COMPLETE DENTURES

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For both functional and aesthetic reasons, it is wise to place a complete denture when all teeth are lost in an arch.  The framework of a complete denture, called the base, is usually made of a pink acrylic plastic.  The denture covers the palate and/or the bony ridge, which once contained the roots of your teeth.  A lower denture must be horseshoe-shaped to leave room for your tongue.  It is molded to conform closely to the ridge and is held in place by a thin film of saliva.  An upper denture is partly held by the vacuum created when its edges form a seal with the surrounding soft tissues of your mouth.  This gives the upper denture much more retention.  For stability, a lower denture relies less upon vacuum and more upon pressure from your cheek muscles and tongue. Bone implants have been extremely successful in solving the denture retention problem and other problems related to comfortable, aesthetic and functional denture wearing.


PARTIAL DENTURES

If you have missing teeth that should be replaced and are concerned about cost, you may opt for a partial denture.  This is the most economical way to meet the need to protect your natural teeth as well as your appearance.  Missing teeth not only cause the adjacent teeth to drift, making them more vulnerable to decay, but they also create gaps in your mouth that may cause cheeks to sag as well as mouth and cheek wrinkles.  This is a gradual process, but the sooner you replace missing teeth the better for your appearance as well as your dental health.  When you opt for a partial denture, the fee is usually based on the whole appliance and not on the number of teeth on it.

A partial denture is a removable appliance.  You can slip it easily in or out of your mouth.  It can be made with metal clasps that attach to the nearest and strongest natural teeth on either side.  It serves a very important need by filling the gaps caused by missing teeth.
Although the removable partial denture is used primarily to replace back teeth, it can also be used to replace front ones.


CLEANING DENTURES

Wearing dentures does not eliminate the need for daily home care.  For both removable and complete dentures, plaque and food deposits must be cleaned from the denture each day.  Rinse the denture with water to remove any loose debris and then apply a denture-cleaning paste to a moist brush and clean all surfaces of the denture.  Brush thoroughly, but don’t scrub too hard.  Over-zealous brushing could damage plastic parts or bend metal clasps.
Many denture-cleaning agents are available. Just ask the dentist or denturist for advice about which products to use. Household cleaners and some toothpastes should not be used because they may be too abrasive. Do not leave dentures with metal parts in some denture-cleaning solutions longer than the recommended period because the solution may tarnish metal parts. Never clean a denture in bleach because it could alter its colour or corrode the metal parts. Follow the dentist or denturist’s advice for overnight soaking and cleaning.

SORES FROM DENTURES

Even though dentures feel comfortable and there are no apparent problems, denture wearers should still have an annual dental examination.  It takes a dentist only a few minutes to examine the oral tissue for changes that could indicate developing problems.  Denture wearers should be particularly wary of a painless abrasion in the mouth.  Tis is one of the reasons that periodic dental examinations are recommended.  A denture wearer should regularly feel around his or her mouth, particularly under the tongue, to detect breaks in the tissue or to find painless “ulcers”.
Ordinary sores caused by the pressure and movements of dentures heal in 10 to 14 days after adjustment of the denture.  If a sore persists despite repeated relief of the denture base, the problem may be more serious.  The constant irritation of a denture, particularly under the tongue, could be dangerous.  The dentist should examine suspicious areas promptly.