Guide to Dentures

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Dr. Scot Ioset, DDS

A Helpful Guide to Dentures

This may be your first experience with dentures, or you may be replacing worn dentures, but a little time spent reading this guide will hopefully answer any questions you may have. Always feel free to ask me or my experienced staff anytime you have a question. We are here to serve you.

First let’s look at what a denture is and what it isn’t. Today’s dentures are made of high strength acrylics that mimic natural teeth and gums beautifully. Our laboratory is Bonadent, located in Seneca Falls, New York. Working together, our goal is to provide you with superior dentures that are esthetic, functional and comfortable. This said, dentures have obvious limitations in that they are not your own teeth. Clinical studies have shown that dentures have only 15% of the chewing efficiency of a full set of healthy teeth. In addition, the ridges that support the dentures will change and shrink over the years, thereby affecting the fit and chewing ability of the denture. Dentures typically need to be remade every seven to ten years, although this varies greatly depending on the individual.

I have had extensive training in the fabrication of dentures in the three years as a resident in comprehensive dentistry programs in the US Army, as well as practicing the art of dentistry for almost 27 years. The process and technique that I use are considered to be the standards of care used by the specialists in this field of dentistry. Clinics offering one-day-dentures cut many corners resulting in sub-standard dentures. Let’s now see how a denture is made at this office.

The order of appointments for making dentures is as follows:

  1. Initial impression

  2. Final impression

  3. Jaw relations and selection of teeth shapes and shades

  4. Try-in of denture or partial with teeth in wax

  5. Delivery of denture

  6. Adjustment appointments as needed to adjust the fit

Appointment 1: We make an impression of the ridges with alginate impression material. With this we form a stone model of your mouth that we will use to make custom impression trays. Custom trays are essential to assure accuracy of the final impression. I will also examine the soft tissues of your mouth to assure all soft tissues and remaining teeth are healthy.

Appointment 2: It is essential that you leave your present dentures out of your mouth for at least 24 hours prior to this appointment. This allows the soft tissues of your mouth to rebound and take their natural form prior to our making the final impression using the custom trays.

Appointment 3: Jaw relations are made to show the laboratory how your upper and lower arches are related to one another. This is the time to select the form and shades of the denture teeth. Bringing photos of you with teeth can aid the laboratory in making the denture.

Appointment 4: You will have an opportunity to see your teeth set in wax and approve their appearance prior to the final processing by the laboratory.

Appointment 5: This is the moment everyone is waiting for. In my mind as your dentist, this is when the actual treatment begins. I will insert and adjust your denture(s) so they are comfortable.

Appointment 6: It is very normal to develop a few sore spots. I will adjust the denture to eliminate the cause. New dentures require time getting used to. A big, juicy steak with corn on the cob during the first week may sound great, but may do more harm than good. Limit yourself to softer, easy to eat foods and gradually build from there.

Following are important instructions to remember during the making of your denture.

  1. Unless told otherwise, always leave your existing or partial denture out of your mouth for at least 24 hours prior to each dental appointment. This allows the tissue to rebound to its natural state. This is especially important prior to all impressions and the final delivery of your denture or partial denture.

  2. Set up all of your appointments in the beginning so that the process moves along as quickly as possible.

There are some guidelines to care for your mouth and your new dentures:

  1. All dentures and partials, new or old, must be left out of the mouth while sleeping or eight hours a day. This allows the soft tissues and any remaining teeth to have a much needed rest. Dentures that are out of the mouth must be stored in water to prevent drying.

  2. Denture cleaners are useful in keeping your dentures clean, yet a daily cleaning with a denture brush with a non-abrasive soap will also be very helpful. Toothpaste should only be used for the removal of stains and should never be used routinely as it will severely abrade the acrylic and teeth. Do not leave dentures immersed in denture cleanser overnight, as it may cause a color shift in the pink denture acrylic.

  3. Use of a soft toothbrush daily to scrub the soft tissues of the mouth will promote healthy tissues and will freshen your breath.

  4. Annual examinations of your mouth are highly recommended. Our goal is to make sure your dentures are fitting properly. I want to examine the soft tissues to make sure they remain free of disease.

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