Common Questions About Dentures

What is different between a denture and a partial denture?
When someone talks about dentures, they are typically talking about a full set of dentures for either the upper denture or lower denture.  These comprise all your teeth. On the other hand, a partial dentures is used to replace some of their teeth while they still have some healthy teeth.

Will dentures impact how I eat?
Eating with your new dentures is also a skill you will need to master. It will take a few weeks up to a few months to develop. It really depends on the type of food that you are eating. The most problematic are foods like corn on the cob or apples. Some people never fully master these.

Here are Some Tips to Eating with Dentures
It takes more time to eat a meal with new dentures. As you get more comforable with your dentures, you will not notice this issue. After you first get your dentures, choose easy-to-chew foods. This will benefit you in two ways. First, it will allow you to develop new muscle coordination for your lips and tongue. These are now needed to manage your dentures while chewing. Second, it will slowly “toughen up” your gums. As your gums get stronger and more use to the dentures, you will be able to move on to more and more difficult foods.

What is the best way to clean dentures?
We will go thru the best cleaning procedures in one of your appointments. We always recommend a cleaner that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Each manufacturer has their own instructions with the products which we suggest that you read completely.

How will dentures impact the taste of food?
All of your taste buds are located on your tongue. Therefore, making changes to the composition of your teeth should not have any impact. On rare occation, we have had clients who complained that they can’t taste food as well with their new dentures. This issue always resolved itself with time.

Is it hard to get adjusted to wearing dentures?
Most people report that the biggest issue with new dentures is getting used to how they feel in your mouth. Some report that they feel like they have a mouthful of a foreign object.  Their lips are being pushed forward. The teeth feel too big. These typically subside as you wear them in a matter of weeks. Some people experience an increased amount of saliva in their mouth. This is common.  It too will slowly go back to what you consider normal in just a few days.  Others report that their upper or lower dentures feel looser than the other set of dentures.   This too is normal.  We will discuss this further below. We recommend that the best way to get accustomed to your dentures is to wear them 24 hours a day till the adjustment period is over. After that, you should follow your doctor’s recommendation for a wear schedule that allows your mouth to get adequate rest. Most dentists will suggest that they are removed at night while you sleep.

Why are my lower dentures looser in my mouth compared to the upper dentures?
We do our best to achieve stability and firm fit on both your upper and lower dentures. It is standard practice not to fit lower denture as tight as the upper ones.  They should be able to be “lifted out” with your tongue. We suggest that you allow time and patience as a new denture wearers. It always takes time to get used to wearing and using dentures.

Is it common to have sore spots on your gums?
Yes, while you are getting use to dentures, your gums will go thru adjustments. This is typically caused by high spots that do not fit as well. These spots will put extra pressure on your gums which can cause a sore spot. Our patients typically have this issue in the first few weeks. We always ask our patents to return for a followup when they have this issue as it is an issue we can quickly address. It is important to wear your dentures for at least 24 hours prior to an adjustment appointment so that sore spots are easy to identify and fix. Without this kind of feedback, the break in period is longer as we will not be able to find the high points on your dentures on your first visit.

Will I be able to speak the same with dentures?
You will quickly learn that your tongue location with dentures is different than with natural teeth. Sometimes this will cause a whistling sound when you speak. Most of our patients quickly adapt to new dentures and the whistle stops. We recommend that our clients start to read aloud as a way to train themselves to adjust to the new location of their tongue. The sounds that seem to be the most problematic are the S, Sh, Th, and Ch sounds. I don’t recall a single client who has followed this advice to have a speech issue for very long.