Frequently Asked Questions
A hard reline refits the denture base to the denture-bearing area with either self-curing or heat-cured acrylic. The reline acrylic is chemically bonded to the existing denture base and is generally of the same material as the original denture. A soft reline is a silicone-based material (dimethylpolysiloxane, dimethyl, methyl hydrogen siloxane copolymer) which is bonded to the original denture base. The advantage of a permanent soft-lining material is the cushioning effect over bony-tissue undercuts and the padding effect that reduces the trauma caused by mastication on thin-tissue areas of the denture bearing surface. For those patients whose health is compromised resulting in weakened tissue resiliency, soft liners can greatly enhance comfort.
The oral mucosa is a very sensitive tissue. If after a few hours or a few days a pressure or an uncomfortable area develops, this area must be corrected as soon as possible. Call the clinic and make an appointment for an adjustment. The dentures should remain in the mount as much as possible so the pressure area can be identified. If the pain is unbearable, remove the dentures from your mouth and replace them a couple of hours before coming in for your appointment so the pressure area can be easily identified.
Eating is one of the most important functions that your new prosthesis will have to fulfill. This will take some practice and patience due to the new shape of the palate and the new positioning of teeth. Start by chewing smaller and softer portions of food on both sides of the teeth.
This bulky and large sensation is due to the new denture base and tooth arrangement. Because of the new shape and size of the denture, the tongue and cheek muscle will be trying to reject the foreign body at first. This feeling will subside after wearing the new prosthesis for a couple of hours. There will also be an increase of saliva in the mouth due to the presence of the new denture. Try sucking on a hard candy for the first couple of days until your salivary glands get used to the foreign object.
Certain syllables will be more difficult to pronounce than others, such as "ch", "s", "th" and "sh". As soon as the tongue gets used to the position of the teeth and shape of the palate and facial muscles become accustomed to the new prosthesis, all speech difficulties will disappear. Try practicing reading newspapers, magazines and books out loud.
Your new dentures should be cleaned after each meal with soap and water or a denture paste. Regular toothpaste should not be used as it contains mild abrasives and will remove the polished surface of the denture. Stains may develop depending on the amount you smoke, drink tea or coffee, and your degree of oral acidity. Soak your denture in a commercial denture cleaner. While caring for your denture, it is very important that you also care for tissues by massaging them with your fingers or a soft bristled toothbrush. This daily stimulation will promote healthy bone and tissue.
Dentures are made to fit precisely. But, in rare cases, individuals might have to use adhesives: if they have experienced excessive bone loss; if they produce an irregular amount or consistency of saliva; or if they experience gag-reflex problems. What if you're caught in a sticky situation (no pun intended), one where your dentures have come loose but you can't get immediate access to a denture clinic? Adhesives to the rescue - but only until you are able to visit your denturist.
A note of caution: Denture adhesives offer a false sense of security and lead to unreasonable expectations for stability. At best, they provide a temporary solution. They should not replace the services of a denturist. Prolonged use of adhesives could result in eventual bone loss. Remember that an ill-fitting denture translates into constant irritations and even the development of soreness.
There are many reasons why dentures can seem loose. For example, if the teeth don't come together in a balanced bite, you'll wind up with wobbly dentures while chewing on your food. If the denture is too long in some areas, the mouth muscles will actually move it about while eating or talking. Too short? The vital areas of the mouth won't get covered, which means the denture won't stay in place. Loose dentures could also be the result of health issues.
Ask yourself these questions: Am I on medication, or have I recently changed medication? Have I suddenly gained or lost weight? Can my health be improved? Am I under stress? Even the amount of remaining bone structure in your mouth and the amount of saliva you produce can be contributing factors.
Plaque removal and stimulated circulation are vital for healthy gums. I recommend that you get into the habit of removing your dentures and brushing your gums, tongue and palate with a very soft toothbrush once or twice a day. This contributes to the health of the tissue and the likelihood of success with your dentures. Denture wearers should not chew gum because this action places excessive strain on the temporomandibular (jaw) joint, which can lead to future problems. When eating, be careful not to bite off hard foods with your front teeth: this will result in irritation of the ridges and accelerated bone loss. Quite possible, one long-term effect may be that future dentures are harder to fit.
The answer is NO. Don't think that you'll be "biting off more than you can chew" when you begin wearing dentures. But do understand that you will have to change the way you eat some foods. Tip: don't "bite off" food: cut it into smaller portions instead.
Dentures should be removed for a period of time each day. Most people find it convenient to do this at bedtime. As with teeth, you must take care of your dentures. It is also important that you visit your dentist annually for a thorough oral examination.
Use commercially available powders, tablets or toothpaste to clean your dentures, and a good quality denture brush. Also, hold your dentures over a water-filled sink or over a folded towel while cleaning them - should you drop your dentures, they'll be less likely to break. After cleaning, rinse your dentures thoroughly in clear water. For metal partial dentures, be sure to read the instructions carefully on any cleaner that you apply. For dentures with soft liners, be sure to not exceed 20 minutes of soaking time. For smokers, a stronger, professional strength cleaner may be available from your denturist. For those with plaque and tartar buildup on their dentures, see your denturist for an ultrasonic cleaning.
What not to do: Avoid using boiling water, abrasive cleaners or bleach, as these will damage your dentures. For example, bleach has the ability to oxidize metal partials, turning them black. Bleach can also be absorbed into dentures, which may irritate your mouth.
A partial denture fills the empty spaces in your mouth and keeps your other teeth from moving in strange, new directions. Not only would your smile have a whole new look - which you weren't intending to get - but you could also have problems chewing or speaking. A precisely fitting partial denture allows proper chewing while maintaining general oral health. If the tooth space does not get "filled", here's what will likely happen. One or more of the remaining teeth may lift (extrude), exposing part of the sensitive root structure to bacteria and debris inside the mouth. This could lead to tooth decay and eventual permanent loss. A partial denture also works well for those who have a full upper denture and a few teeth missing on the lower. The partial helps to balance your occlusion, while allowing you to chew and speak properly. Overall, the partial will contribute to the success of your upper denture. So be sure you get those missing teeth replaced. You'll prevent your jaw from moving out of position, thus preventing a lot of unnecessary problems.
Things to consider when choosing a consultation with a Denturist
Remember you only get what you pay for. This is as true with dentures as it is with other products. The Denturist Society of British Columbia prepares a recommended fee guide for its practitioners for the various procedures performed in the office. The guide provides the codes and fees that are recognized by most dental insurance plans and is currently in use in British Columbia. It is important to remember that this fee only reflects a standard denture, using standard procedures and materials! You must then identify, to your own satisfaction, what those procedures and materials are, and whether they suit your needs and pocketbook.
Provided that you have maintained your dentures on a regular basis, by relining them and replacing them, chances are that only small changes need to be made to correctly fit and realign the bite for your new dentures. If you have more questions, please contact us.
Financing options are available through HealthSmart and iFinance Dental.