What to Expect When Getting New Dentures

What_to_Expect_When_Getting_New_Dentures

According to the Center for Disease Control, a little more than 20 percent of those age 60 and older have lost the majority of their teeth. Losing a few teeth is typically managed with dental implants or bridges, but when most of your teeth are compromised, it’s time for dentures. While most people know what dentures are, they have no idea what the process of getting them is like. Here is a brief summary.

DENTURES 101

Dentures come in a few different forms. There are full dentures which are a completely new set of teeth – top and bottom. Partial dentures are more commonly referred to as a bridges. They replace a few teeth and use existing teeth as anchors for the implanted teeth. Overdentures are used when one or more of your original teeth is kept and shortened to it under your denture. This can help you get a great fit and preserve jaw bone tissue.

These days dentures are usually made with resin and porcelain. Porcelain is usually the first choice because it reflects light like natural tooth enamel and is more durable.

THE PROCESS

The process of receiving dentures can be quite lengthy and involved, but getting a completely new smile should be right? It’s worth doing right.

1. CONSULTATION AND PLANNING

To start out, you will consult with your dental surgeon or a dentist with denture experience. It’s extremely important you select a trained professional with experience creating dentures, not just a dentist who says they can do it. They will assess any remaining teeth you have and map out of plan to follow. They should be able to answer any and all questions easily and provide you with several options to choose from along with their personal opinion of what is best.

2. EXTRACTION

Any remaining teeth will need to be extracted, possibly while under anesthesia. After this, the gums need time to heal (this usually takes a few weeks) and for all swelling to go down. While you wait for this to happen your dentist will give you temporary dentures to wear.

3. IMPRESSIONS

After impressions are made, you will choose the shape, size and color of your new smile. Your dentist will assist you in this process and it is your chance to change anything you didn’t like about your previous smile — within reason. Most people stick with someone relatively close to their original smile.

4. FITTINGS AND BEYOND

After a prototype of your final dentures are complete, you will come into the office to try them on. It’s easiest to make changes at this juncture than when the final (and more expensive) dentures arrive. When the final version is finished, you will try them on and let your dentist make any necessary adjustments.

COST

Some insurance companies pay for part or all of the cost of dentures but many do not. Talk to your provider to find out what your plan offers. According to DocShop.com, mid-range dentures typically cost between $1,000 to $3,000. But some high-end dentures can cost as much as $8,000.

DO

  • Report irritation and sore spots that last more than a couple weeks. While it is normal to experience these issues when you first receive dentures, if the problems persist, your dentist may be able to resolve them with a fit adjustment.
  • Talk to your dentist if your dentures habitually make a clicking noise. This can be a sign of an improper fit.
  • After you’ve gotten used to your dentures, take them out at night to sleep.
  • Use adhesive to keep your dentures stable if you need to.
  • Brush your gums. You still need to keep them clean and stimulate circulation.

DON’T

  • Chew gum. It will likely stick to your teeth and can be hard to remove.
  • Use toothpicks. While they are great for natural teeth, they can damage dentures and you should avoid them.
  • Whiten your dentures. They are made perfectly white and will not stain because porcelain is stain resistant.
  • Use regular toothpaste, it is too abrasive. Instead get a special toothpaste or cleaner made specifically for dentures.
  • Floss. It is not necessary with dentures.
  • Let your dentures dry out. Place them in water or cleanser when you take them out at night.

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