Answered by Jon Nolan, DD
The best thing you can do is sleep without the dentures, because it’s during sleep that the body releases tension by clenching and grinding the teeth. This puts significant pressure on your upper and lower jaw bones causing premature bone loss. Secondly, make sure your dentures are fitting and functioning properly by having a yearly checkup.
I like to do an oral exam each year to assess bone loss, check how the dentures fit and function, make sure the teeth and denture base do not have cracks and to look for signs of oral cancer. Properly fitting and working dentures slow down jaw bone loss and chew your food properly so your digestive system works the way it should. I assess your bite and jaw position which are so important to help maintain a facial structural support and reduce wrinkles.
The longevity of dentures depends on the quality of the teeth, the types of food you eat, and how much bone loss you experience. Denture teeth wear out from the thousand or more meals we eat each year. Dentures should be replaced five to eight years.
I recommend refits every one to three years to help the teeth fit best against your gums and to help reduce bone loss. Most dental benefit plans contribute to refits once/year.
First, make sure you’re wearing a denture that has been fit and made properly. Some of the lower dentures I see are far too big for the lower jaw. When fitting and making lower dentures, I make sure the extensions of the tongue and cheek side are correct to help your denture be as stable as possible. Many of my patients do not use denture adhesive, even with a lot of bone loss on their lower jaw. Upgrading your traditional lower denture to a stabilizer denture or an implant-retained denture are your best options to eliminate movement and sores.
Scrub your dentures inside and out with a denture brush and denture paste or dish soap and rinse them off. Never use toothpaste or baking soda to scrub, because they’re abrasive and take the shine off so foods stick to the dentures and staining occurs. Bleach should never be used. Soak your dentures in water with an effervescent denture cleaning tablet overnight.
The time to make dentures depends on what type of denture I am making. Traditional complete dentures take about five appointments. My hands-on approach to making your teeth means that I personally do the setting of the teeth on advanced laboratory equipment that has been calibrated to replicate how your jaw joints move forward and sideways; your dentures will fit and function based on your custom jaw joint measurements.
The reason the palate is covered in a conventional complete upper denture is so the denture gets some suction so it will stay up and not drop. The only way to start enjoying the taste of foods again is to have the palate of the complete upper denture removed. With a few implants on the upper jaw, I can cut out the palate and your taste will be restored.
I think because everyone I meet wants to live their life to the fullest. They want to feel confident their teeth are not going to embarrass them because they are loose and falling out of their mouth; they want to eat anything they want; they want to preserve the bone mass essential to facial structural support and reduce wrinkles; they want to eliminate sore spots; they want to laugh, talk and smile just like when they had their natural teeth.
Most of my patients find that getting dental implants is much less painful than getting a tooth extracted. The dental implants are placed by a dentist using local freezing, so you will not feel discomfort. If you feel anxious about the procedure, the dentist might prescribe medication to help you feel relaxed.
I like to say a lifetime which is usually how long they last when they are properly cared for. Dental implants have been used for almost fifty years and today have a 99% success rate, so they are a great return on an investment in your quality of life. The placement of these artificial tooth roots is considered minor surgery and is typically painless.
I like to do an exam each year to assess bone loss, check how the dentures fit and function, make sure the teeth and denture base do not have hairline cracks and to look for signs of oral cancer. Properly fitting and working dentures slow down jaw bone loss and chew your food properly so your digestive system works the way it should. I assess your bite and jaw position which are so important to help maintain a facial structural support and reduce wrinkles.