Denture Patients

Many patients with full dentures mistakenly believe that since they no longer have natural teeth, they do not require regular dental visits. We would like to clear up this misconception by emphasizing that yes, patients with full dentures *absolutely DO* require regular dental care. During the exam, the dentist will thoroughly examine the dentures to confirm proper fit, as well as adjust any loose metal clasps. We also clean the dentures in a special anti-tartar bath and remove plaque and calculus build-up with our instruments, as needed.

Due to wear, additional bone loss, and soft tissue changes, a new set of dentures should be made approximately every 10 years. To assure the lifespan of the dentures, it is important to keep up with those regular maintenance appointments. In addition to examining the appliance, a periodic oral exam should be performed every 6 months. The doctor will examine the soft tissues of the mouth and head/neck area for signs of trauma, which could indicate improper fit of the denture. The dentist also performs a cancer screening and looks for signs of fungal infection, since patients who wear dentures are at a greater risk for these conditions. Denture patients should also receive a panoramic x-ray every 3-5 years to examine the jaw and surrounding bone for any changes or tumors.

At home, patients should maintain their denture by rinsing them thoroughly with water after every meal, brushing them daily with a soft brush, and soaking dentures periodically. Patients who wear dentures should never chew on ice or other hard object that could cause damage to the appliance. Dentures should be removed for 6-8 hours daily and stored in water to let gum tissue rest and recover from constant pressure. Dentures that are broken, loose, uneven, or irritating could cause damage to the soft tissues in the mouth, so concerns about the fit of the denture should be addressed immediately with the dentist.

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