Dentures

Postoperative Instructions for Dentures

This list has been prepared so that you know what to expect as a natural side effect versus a symptom that would need immediate attention.

There are also helpful guidelines to prevent damage to your restoration.  Although modern technology makes the appliance durable as well as functional, every denture is vulnerable to pressures exerted upon them with wear and tear.  They are not indestructible but with proper care, you can extend the life of the appliance.

Fresh Postoperative Period (1st 6 Hours)

Slight bleeding after placement of dentures may occur and can last intermittently and lightly for up to 2-3 days.  An ice compress applied to the affected area will stop the flow.  Maintain the application for 10-20 minute intervals.

Adjustment Period

Regardless of whether the dentures are complete or partial, a period of adjustment is always needed.  This may take several weeks to a month for new wearers to adapt to the appliance. Instruction may be needed to alter speech with positioning of tongue against dentures, palate and lips.

Rinse your mouth out with war water each evening and after meals.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 glasses of water) the first 2 days.

Avoid crunchy foods the first few days including:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Nuts
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Sticky rice
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Jicama

Chew soft food in small pieces.  If the occlusion (bite) seems uneven, it can be addressed at the next dental visit.

The taste of food may be altered the first week as well.

Irritation and Infection

Isolated areas of discomfort or sores may arise.  If this should occur, wear the denture with the sore prior to the dental visit so that the area can be easily detected and visualized, facilitating its care.

Put the dentures to rest in a moist container (or glass of water) instead of leaving it in the mouth.  The oral tissues, gums and jawbone need rest intervals to inhibit the formation of inflammation, infection, irritation and bone shrinkage as well as ulcers.

Proper Care

It is crucial to clean the dentures daily to deter formation of stains, discoloration and bacteria from adhering to the appliance surface.

Take note of any wear of the appliance with chips or loss of shape to the attachments.  Over time, the supporting gum and bone may recede or change size or shape necessitating a visit for reevaluation by the dental specialist.

If cracks or hairline fractures appear in your dentures, do not attempt to repair them yourself.  Instead, consult with the dentist who designed them.

Following the guidelines, you may enjoy your new set of teeth for years to come.

Replacing Missing Teeth With Dentures

Great innovations in cosmetic dentistry and new techniques allow construction of dentures which are made of colored acrylics to greatly mimic the appearance of natural teeth making it difficult for onlookers to tell the difference.

The importance of replacing extensive dental loss with dentures (either partial or complete) is not just appearance however, although this plays a very crucial part in a person’s sense of self-esteem and confidence.  Teeth replacement acts to support facial muscles to prevent the cheeks and lips from sagging inward. In doing so, the individual gains a youthful appearance instead of that of an old person.

There are functional roles that teeth replacement fills besides giving a nice smile.  By aiding in chewing of food, nourishment is provided and the risk of choking from food consumption is decreased.  In addition, the teeth aid in communication and enunciation of words.

Some individuals have suffered from extensive dental damage and tooth loss secondary to trauma, widespread decay, or periodontal disease, which has gone essentially ignored. These people can be quite frustrated and request all remaining teeth to be extracted with a full denture devised.

Despite their request, a cosmetic, reconstruction dentist will generally recommend keeping the healthy remaining teeth and having implants or only partial dentures fabricated.

Implants supporting partial dentures, which are titanium posts inserted into the jawbone and act as anchors for the dentures to attach, will prevent sliding or shifting of the device in the mouth, providing security both of the appliance and frame of mind.

Full or complete dentures are recommended for patients who have either lost all their upper and lower teeth or need to have the remaining teeth extracted (removed) due to severe damage or extensive decay. High quality acrylic resins are used to form the base, colored to match gums and they are wear-resistant.  Porcelain is used for the tooth material as it mimics natural enamel.

Wax impressions are used to create dentures based on shape and size of the bite and jaw shape.  Nowadays dentures can be custom designed to fit not only the shape of the mouth but also smile lines and age as well.

After extraction, if this process is required, dentures cannot be customized and used for between one and two months while the gums and oral tissues are healing in order to get a proper fit. If this poses a problem, dentures can be placed in immediately after extractions and adjusted accordingly as time progresses.