Before getting your first set of dentures, your teeth must be extracted. The exact teeth that require extraction, and how many, are dependent upon the type of dentures that you will be receiving: either partial or full. If you are getting full dentures, all remaining teeth must be extracted.
Having many teeth extracted can certainly be difficult, and some time most pass to allow your gums to heal completely. It is also important that they shrink into a permanent shape. The length of time that this takes is an individual matter that depends upon the number of teeth extracted and the healing abilities of the patient. This may take a few weeks.
Here are the steps involved with getting dentures:
Forming An Impression
Once your gums have recovered from the extraction process, which normally takes around five weeks, your dentist will make an impression to allow for the creation of your new dentures.
You will then be provided with a variety of options to help you determine what colors and shapes that you want for your dentures. Of course, you will want them to appear as natural as possible.
Once your new dentures are ready, you will have an appointment for your initial fitting. After placing the dentures in your mouth, your dentist will make any needed adjustments to ensure that you obtain a good fit. Some additional appointments may be necessary to fine tune the adjustment process.
Naturally, there will be an adjustment phase while you get used to having a foreign object like dentures in your mouth. It is common to experience temporary feelings like irritation and soreness, as well as increased salivation. In time, you should begin getting used to them so that they feel like a natural part of your mouth. Ideally, you will not even notice that they are there.
In addition to adjusting to your new dentures, you will probably find that it will take some time to learn how to eat and talk naturally with them. Here are a few tips:
- Select foods that are softer and easier to chew, like fish, eggs, cheese and ice cream.
- Take small bites and chew carefully without biting down too hard using your front teeth.
- Hot foods will seem different, as your mouth cannot perceive heat like it once did.
- Avoid hard or chewy foods.
Tips for talking:
- Practice at home before speaking aloud.
- In front of a mirror, read aloud from a magazine or book.
- If you bite down and swallow right before speaking, your dentures or partials will be in place.
Caring For Your New Dentures
It is very important that you keep your dentures clean and in proper condition. Make sure that you are soaking and brushing your dentures on a daily basis. Denture cleanser can be purchased at your local drugstore. Use as directed.
Take care with using toothpaste. You must keep in mind that dentures are softer than natural teeth. They can be scratched by abrasive toothpastes.