Dentures FAQ

Dentures cannot be “made into implants.” Implants are metal screws placed into the jawbone to help anchor and support artificial teeth (dentures). It may be possible to have implants placed beneath existing dentures to aid in the stabilization and support for those dentures. This could only be done if the current dentures were otherwise in excellent condition. You should consult with Dr. Liddle, a prosthodontist to have your existing dentures carefully examined.

If you are using your denture adhesive correctly, there should not be a lot of adhesive left on your gums and palate when you remove your denture. Patients use a variety of methods to remove the adhesive—a piece of gauze, a tissue, a damp washcloth, or a wet toothbrush.

Your dentures may be ill-fitting or the position of the implants may not be the most favorable. Usually this can be resolved by improving the fit of the denture or by adding more implants. Your prosthodontist or Dr. Liddle can help you with this situation.

You should ask for an appointment with the dentist who made the dentures for you, as he or she has a responsibility to make the dentures as well-fitting as possible. If you are not satisfied with the care you are receiving, you may want to consider consulting a prosthodontist like Dr. Liddle, a dentist with three years of training beyond dental school who specializes in the care and maintenance of dentures.

It’s hard to predict how much of the upper and lower jaw will remain after 20 years without teeth. When teeth are removed, often the bone that held them in slowly shrinks over time. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s normal after tooth removal. It’s important that dentures are made properly to fit well and keep minimum stress on the bone. It’s not likely that you’ll have all the bone you started with after 20 years of not wearing a denture. Dr. Liddle should annually examine your mouth to assure ideal oral health, including the bone level that would be below your dentures.

Regulations vary by state. However, you may wish to see a prosthodontist like Dr. Liddle for treatments such as dentures and implants because prosthodontists are dental specialists in the restoration and replacement of teeth who have completed dental school plus three additional years of advanced training and education in an ADA-accredited prosthodontic graduate program. Extensive training and experience provide prosthodontists with a special understanding of the dynamics of a smile, the preservation of a healthy mouth and the creation of tooth replacements.

Research shows that once the teeth are removed, the jaw bone shrinks and changes shape. Typically, dentures should be checked every year, and often they should be remade when they lose their fit and are loose in your mouth after 5-10 years of use. By using dental adhesive, you may have masked the loose fit of your dentures. Even though you have adapted to these dentures, you are not receiving the function and appearance you deserve. Also, it is important that you take your dentures out at night to allow your gum tissues to rest and decrease the possibility of sore spots. You may want to seek the care of Dr. Liddle a prosthodontist, a dentist with three years of additional training beyond dental school in the restoration and replacement of teeth.

While you may simply adjust to the new dentures, it is likely that if teeth were removed the same day that the dentures were given to you, then you will need follow up with Dr. Liddle to assure that they continue to fit properly as you heal. If you did not have any teeth extracted and simply had new dentures made, there should be fewer adjustments. These adjustments should be more minor in nature. The heavy feeling you mention may be because you have not previously worn dentures or partial dentures. If that is the case, it will take several weeks for you to completely adapt to the feel of them.

It sounds like the implants were intended to help stabilize the denture, in which case, they should reduce the movement. If your dentures rub your cheeks or if you’re biting your cheeks, you should return to the prosthodontist or make an appointment with Dr. Liddle to continue to have the fit and bite refined.

Prosthodontists and their teams are highly trained in the art of color and shade matching. Assuming it is a new partial denture, they can work to produce a match to your remaining natural teeth. (If it is an existing partial denture, we would recommend having a new one made, as the expense would be about the same to recolor the old one.)

In most cases, the lower denture is much less stable than the upper denture. This is due to the shape of the gums on the lower ridge and movement of the denture cause by the tongue. Ask Dr. Liddle about supporting your lower denture with dental implants. Implants can be used to stabilize and retain the lower denture allowing you to chew more efficiently and feel the confidence of knowing that your denture will stay in place.

Yes, it is possible to have your teeth removed and dentures put in the same day. The dentures are called immediate dentures and you should talk to your dentist or prosthodontist to see if that treatment is the best for your mouth. A prosthodontist like Dr. Liddle is a dentist with three years of training beyond dental school who specializes in the care and maintenance of dentures.

You may consider having the upper denture checked to see if it positioned properly. Sometimes dentures can be made in a position that does not allow the lips to close resulting in excess saliva. If swallowing is not impaired, you should be able to clear your mouth and the amount of saliva will generally decrease.

Visit Dr. Liddle if this doesn’t happen.

If the dentures no longer fit as well as they once did, you may need to have a procedure done to refit the base of the denture, called a “reline”. Check with your dentist to see if your dentures can be relined. It is best not to reline your dentures with over the counter reline kits. However, this procedure will enable your dentures to fit better, and tighter, than they have previously.

