Dentures are removable devices that can replace missing teeth and assist in restoring your smile. If you’ve lost all your natural teeth, whether, from gum illness, dental decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will certainly benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak much better than you might without teeth, things that people frequently take for granted.

When you lose all your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help fill out the look of your face and profile. They can be made to look very close to your natural teeth so that your appearance does not alter much. Dentures may even enhance the look of your smile.

New dentures may feel uncomfortable for a few weeks until you become familiar with them. The dentures may seem loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue adapt and learn to keep them in place. It is not uncommon to encounter minor irritation or soreness. You might find that saliva flow momentarily increases. As your mouth grows accustomed to the dentures, these problems go away. Follow-up visits with Dr. Richard Boatman and Dr. Jordan Spencer in the St. Louis area are needed after a denture is embedded so the fit can be examined and modified. If any problem continues, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult Dr. Boatman and Dr. Spencer’s office in the St. Louis area right away, so the team can take care of any issue that may arise.

Even if you use full dentures, you still need to practice comprehensive dental health. Brush your gums, tongue, and roofing of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to promote circulation in your tissues and help eliminate plaque.

If you have any concerns about your dentures, or if they stop fitting well or end up being harmed, contact your dentist. Make sure to set up regular dental examinations, too. Dr. Boatman and Dr. Spencer will analyze your mouth to see if your dentures continue to fit properly.

What kinds of dentures are available to me?

Conventional. This removable full denture is created and placed in your mouth after the residual teeth are removed, and tissues have improved, which may take various months depending on each client.

Immediate. This type of removable denture is inserted on the same day that the spare teeth are removed. Your dentist will take measurements and create models of your jaw through an introductory visit. You don’t have to be without teeth through the healing phase but may need to have the denture relined or changed after your jaw has healed.

Overdenture. Some of your teeth can be preserved to protect your jawbone and provide stability and assistance for the denture. An overdenture goes over a small amount of remaining natural teeth after they have been fitted by your dentist, Dr. Boatman, Dr. Spencer, and their staff. Dental Implants can serve the same function, too. Ask Dr. Boatman or Dr. Spencer about Mini Dental Implants.

Denture Maintenance

Same as your normal teeth, your dentures should be brushed every day to eliminate food particles and plaque. Brushing also can support the teeth and help eliminate staining. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleaner to brush all the surfaces of the dentures lightly so they don’t get damaged.

Rinse your dentures prior to brushing to remove any loose food or debris.

When you’re not using your dentures, put them in a safe area covered in water to prevent them from warping.

During brushing, clean your mouth completely—including your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth and tongue to eliminate any plaque. This may help decrease the risk of oral inflammation and bad breath.

Denture wearers may apply adhesives. Adhesives come in many applications: creams, powders, pads/wafers, strips or liquids. If you apply one of these products, read the directions, and use them precisely as directed. Dr. Boatman and Dr. Spencer can recommend appropriate cleaners and adhesives; look for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Products with the ADA Seal have been assessed for safety and effectiveness.