1. My dentures are loose.  What should I do?

When your teeth are extracted, your jawbone and gum tissue are no longer stimulated by the forces of biting and chewing by your natural teeth.  As a result, you begin to experience some bone loss and gum tissue shrinkage – and as your dentures just cannot replicate the forces of your natural teeth, this loss/shrinkage process gradually progresses over time until your dentures become loose-fitting.  Another medical factor that may lead to loose dentures could be substantial weight loss after your dentures were fitted.

Dentures can be relined to help them fit tightly again.  Relining consists of adding new base material to the gum or tissue side of the dentures to properly readjust the fit.  This process will not affect the appearance of your dentures and can be completed in one visit.

If the dentures are reasonably old and worn, you may need to replace them entirely in order to get a proper fit.  On the other hand, if your dentures are more than one or two years old and you find that you are using a denture adhesive every day, your dentures are too loose and would benefit from a reline.

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2. Should dentures be worn while sleeping?

No, you should remove your dentures for several hours while you are sleeping/overnight.  Your gum tissue is constantly covered while you are wearing your dentures and is therefore not allowed to rest or be cleansed by the tongue and saliva.  Removing your dentures for a continuous period of 7-8 hours will promote better long-term health of your gums.

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3. What are the benefits to having dental implants?

There are several benefits to having dental implants.  Perhaps the most significant might be seen when you are having a meal with family or friends – you can enjoy the foods you like to eat rather than restricting your options to only those foods that you can eat.

There are several other advantages and benefits to dental implants as well.  These include:

  • a generally improved ability to chew/eat
  • improved overall oral health
  • increased denture comfort (versus removable dentures)
  • bone/tissue preservation – less bone loss and gum tissue shrinkage
  • enhanced appearance, smile, and self-esteem

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4. Does it hurt when getting dental implants?

The pain associated with dental implant surgery is usually less intense than someone might feel from a tooth extraction.  With today’s advanced dentistry techniques, this procedure should be virtually painless.

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5.  Are there different types of partial dentures?

There are different materials that can be used in the fabrication of partial dentures. Partials can be made of:

  • acrylic
  • a metal/acrylic combination, or
  • flexible thermoplastics

Acrylic partials are customary used as a transitional or temporary replacement for missing teeth, depending on your personal circumstances.

A metal/acrylic partial may also be referred to as a cast partial.  This is usually intended to be the more permanent solution for a removable denture than the acrylic format.  The metal that is used in this form of partial denture is a chrome-cobalt alloy – this combination is ultra-thin, light-weight, and very strong.

The new flexible thermoplastics have the advantage of esthetics and flexibility as they have no metal substructure, that is, there is no metal showing/visible as it is with a cast partial. 

All partials are designed to be removable, which should be done for several hours each day (often when sleeping) to promote long-term oral health.  Each type of partial has different uses and advantages so consultation with your denturist is recommended to find the best solution for your particular situation.  Some of the influential factors will be the condition, positioning, and stability of your natural teeth.

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6. Will it be difficult to eat with a partial denture?

Having a partial denture made to replace your missing teeth should make it easier and more enjoyable to eat.  You will be able to more evenly distribute to forces of chewing across all of your teeth rather than favouring the side opposite to the missing teeth.

Replacing your missing teeth should make eating a more pleasant experience.  Start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces and chew on both sides of the mouth to keep even pressure on the denture.  Avoid foods that are extremely sticky or very hard/crunchy.  You may also want to avoid chewing gum while you adjust to the denture.