Full dentures refer to dentures that replace all the natural teeth. They’re sometimes referred to as complete dentures. Partial dentures replace one or more teeth. They’re often used in locations in the mouth where a bridge cannot be used. Unlike a bridge that attached to neighboring teeth using clips or adhesives, dentures are carefully made and fitted to hug the contours of the gums for a secure fit, and special adhesive products are available to help prevent slippage and to keep food particles from becoming lodged under the denture.
The denture-making process begins with impressions which are sent to a lab where the dentures are made. Today’s dentures use very durable materials that still look natural and offer a superior fit to dentures made a decade or more ago. Once the dentures are made, they’re carefully fitted and adjusted so they’re secure and comfortable. Sometimes, dentures can be made in a single day in the dentist’s office on the same day teeth are extracted, eliminating the need to wait while they’re made in a lab. Same-day dentures usually require frequent office visits to adjust the dentures as the gum tissue heals and shrinks following tooth extraction.
Generally, it takes less time to get used to partial dentures compared to full dentures, and people who have had partial dentures in the past will take less time to become used to full or larger partial dentures. Most people adjust to their dentures within one to two weeks. To “speed up” the adjustment process, practice reading out loud and eat different foods at home before going out. If dentures feel loose or cause sore spots, call the office to schedule an adjustment right away.
No, dentures can be cared for with regular brushing to keep them clean and to remove bacteria and food particles. It’s also important to brush the gums with a soft-bristled brush to prevent gum disease or sore spots.
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