Dentures which are also known as removable partial dentures are appliances that usually consist of artificial teeth connected to a pink (or gum-coloured) plastic base which may or may not be attached to a metal structure.
These dentures are removable in that they can be taken out or inserted by the patient. Dentures are attached to your natural teeth by metal clasps or attachments.
- How long should I wear the denture and can I wear the denture to sleep?
Your general dental practitioner will be able to provide you with the specific instructions on how long the denture should be worn and when it should be removed. Generally, these dentures can be worn throughout the day and only removed at night before sleeping and worn again the next morning.
It is not advisable to continue wearing the denture at night while sleeping. A denture is a foreign object and can trap plaque and bacteria causing gum disease and dental decay especially at night when our teeth are more susceptible bacteria attacks
Initially, your dentist might ask you to wear your denture all the time for about a week. This would likely be uncomfortable but would help the dentist identify areas of high pressure caused by the denture and adjust the denture to ensure a better fit
- How long will it take to get used to wearing a denture?
It will generally take a few weeks for you to get used to the denture. Initially you might experience some difficulty in speech as the denture might feel bulky and awkward in the mouth. Never attempt to use any appliance to bend the wires on your own as the denture might be damaged. Always feedback any concerns to your general dental practitioner and allow your dentist to advise you or adjust the denture accordingly.
- How do I take care of my denture?
Brush your denture daily to remove food and plaque deposits with a denture brush or any soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing daily will prevent the denture from becoming permanently stained as some stains do get incorporated in the denture. Do remember to either place a folded towel or bowl of water under the denture while cleaning it to prevent accidents where the denture is dropped and damaged. Your general dental practitioner will also be able to recommend you on the necessity of using denture cleaners.
- How long can my denture last?
As we age, our bodies and bones continue to undergo structural changes and our denture might not be properly fitting in a few years. Poorly-fitting denture can do damage to the remaining teeth and gums. So do continue to go back to see your general dental practitioner for yearly reviews so that adjustments can be made to ensure a good fit. Generally, full dentures may need to be re-made every 3-5 years.