I care for my dental implants?
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist.
For further information visit our Implants page.