Dentures − Warren, MI

Dentures are false teeth for someone who has no remaining teeth. What we commonly refer to as dentures are often called complete dentures. In contrast to partial dentures, which just replace a few teeth, complete dentures replace an entire arch of teeth (all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw).

Dentures consist of a plastic base that is molded and colored to look like gums. This base holds a full set of artificial teeth. In the past, these teeth were sometimes made of porcelain but now they are most often made from a plastic acrylic. The color of both the gums and tooth parts of dentures are customized in order to ensure that they look as natural as possible in your mouth.

Replacing missing teeth with dentures is important for maintaining the aesthetics of your face. Without the structure of the teeth as support, your cheeks & jaw may start to sag, leading to a more aged appearance. Dentures replace this structure & therefore reduce some of the negative aesthetic effects of tooth loss.

Dentures on your top jaw typically cover the ridge of bone where your teeth used to be & the roof of your mouth (what dentists call the palate). Top dentures are held in place by suction between the palate and the denture. Because there is less for them to hold on to (no palate), dentures on your bottom jaw are not quite as secure and may take a little more getting used to.

Traditional complete dentures are removable & it is not recommended that they be worn at night. This gives your gums a chance to rest & allows your saliva to naturally lubricate your gums & the rest of your mouth. Dentures need to be cleaned overnight using special denture toothpaste & a soft-bristled toothbrush or denture brush. A frequent cause of denture breakage is accidentally dropping them on the hard surface bathroom counter or sink. Therefore, we recommend laying out a towel or filling the sink basin with water while you clean your dentures. Dentures should be soaked overnight in a denture solution to keep them moist as drying out may cause brittleness.

While dentures are an effective replacement for your teeth when it comes to the appearance of your smile and your face, when it comes to function, they are a prosthetic replacement. Just like someone with a prosthetic limb may have limited function compared to a real limb, dentures function differently from natural teeth. The stability of dentures varies from person to person, so the variety of foods that denture-wearers are able to eat also varies. The dentist can go over with you what foods should be avoided or need to be eaten differently (such as cutting meats into smaller pieces for ease of chewing). Speaking while wearing dentures sometimes takes getting used to, especially when forming “s” or “th” sounds. Any speech difficulty usually passes with practice.

The procedure for getting dentures is fairly simple but may take multiple appointments. The first step is for the dentist to take a mold or scan of your gums. From this mold we will make a model of your mouth so that we can create a denture that fits every small ridge or contour of your jawbone and gums. While your denture is being created, we may send you home with a set of immediate dentures that you will wear in the meantime for comfort & appearance. When the denture is finished being fabricated you will come back in and we will check the fit & make any final adjustments. We will also educate you about wearing & caring for your dentures to ensure your mouth stays healthy & your dentures last as long as possible.

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