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Denture Myths and Facts

Denture Information the Myths and Facts You Should Know About

Denture myths and facts in Portland OR and Vancouver WADental information is often confusing or misleading. Below are some of the myths most often associated with dental implants and dentures:

MYTH #1: All dentures are alike and are made from a pattern or mold common to all patients.

FACT: Since every person and every mouth is different, it is obvious that no two dentures can be alike. Since a quality denture is handcrafted, even two dentures made for the same person will not be EXACTLY alike. When a denture is processed the custom designed mold for the specific patient is broken in order to remove the new denture and the finishing work is done by hand. Therefore, it is impossible to re-create EXACTLY the same denture more than once. There is also a difference in techniques of denture construction and quality of materials available today. You should discuss this with your denturist as these variables can affect the quality and cost of the finished denture.

MYTH #2: Once I have my teeth pulled and dentures made I´ll never have to go back to the denturist.

FACT: A denture is an artificial appliance not unlike eyeglasses. You would not get new glasses and expect to never have your eyes checked again or need a new prescription every few years. The tissue of your mouth is constantly changing and can be affected by many variables. Your general health, weight, tension, nutrition, blood pressure, the strength of your bite, medication you are taking; all of these, and more, can influence the fit and comfort of your dentures. Your mouth and dentures should be checked at least once a year in order to monitor and correct any changes which may have taken place.

With proper care, a good denture should easily remain serviceable and maintain proper function for 5-8 years, although you do have the ability to continue wearing them longer if needed. The American Dental Association and all major dental insurance companies recommend replacement after 5 years.

Dentures advertised as a more affordable options are constructed with poorer quality materials and will not last the recommended 5 years, and will typically wear out within 2-3 years. These dentures will often cost more in time and money in the long term due to replacement costs and dental visits versus a high-quality denture.

MYTH #3: Dentures are unbreakable and will last a lifetime.

FACT: No manufacturer of the denture materials available today guarantees those products to be unbreakable. There are high-quality products which are break resistant but not totally indestructible. Given the right set of circumstances any denture or dental prosthesis (crown, bridge, etc.) can be broken. We use only the highest quality techniques and products in all the dentures we construct but because the mouth is always changing we cannot `guarantee´ that they will not require adjusting, relining or repair.

MYTH #4: I can wear my dentures all the time, day and night.

FACT: Years ago it was thought that the best way for people to get used to dentures was to have them wear the teeth all the time. Today we know better. A denture is an artificial appliance fitted against living tissue. You must give that tissue a chance to rest without pressure for some period each day. Many people also have the habit of clenching their teeth when they sleep and this causes even more pressure against tissue and bone in the mouth and cause more shrinkage (resorption) of the gums. It is recommended that your dentures be removed for some period of the day or night (unless your denture is supported by dental implants). At least once a day you should remove your teeth and brush the mouth and gums with a very soft toothbrush. This stimulates circulation and maintains healthy tissue.

However, if you opt to have your denture supported by dental implants, you can leave your teeth in day and night.

MYTH #5: My upper denture is fine, it´s my lower that gives me problems. I only need a new lower made.

FACT: It is always recommended that upper and lower dentures be made as a set for the best results. It is not always possible to make only half a set of dentures. The reason for problems with the lower can be due to the design of the upper. Because of the size and structure of the upper mouth, movement and dislodgment of the lower denture can occur if there are certain flaws existing in the upper denture. This should be discussed with your denturist after a thorough oral examination with your current dentures in place.

MYTH #6: I have some problems with my dentures but all I need is a reline and they´ll be good as new.

FACT: If the teeth are worn, your mouth has changed a lot or the bite relationship of your current dentures is not accurate, all the relining in the world will not correct these problems. They all relate to the way in which the upper and lower teeth come together. A reline has nothing to do with how the teeth come together, it only corrects fit against the tissues of your mouth. If the teeth do not come together properly and a reline is done, all you will have is a tighter denture that doesn´t come together properly. The real problem will not have been corrected. A reline should only be done after a thorough examination to determine that there are not other underlying problems with the dentures.

MYTH #7: The sign of a good denture is if I can bite off apples, carrots or other foods with my front teeth.

FACT: No one who wears a denture should ever bite off food with the front teeth. It only causes soreness especially on the lower. It accelerates bone loss on the residual ridge which makes future dentures more difficult to fit. You may eat anything you like as long as you cut it into bite-sized pieces and place it in your mouth with a fork or spoon. You do not have to give up any foods…you only have to change the way you eat some things. If you persist in biting off with the front teeth the soreness which will develop is not something we can relieve by adjusting the denture. The only way to eliminate this type of soreness is to stop biting off foods with the front teeth or having your dentures supported by dental implants, in which case the dental implants take the load off of your gums.