Nothing man-made will ever be a perfect substitute for natural, healthy, teeth, and yet dentistry has made great progress in developing solutions for their loss. Complete Dentures are one of the most common of those solutions, designed to replace a full set of natural teeth. Though they cannot be expected to do everything the natural teeth once may have done, when used sensibly and cared for properly, Complete Dentures enable you to eat and speak with comfort and confidence.
Made specifically to suit an individual’s needs based on the shape of the mouth and face, Complete Dentures are designed to support the lips and cheeks, giving a natural appearance. Once you’ve received your new Complete Dentures, you can expect it will take some time to get used to them. Normally it takes 2 weeks to adapt to an upper denture, though a lower denture can take as long as 2-3 months because it is constantly being moved around by your tongue. During this time, you may experience sore spots, or the bite may not feel quite like it should. In that case you will need to call your Denturist to come and make the proper adjustments at no extra cost. With each adjustment the denture will settle in more, sometimes requiring additional adjustments. These are a normal part of the progressive fitting process.
Though you will develop comfort with your new Complete Dentures, eventually the time will come for them to be replaced. Denturists recommend replacement every 5-7 years for two main reasons: 1. In the absence of natural teeth, gums shrink over time. As this progresses, dentures become loose and ultimately will not fit as well as they should. Even when a person feels after 7 years that their dentures fit just fine, the developed comfort is only because the mouth has adapted to the denture through all its changes. Despite that comfort, even unnoticeably, the denture will still rock back and forth, beating at the gums and causing them to shrink at an even faster rate. In contrast, when fit properly, a denture protects your gums from shrinking as quickly because the denture teeth take all the pressure of chewing. 2. By the 7th year, the denture’s teeth will have started to wear. By that point it requires greater movement in order for you to close your mouth and for your teeth to contact. The result is a strain on your jawbone which can cause joint problems and even headaches.
Because your gums shrink more and more over time, each new denture may have a slightly different fit and look. A Denturist cannot prevent these changes, but they can work with you to ensure you are happy with your appearance and fit. It remains, however, an unfortunate reality that even though a previous set of dentures may have fit wonderfully, there is no guarantee that your new one will fit or feel exactly the same. The reality of changing gums means that we do the best we can with what we have to work with.