What are Dentures?
Dentures are nothing new. Humans have been trying to replace missing teeth since the 7thcentury BC; archeological digs have found partial dentures made from human and animal teeth fastened together with gold bands. Wooden full dentures were invented in Japan in the early 16thcentury. Surely the most famous denture wearer was George Washington, whose dentures were not wood, as folklore has it, but were made with ivory from hippos and elephants, gold rivets, spiral springs, and real human teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues, and can be complete (replacing all the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw) or partial. Complete dentures are either “conventional,” which take eight to 12 weeks after tooth extraction to place, or “immediate,” which are basically temporary dentures used until your conventional dentures are finished and ready for you.
What problems do they fix?
Expertly fit and designed dentures from Dr. Tamura solve some serious problems for patients. Dentures can:
- Improve the patient’s ability to chew and bite properly, making it easier to eat many healthy foods such as crunchy fruits and vegetables.
- Improves a patient’s health through maintenance of good nutrition
- Make it easier to speak clearly with good enunciation.
- Improve the wearer’s self-confidence and self-image.
- Improve the wearer’s facial appearance and structure.
How do Dentures improve facial appearance?
Once teeth are lost, there is no stimulation to the jaw bone and it will undergo a process called Resorption. Bone Resorption is when the bone in your jaws begins to dissolve away because there are no longer any teeth to stimulate the bone.
Over time, as the bone in your jaws resorbs away, you will begin to see a collapse of the facial structure that the teeth and bones are supposed to support.
Bite collapse occurs when you lose all of your teeth. The lower third of facial height is dramatically lost causing the lips and cheeks to lose support and facial wrinkles are increased.
Normal facial proportions are maintained when a person’s teeth are replaced correctly. The lips and cheeks are properly supported (from the inside) by the dentures. This creates esthetic facial proportions and optimal appearance.
What are Immediate Dentures?
As mentioned above, extraction is often the first step to creating dentures. An Immediate Denture is made for the patient, so that they can chew and eat while their gums are healing and while their conventional denture is made. The entire process, including healing and while their conventional denture is made. The entire process, including healing and various fittings, usually takes about two to three months. After your gums have completely healed, Dr. Tamura can make you permanent Full Dentures.
Will it be difficult to adjust to wearing them?
New dentures take some getting used to. In the beginning they can feel a little odd and loose. But the muscles of the cheeks and tongue soon learn how to keep them in place and you become more accustomed to wearing them. There often is minor irritation from rubbing as your gums adjust to the dentures. These issues are not usually involved with partial dentures.
Eating and speaking will take a little practice. In the beginning, you’ll need to eat soft foods cut into small pieces. As you get used to eating with your dentures, you can return to a normal diet, but you should avoid extremely sticky and hard foods. Speaking will take some practice, but reading aloud will train you to speak with your new dentures.
How long do Dentures last?
Dentures usually need to be relined, rebased, or remade at some point. This is because your gum tissue and jawbone change with time. Dr. Tamura will refit the denture base, or will have a new base made reusing the existing teeth. In most cases, complete dentures will last five to seven years.
Maintenance and Care
Dentures, are not meant to be worn 24-hours-a-day. Removing your dentures at night allows your gum tissues to rest and allows for normal oxygenation, stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and your saliva. Your dentures need to be brushed and rinsed but not with toothpaste, as it is too abrasive and can create microscopic scratches where food and plaque will build up. You need to brush your dentures just like you did your natural teeth to remove stains and any food or plaque build-up. When finished brushing your dentures, they need to stay moist, so it is often best to put them into a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water.