Dental Dentures in Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Charlbury Dental Practice
The Spendlove Centre, Enstone Road, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7 3PQ

Restorative Dentistry » dentures

Many people choose removable dentures to replace missing teeth, to improve their smile and to improve their eating function.

Dentures can be partial, when they are precisely fitted around your own natural teeth, or they can be full dentures if you have lost all of your own teeth.

Dentures are a simple, effective and cost effective way of solving the problem of missing teeth, and for most people are trouble free and will stay comfortably in place.

What are dentures made of?

Dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-coloured plastic bases. The teeth can be made from plastic, or from more durable composite or porcelain. Partial dentures may be made of plastic, a chrome cobalt metal framework or a flexible plastic material. They can be attached to neighbouring natural teeth with metal clasps or sometimes with devices called 'precision attachments' which are usually less visible.

Why might I need dentures?

If you have missing teeth you might be unhappy with your appearance; you may have difficulty eating and your speech may be affected. It is usually a good idea to fill any gaps; otherwise your other teeth may move to take up some of the space and you could end up with crooked teeth. This, in turn, could affect the way you bite and could damage your other teeth.

If you lose all your teeth and do not replace them with either dentures or implants, your facial muscles will sag and this can make you look older. Without teeth it is hard to eat and speak properly. Not eating properly may mean that you could become malnourished. A complete or full denture gives support to your cheeks and lips, improves your appearance, and allows you to eat and speak properly.

Will it be obvious that I have dentures?

Dentures can be made to closely match your natural teeth so that your appearance hardly changes. Dentures may improve the look of your smile.

Denture wearers often prefer to use a denture fixative to give more confidence that the denture is secure. This is fine, but if you find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile, consult your dentist as your dentures may need adjusting or relining.

How soon can I have a denture after my teeth are extracted?

Usually dentures can be fitted immediately after your teeth have been removed so that you never have to go without teeth. However, if only back teeth are involved, your dentist may advise you to wait until your gums have healed as this can sometimes provide a better fit. This may take 2 to 3 months.

With "immediate" dentures you don't have to be without teeth while your gums are healing. However bone and gums can shrink over time, especially during the first 6 months, and so after a while your dentures may need relining, adjusting or replacing.

What is involved?

Once you have decided with your dentist that dentures are a suitable solution for you, you will need 4 or 5 appointments:

  1. At the first one your dentist will take impressions of your mouth. The impressions and details of your requirements are then sent to our dental laboratory. The dental technician may recommend taking another impression of each of your jaws during the second appointment using a customised tray to better fit your mouth. The technician will then make a very accurate model for your denture.
  2. The next stage is to establish the relationship between your upper and lower jaw so as to determine the correct positions for individual teeth. This is done using modelling wax. The shape, size and colour of teeth are chosen. The denture is then constructed in wax, adding the teeth required.
  3. At your next “try in” appointment your dentist will check that the wax denture fits comfortably and that the teeth are in the correct position and provide you with a good bite. This denture is sent back to the laboratory where the wax portion is converted into a pink, gum-coloured plastic.
  4. At your final appointment when the dentures are fitted, your dentist will check the fit and bite of the dentures, and adjust as necessary.

Once you have worn your dentures for a few days or weeks it is normal to need a few appointments for fine adjustments.

Should I keep my dentures in all the time?

For the first few days your dentist may advise you to wear your dentures for most of the time, including while you are asleep. Once your mouth gets used to them, your dentist may advise that you take them out before going to bed. This allows your gums to rest and helps keep your mouth healthy.

How do I take care of my dentures?

Dentures may break if you drop them! So always clean them over a bowl of water or a folded cloth.
The general rule for cleaning your dentures is "brush, soak and brush". First brush them to remove any food debris. Next use an effervescent denture cleaner to help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher; follow the manufacturer's instructions. Then brush your dentures again, as you would your own teeth, being careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves in the surface. Make sure you also clean the surface which touches your gums.

How long will my dentures last?

They should last several years. If they become loose or ill-fitting consult your dentist as they may need to be relined or re-made. Otherwise they may become uncomfortable and may cause ulcers or infections.

Is there an alternative to dentures?

Yes! You may be able to have dental implants, provided your jaw bone is healthy and thick enough. If you only have a small gap, as a result of one or possibly two missing teeth, you may be able to fill the gap with a bridge. Your dentist will discuss alternative treatments with you.

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