Answers to Your Denture Questions, Courtesy of Orleans Denture Clinic

Orleans Denture Clinic offers answers to the following frequently asked questions as a courtesy to our web site visitors. After you’ve read through them, if you have any further questions or are ready to schedule your appointment, then please contact us and we will be glad to assist you.

Dentures being fabricated

QUESTION: What exactly is a denturist?

ANSWER: A denturist is a dental professional who specializes in the construction and fitting of complete and partial dentures.

Denturism has been a recognized health profession in Ontario since 1974. Apart from providing standard dentures, many denturists are now being certified in the production of precision dentures, such as the BPS brand, which incorporates the most precise techniques and the best materials available today. Many are also trained to provide their patients with dentures supported on implants.

Denturists work hard to insure that your health is not compromised due to a lack of dentition. If you are in need of full or partial dentures, please call our office to schedule a free complimentary consultation with our denturist, Tomasz Szarski.

QUESTION: People tell me there are three kinds of dentures. Can you describe them please?

ANSWER: The three types that are usually mentioned are:

IMPLANT DENTURES: They are retained by screws that are fixed in the bone and are comparable to natural teeth. They offer the best solution in dentures. They are constructed with the same materials & techniques as Precision or BPS dentures.

PRECISION OR BPS: They are constructed with the most advanced materials and are made with the most precise advanced construction techniques available giving the best aesthetics and durability.

STANDARD: Constructed using standard materials and construction techniques that have been around for the past 50 years or more. They are the most economical, but less precise. They can be upgraded to include higher quality teeth.

QUESTION: How often should I replace my dentures?

ANSWER: Dentures have a life expectancy of approximately 5 to 7 years. Looseness, sores, lack of lip support, excessive biting on the front teeth, pain in your jaw, worn teeth, and too much space between the upper and lower teeth, are all signs that your dentures should be examined and possibly changed. Wearing dentures that are ten to fifteen years old can lead to irreversible damage to your mouth and jaw. These problems can be prevented by regular maintenance and adjustments.

QUESTION: I am considering having dental implants placed, since I’m finding it increasingly difficult to eat anything with my lower denture. I am unsure if I should consider 4 or 5 implants. What would you recommend?

ANSWER: More implants will usually distribute the pressure more evenly over all the implants therefore, more is generally better. The quality and thickness of your bone is also an important factor. If your surgeon recommends 5 implants, then you should comply with his/her recommendations. If however, he/she is giving you the choice, he/she probably feels comfortable with four, but is giving you the option of five in order to provide the most stable and durable base possible. The majority of the cases I have seen at our office have been for four implants, and they have been very successful. The patients find that eating can once again be enjoyable.

QUESTION: I had a soft cushion put in my lower denture a few years ago. It is very comfortable but has become stained. Can the stain be removed?

ANSWER: Some stains can be removed, but if the cushion is a few years old, it likely cannot. Soft cushions are very useful in providing comfort and reducing denture sores. For many people, it makes wearing a lower denture possible. Unfortunately, the material is a bit porous and does tend to absorb stains over time. This is why they usually need to be changed every few years. You would have to see your denturist to find out if it needs to be replaced.

QUESTION: What is the best way to clean my dentures?

ANSWER: Dentures should be brushed after every meal and soaked in a cleaning solution once a day. There are a variety of cleaning solutions available in drug stores, all of which work fairly well for most people. However, for people who find those products ineffective, or who accumulate hard white plaque on their denture, there are alternative cleaning products and methods available. If you feel that your denture is not as clean as you would like it to be, contact our office. We will be pleased to suggest other cleaning products that work very well. It is also a good idea to have your dentures cleaned professionally once a year.

QUESTION: I am having all my remaining teeth extracted soon, and instead of making an immediate denture that would replace my teeth right away, my denturist recommends adding teeth to the partial denture I am wearing now and making a new denture in 6 months. Why?

ANSWER: It is actually a good idea. Your gums will heal and when the new denture is made, your denturist will have a much better control over the appearance and fit of your denture. This way, you will be able to preview the denture before it is finished and have your say in the looks of it. This would be more difficult if you chose an immediate denture.

QUESTION: I recently read one of your articles on dental implants. Could you tell me if implant surgery is very painful?

ANSWER: The placing of dental implants is surprisingly comfortable during and after the procedure. There will be, of course, some discomfort and swelling after the surgery, but this is usually minimal. If necessary, the surgeon will prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics.

QUESTION: I have heard a lot of talk about dental implants lately. Can you explain?

ANSWER: Denturists try to construct dentures that look and function like real teeth. However, as anyone who has worn a lower denture will tell you, they are not nearly as good as natural teeth. There is nothing to hold the denture in place. With practice, some people manage quite well but the denture can still moves around and can cause pain when eating. It can also cause bone loss in the lower jaw, which will result in even more instability and pain. Recent advancements such as “Precision Dentures” have improved the fit and look of dentures, but they do not function as well as your natural teeth.

Dental implants allow us to construct dentures that are stable, pain free, and will stop bone loss. Implant supported dentures look better, feel better, and eat better. With better eating come better health and a better and longer life.

QUESTION: Why is my lower denture not as tight fitting as my upper dentures?

ANSWER: Upper dentures create suction by covering the palate. However, a lower denture does not have this suction. A lower denture is supported by the bone where the teeth once were. This creates stability for the denture but rarely creates suction. The bones in the mouth are constantly shrinking when we lose our teeth. This means that the denture has less bone to support itself. Sometimes some retention can be created for the lower denture if there is a large bone. Other efforts to create permanent stability would involve the placement of implants. Dental implants greatly improve the retention and function of a lower denture. For those who decide against implants, other methods are available to improve the stability and the retention of a complete lower denture.

QUESTION: Why are partial dentures essential?

ANSWER: Each tooth in the mouth plays a particular role in distributing the biting forces of the jaw. When a tooth is lost, the stress on the remaining teeth increases which can lead to other teeth being overworked. These stresses can create one or more teeth to drift out of place, become damaged and ultimately can cause the loss of the tooth.

A partial denture is designed to replace these missing teeth. It allows the remaining teeth to do their intended job, therefore reducing harmful stresses. Partial dentures prolong the life span and health of natural teeth, as well as preserving normal jaw function. Many different types of partials exist, ranging from metal to flexible acrylic. A consultation with your denturist will help determine which type of partial is best for you.

QUESTION: My dentures are loose! Are there any alternatives?

ANSWER: Over time, your mouth goes through considerable changes. Tissue shrinkage and loss of underlying bone (resorption) will occur. Since your dentures do not change, they might not fit like they once did. A reline could rectify the problem of looseness. It consists of adding a new base of material to the tissue side of a denture so it can fit properly. This would require taking an impression of your existing denture. A reline will improve the fit of your denture but it will not change the appearance.

QUESTION: What is the difference between a Precision and a Standard denture?

ANSWER: Not all dentures are created equal. A Standard set of dentures is made to perform basic functions and to compensate for bone loss. Cosmetically, the denture has basic aesthetics. A Precision set of dentures functions with better performance. The bite is more accurate because it is made to reproduce the movements of the jaw, so chewing is more efficient. Aesthetically, the teeth are much more lifelike and more resistant to wear, thus extending the lifespan of the denture. The acrylic used in a Precision denture is of higher quality. It fits better, it is stronger, it doesn’t change colour or develop an odour, and it is also a healthier plastic for your mouth.

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