The term “permanent dentures” is deceptive and misleading. As we know, most things in life are not permanent, teeth and dentures alike. “Permanent dentures” are retained by screws or dental cement onto dental implants and cannot be removed by a patient; they can only be removed by your dentist or prosthodontist. Eventually even these “permanent dentures” may wear or break or become stained and discolored and will require replacement. Typically, soreness should be resolved within two weeks; if it persists, likely something in the denture needs to be adjusted.

When you’re first fitted for new dentures, it’s normal to experience minor irritation, which should fade as your mouth becomes accustomed to them. The period of pain varies. If you’ve previously worn dentures and now have a new set it may take longer. Similarly, if you had some natural teeth present that were removed at the time the new dentures, the areas where the extractions were performed may be painful or uncomfortable for up to several weeks after the removal of the teeth.

How can I whiten my dentures?

It is not possible to whiten dentures like natural teeth because dentures are made of plastic. To minimize staining, properly clean your dentures daily to remove food and plaque bacteria. Brushing with a denture brush or soft toothbrush will prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and keep your mouth healthy. Moisten the brush and apply a non-abrasive soap or denture paste (regular toothpaste is too abrasive). Brush every surface, inside and out, scrubbing gently. A variety of over-the-counter denture cleanser products may be safely used (by following the manufacturer’s instructions) to remove most stains. A weekly 10 minute soak in dilute household bleach is recommended but discuss it with your dentist first. However More stubborn stains may require removal by your dentist or prosthodontist. a specialist in denture care and maintenance.

Can I brush my dentures with toothpaste?

No, toothpastes are designed to be used on teeth, and they often contain materials and chemicals that help whiten and strengthen teeth, but may harm dentures, which are made of a very durable plastic. Even though the plastic is strong, it is not as strong as the enamel of teeth and may be scratched by using toothpaste to clean your dentures. You should use a dish washing liquid and a special denture brush to clean your dentures by hand every day. After rinsing them thoroughly, soak your dentures in water-based cleaning solution overnight. Do not use bleach on your dentures unless your dentist or prosthodontist gives you special instructions on using bleach. Dilute household bleach can be used to clean and disinfect your denture, but don’t use bleach until you see your dentist for instructions.

How do I repair broken dentures?

The best solution is to return to the dentist or prosthodontist who made your dentures and have the cracked denture repaired professionally. It may seem easy to fix, but it is important that the repair is done correctly to prevent problems with chewing and to avoid any sore spots. The dentist also needs to check the denture and adjust it after it is repaired. The denture may be too old and may no longer fit closely to your gums, and you may need a new denture.

Can I sleep in my dentures?

Yes, you can wear your dentures at night but it is preferred that they be removed. You should remove your dentures at night and this will give your gums and bone a chance to relax from the pressure of the denture during the day. If you need to wear your dentures for social reasons or to prevent your jaws from over closing, you should find time during the day to properly clean your mouth and your prostheses. You should never wear your dentures 24 hours a day without preforming proper oral hygiene. Dentures should be cleaned at night and stored in water during the night. Dentures can be made to look like your teeth or, if you want changes in your teeth, the dentures can be made to improve your appearance. You should work with your dentist or prosthodontist and tell him/her how you would like to look. You may want to seek the care of a prosthodontist, a dental specialist with three years of additional training in the restoration and replacement of teeth, including dentures.

Can I eat normally with dentures?

Most patients need to learn how use dentures properly and as a result, it takes a little time to get used to them. After a while, you should be able to eat fairly normally, but it may take more time to get comfortable with harder foods or sticky foods. Using a small amount of denture adhesive (no more than three or four pea-sized dabs on each denture) may help stabilize the dentures and help hold them in place while you learn how to get comfortable with them and may make the learning process easier.

Can I chew sugarless gum with dentures?

Dentures and chewing gum do not usually work well together, no matter which brand of chewing gum you decide to try. The gum typically sticks to the acrylic plastic in the denture and may break a seal on the dentures, which will loosen them as a result. Gum may remain stuck to the denture and eventually harden and discolor. Ultimately, if you wear dentures, you should avoid chewing gum.

Fees for dental services can vary based on many factors including the complexity of your particular treatment, the time required to accomplish the treatment, and the location of the dental practice.

Dr. Liddle can discuss the best options for your personal situation.

Denture fees can vary depending on your needs and the prevailing fees in your community. The best way to determine fees for the services you require is to visit with your dentist or prosthodontist and discuss the care you may need.

Dentures may replace all the teeth or only some of the teeth. The dentures that replace all the teeth are known as complete dentures and they rest on the gums that cover the jawbones. The stability and retention of these dentures can be improved by attaching them to dental implants. Dentures that replace some but not all of the teeth are known as partial dentures. They attach to the teeth that are still present and also cover and rest on the gums and bone where the teeth are missing. Dental implants can also be used to restore and stabilize partial dentures as well.

The best starting point to see if dentures are an option for you is to see your general dentist or a prosthodontist. A prosthodontist is a specialist with an additional three years of training after dental school who focuses on the restoration and replacement of teeth, including dentures for even the most complex cases. A prosthodontist also will be able to help determine if another treatment option might be more suited to your particular situation.