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Dentures – What Are Your Options?

If you’ve experienced tooth loss or have been suffering for some years from the ill effects of decayed teeth caused by periodontal disease, your dentist may have advised the need for partial or full dentures. For many people having new dentures can be quite daunting, especially if this is your first time.  However, today’s dentures are well-made and crafted from the highest quality materials to ensure the comfort and longevity of prosthetics. To put your mind at ease here’s a simple run down of what to expect at each appointment, throughout the whole denture construction process.

Denture consultation stage

During this first appointment you’ll be able to chat with one of our friendly dentists and discuss all options available when having new dentures.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have. At the end of this appointment you can book further appointments and begin treatment if you so choose.  Alternatively, you can go away and think about your options, with one of our information packs containing everything you need to know.

Impressions (taking a mould of your mouth)

This is the beginning of your treatment, and where our dentist will take moulds of your mouth using a putty like material known as “alginate”. From here we are able to create a plaster model of your mouth and create all the components and elements needed to give you the perfect denture.

Having new dentures:  The “bite” stage

This is where the relationship between your upper and lower jaw is registered. Using specialised materials and techniques, our dentist will accurately record the relationship between the jaws and from there can ensure that the dentures you are having, will be well fitted and can more importantly function correctly.

Depending on the range of denture that you have gone for, we may take some additional impressions today, using some of the top material available to really ensure the best fit.

“Try in” stage

The fourth and often the most exciting appointment! Here you get to try in your new denture in wax form. At this stage we can change and alter any aspects that aren’t quite right or that you aren’t entirely happy with, once again ensuring that you get the best smile possible and have everything exactly how you want it.

You can also take the wax trial denture home at this stage to show family and friends for a second opinion if you choose.  It’s important to remember however, that the dentures cannot be used at this stage and they are still only in a wax form.

Final fit stage

This is your final appointment and when you get to leave with your new dentures. We will fit your dentures carefully and make any adjustments needed.

You will be sent away from this appointment with all the relevant information and advice you need.  Of course, we’re always here for any follow-up appointments needed for adjustments etc and we urge you to call us on 03 9878 1597 if any issues (no matter how small) arise.

What if Dentures are not an option for me?

The disadvantages of dentures can be mitigated by placing implants. Implants are artificial tooth roots, that are placed in your mouth and they can hold your dentures in place, allowing you to eat, drink and speak better, without the embarrassment of them falling out.

If you have a denture, that won’t stay still. Or if you have been through multiple sets of dentures that just won’t sit right, then implants may be the solution for you.

Have a more ‘youthful’ look with dentures

Teeth, whether natural or artificial, provide a support to the lips and cheeks, and lend their owner a more ‘youthful’ look than a person devoid of teeth. Having a set of dentures will not only allow the patient to chew or masticate their food well but will also serve to improve the facial appearance to a significant extent.

Types of Dentures
Dentures can be either partial or complete. The type of dentures used will depend essentially on the specific needs of the individual. Both lower and complete dentures are available from our clinic in Blackburn.

Partial dentures
Partial dentures are used in cases where the patient has only a few missing teeth. They may be of either the removable or the fixed variety, and the patient is generally asked to choose between the two. If a patient has lost only one or two teeth either from an accident or by way of extraction of decayed teeth, the dentist would in all likelihood suggest a fixed partial denture in the form of a ‘crown & bridge’ arrangement. Here, the bridging tooth fits in the gap left by the missing tooth, while the attached crown sits firmly on the top of the adjoining teeth on either side. The appliance is cemented in place.

Removable partial dentures are similar to this, but do not have crowns. They are held in place by means of clips. It is easy to see that these are less stable than fixed partial dentures and are correspondingly less expensive than the latter.

Advantages of partial dentures include:

  • Easy to maintain
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be used as a quick temporary replacement whilst other treatment is being done or whilst waiting for a permanent fixed replacement
  • Relative cost

Disadvantages include

  • Removable – you have to take them out to clean, and leave them out whilst you sleep
  • Difficult to get used to
  • Can feel ‘big’ in your mouth
  • Can rub against the gum and tooth causing gum recession


Complete dentures
When the entire set of teeth on either the lower jaw (mandibular arch) or on the upper jaw (maxillary arch) have to be replaced, complete dentures are used.

Standard dentures are made for people who have already lost their entire set of teeth. The back of a standard denture ends just behind the hard bone in the roof of the mouth, in order to maximise the surface area for achieving the best possible retention and stability. Retention of the top denture is achieved by suction, while stability is dependent upon the hardness of the underlying tissues. It takes about four appointments to have a set of standard dentures fitted comfortably.

Advantages include:

  • Easy to maintain
  • Easy to clean
  • Relative cost

Disadvantages include:

  • Removable – you have to take them out to clean, and leave them out whilst you sleep
  • Difficult to get used to
  • Can feel ‘big’ in the mouth
  • Can move about in the mouth, especially the lower denture
  • Difficult to eat hard or tough foods


Common problems associated with complete dentures
The human body is well accustomed to consider anything that is placed in the mouth as foodstuff. Accordingly, when a new set of braces or dentures are inserted in the mouth, the brain recognises this as food, and signals for increased salivary secretions. It takes some time for the body to adjust to this. New dentures are also apt to rub or scrape against the delicate epithelium lining the mouth cavity, giving rise to mouth sores in the process. This can be corrected by making the necessary adjustments. Some patients may also experience gagging on dentures which may be due to either to an ill-fitting appliance or stem from psychological reasons.

Important factors to consider
Three important factors have a bearing on the denture wearing experience: support, stability and retention.

Support: It is the underlying tissues and gums, collectively termed the oral mucosa, that support the dentures by preventing them from moving vertically and deeper into the respective arches. In the case of the lower teeth, the gums and the buccal shelf play a major role here, while the palate helps support the denture of the upper jaw. Typically, dentures having larger flanges offer better support.

Stability: This has to do with keeping the denture base from moving in the horizontal plane, either sideways or forwards and backwards. The more the denture base stays in continuous contact with the edentulous ridge; the better will be the stability. A higher and broader ridge, will also afford better stability.

Retention: This relates to prevention of the denture movements in a direction opposite to that of insertion. The inner surface of the denture base must match exactly well with the surface of the underlying mucosa, in order to achieve the best possible retention.

For more about dentures please contact our caring team to schedule a denture consultation at Blackburn Clinic Dental Centre. We’ll evaluate your smile and walk you through all of your tooth replacement options including partial and full dentures.