It’s a common concern that dental restorations like dentures may not last very long. And this concern prevents many people from seeking the treatments they need to live a fulfilling life. Fortunately, modern restorations can last a very long time when taken care of properly. High-quality restorations and proper care are key to helping your dentures last.
After all, the goal of restorative dental treatments is to provide long-lasting, increased aesthetics and function. Dr. Neal Patel specializes in restorative dentistry, and that includes helping our clients maintain or improve their current restorations.
Types of dentures
For those who’ve lost multiple teeth, the most common restorative solutions are cosmetic dentures. These provide structure and restore chewing function for a lower cost than similar solutions. However, to maintain jaw strength and bone structure, implant-supported dentures work better. These can be permanent or removable, with multiple titanium posts affixing it to the jawbone.
In any case, in helping your dentures last a long time, you need to care for them properly. And to understand which care routine is best, it’s first important to know what type of dentures you have.
These are traditional dentures that replace a full arch of missing teeth. For reference, an arch can mean all of the teeth on the top or on the bottom of your mouth. Modern cosmetic dentures are set in a gum-colored base and, when worn, look and feel just like healthy, natural teeth. They are removable but stay in place thanks to the shape of the base and a nontoxic adhesive.
These are similar to cosmetic dentures; however, they only replace several teeth in a row, instead of a full arch. Partial dentures are made of the same material as cosmetic dentures, so they look and feel like natural teeth. They fit just over your gums with a pair of clips attaching them to your natural teeth. And like cosmetic dentures, they may be removable. When matched properly by a skilled dentist, they can be indistinguishable from your surrounding teeth.
Like cosmetic dentures, these typically replace a full arch of teeth. However, there is a difference between this restoration and traditional dentures. Permanently implanted titanium roots help to hold your dentures more securely to your jaw.
In addition, they help to maintain jaw health by continuing to stimulate the jawbone while you chew. Implants also remove the need for denture adhesives. Some implant-supported dentures are removable, but others are considered permanent and are only removable by your dentist.
Taking care of cosmetic and partial dentures
Cosmetic and partial dentures are easy to remove and thus very easy to keep clean. Even so, it’s important to remember to take your removable dentures out every night. Though it can save time to leave them in, they can make your gums sore from extended use. This is because removable dentures rest on top of the gums, and that tissue is not as strong as your jawbone. So, after withstanding the pressure of chewing food throughout the day, it is important to give your gums rest.
When you remove your dentures at night, brush them with denture toothpaste or soak them appropriately in denture cleaner. Because they are inorganic, you do not need to worry about cavities in your dentures. However, food residue and bacteria from your mouth can build up throughout the day. And this can give you bad breath, stain your dentures, or cause plaque buildup. In addition, bacteria growth could potentially lead to gum disease or decay. Fortunately, keeping your dentures clean can prevent this while also helping your dentures last.
Remember to clean your dentures outside of your mouth. Most denture cleaners are not safe for oral use. Additionally, only use cold or warm water to clean your dentures. Boiling water can cause your dentures to warp and lose their shape. When this happens, they won’t fit properly, and they can easily fall out or cause sore spots on your gums.
When not in use, store your dentures in water. Dentures must stay wet to help them retain their strength and shape. Allowing them to dry out can also cause them to warp, which can make them very uncomfortable to wear. Or, if they become too fragile, they may break entirely.
Finally, be careful when handling your dentures. Like many things, dentures can withstand a particular kind of force. They’re made so you can chew, so they can handle the pressure that comes with biting over and over again. However, squeezing or dropping them often could hurt them. Be gentle when taking them out and putting them back in.
Taking care of implant-supported dentures
Generally, if you wear permanent implant-supported dentures, simply brush and floss regularly. Brushing and flossing multiple times a day and especially before bed helps remove bacteria and debris from your dentures. It also helps keep your mouth healthy just like brushing your natural teeth normally would.
Some implant-supported dentures are removable. In this case, you can clean them like you would regular removable cosmetic dentures like was previously described.
Helping your dentures last is as easy as staying on top of your dental hygiene routine. This can prevent stains, halitosis, and even gum disease. Just remember to avoid teeth whitening toothpastes when cleaning your implant-supported dentures. These contain harsh abrasives that can permanently damage your replacement teeth.
Long-term care of your dentures
Even while you continue your daily hygiene routine, it’s still important to visit our Powell dental office every 6 months. Your mouth and dental restorations still need to be examined at twice-yearly dental visits. At your appointment, Dr. Patel makes sure your dentures are secure and your gums and jawbone are still healthy. If your dentures have a bar attachment, our office replaces your clips every 6 to 12 months. Regular dental check-ups are essential for helping your dentures last as long as possible and for keeping your mouth healthy.
Dentures are a common, long-term dental restoration solution because they work very well. And, if they are properly taken care of, they can last a very long time. If you are interested in receiving or caring for your own cosmetic, partial, or implant-supported dentures, we can help. Call us at 740.881.2600 or use our convenient online form, and we will schedule an appointment that works for you!