Dentures are more commonly known as “false” teeth, they are basically placed to act as a prosthesis for missing teeth. Dentures can be made of a variety of different materials including; acrylic, or cobalt metal. They can be used in place of one tooth, several, or all of your teeth, and when done appropriately should fit snugly over the gums.
Properly fitted dentures have several benefits, including; improving speech, eating better & with ease and also improving your self-confidence (especially as you can become conscious of these things the more they bother you). Once a denture is fitted correctly it can also prevent any further issues from happening to the surrounding teeth as a form of preventative treatment.
Types of Dentures
There are various types of false teeth the dentist / clinician will take you through the options which will include both partial dentures and full dentures and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.
The dentures all require a specific fitting to ensure they match your natural teeth’s colour, shape and size. The fitting can be done by a specialist called a prosthodontist or by an implantoligist or general dentist, many of whom also fit dentures.
When are Partial dentures recommended?
Partial dentures are used if you still have some healthy teeth available. These dentures can be clipped around the remaining healthy teeth, which means they can be visible when you talk, but can be made in a tooth-coloured material for a more pleasing aesthetic.
When are Full dentures recommended?
Full dentures will be suggested in a number of scenarios; if you’ve lost all of your teeth, which may have occurred due to impact or injury, infection, periodontitis, or other medical conditions which may have come into play. These artificial teeth are attached to a plate that sits against your gums.
The plates and gum fittings – which can be made from either metal or an acrylic that matches the colour of your gums, typically aren’t visible to others.
Specialised false teeth adhesive can be used to help keep your dentures securely in place.
Removable dentures, come with an added benefit of being easier to clean. However can slip out of place more easily and therefore your dentist or clinician may recommend avoiding certain foods that can be particularly chewy or sticky.
Even though the teeth adhesive can help keep them in place they can sometimes be tricky to use without a dental health expert.
Removable dentures typically last about five years before they need to be replaced, this will also depend on your oral health care routine & diet.
How much to Dentures cost?
Immediate / Temporary Acrylic dentures cost around £335. Acrylic dentures tend to start from £715 and Cobalt Chrome from £825.
Price variations depend on the materials used, the number of teeth, and whether you are getting a single plate or two (upper and lower). The way they are fitted or where they are placed can impact the treatment time & complexity of the fitting.
Flexible dentures are becoming increasingly popular as they are made with durable materials that many patients say are more comfortable to wear. Thanks to the translucent resin that matches your gum colour, they don’t require any visible clips like those you might see with partial dentures so are more aesthetically pleasing in that sense.
Flexible dentures are also more light weight and can feel more comfortable in the mouth. They can last around 5-8 years depending on your oral health care in general & how well you take care of your teeth & gums.
How to maintain Dentures
Our mouths are full of bacteria, so just as you would with your natural teeth, artificial teeth need to be cleaned on a daily basis.
Your dentist or clinician will advise you about the best way to clean your dentures depending on what type of false teeth you have and provide you with an after-care plan which will include recommended cleaning solutions to use and the motions needed to clean them thoroughly. Removing partial dentures, for example, can make it easier to clean your teeth when you’re brushing at night.
To increase the lifespan of your false teeth, handle them with care. Don’t bend or drop them and try to avoid damaging any of the clips while cleaning them.
Soaking your dentures overnight can prevent them from drying out, but make sure you rinse them under water before you put them back in place.
Your dentist may also advise you to avoid certain foods. Avoid drinking beverages that are hot enough to warp the dentures. It may also be a good idea to avoid foods that are tough like hard sweets & confectionary items or anything chewy like chewing gum.
Side effects of Dentures
When you first have dentures placed, especially immediate (temporary) dentures, you may notice an increase in saliva. This is normal and subsides as your mouth gets used to the new addition. Some people also experience temporary nausea, but this feeling also subsides quickly and is nothing to be concerned about.
Your dentist will recommend you start with soft foods and liquids just until you are used to eating with your new dentures in place. Don’t worry if you slur words, or you speak slightly different initially this will get much easier as you get used to your dentures.
If your Dentures cause any irritation or sores in the mouth while you’re getting used to them please call a member of the team at Olive Tree Dental if you have any concerns and we will get you seen as soon as possible. This is common and often subsides as you adjust to the false teeth. Initially gargling with salt water and maintaining excellent oral hygiene to help treat these symptoms is what is recommended.
How do I know if something doesn’t feel right with my Dentures?
There are certain signs that indicate that your false teeth need to be adjusted, refit, or repaired. These include:
- Cracks or chips in the false teeth
- Consistent difficulty chewing after the initial (1 week usual) adjustment period
- If the fit doesn’t feel snug or as if it may have slipped or fell out of place (which could happen after several years)
- Pressure sores from where the false teeth are fit into place, after the adjustment period
- Strange odour coming from the false teeth
- Consistent speech pattern changes that don’t go away after the adjustment period
Alternatives to dentures
In addition to dentures, there are other alternatives that your dentist may recommend to you depending on the condition of your teeth, the placement that is needed etc. Please do discuss your queries with the clinician and ask as many questions as possible, the team at Olive Tree Dental will be happy to assist.
Implants are a more permanent solution, thanks to a metal screw placed into the jawbone for stability before a false tooth is placed on top of it. You can have just one implant or a full set. Implants are more expensive than dentures, though many people see this as a long – term investment for the permanence and peace of mind.
Veneers can help improve the appearance of existing healthy teeth by placing a thin layer of porcelain over the front of your teeth meaning an aesthetically more pleasing smile however they can’t replace teeth.
Bridges are another common alternative to dentures. Bridges are made up of false teeth that are held in place by a dental crown that’s cemented to neighbouring teeth or an implant.
They are more permanent than removable dentures and may not require the implant process if healthy neighbouring teeth are available but this is something that the dentist will discuss with you before finalising your treatment plan.