Des Moines Dentures

Dentures Q & A

If you are missing all or some of your natural teeth, we can make complete (full) dentures or partial dentures to replace your missing teeth.  Replacing your teeth will improve your smile by giving support to your cheeks and lips.  Replacing your teeth will also give you a more youthful and vibrant appearance by holding up your facial muscles and help in speaking, chewing, swallowing, and smiling.  Our goal is to give you back your smile, because your smile is your best asset!

What is the difference between a complete denture and a partial denture?

If you are missing all of your upper and/or lower teeth, then you will need a complete denture to restore your function and smile.  A partial denture replaces one or more missing teeth.  Complete and partial dentures use very durable, lightweight materials for a comfortable and secure fit.

What are implant-retained dentures?

Implant-retained dentures are dentures that attaches to medical-grade screws that are implanted into your jaw bone allowing your dentures to stay secure and prevent embarrassing slippage and painful sore spots.  Implant-retained dentures provide better function for most patients.

How are dentures made?

There are many appointments involved in making a good fitting set of dentures.  The first few appointments consists of making molds of your jaws and capturing how your jaws come together.  Then we select teeth to be placed in a waxed setup, allowing you to see your teeth so we can ensure the size, shape, and color of your new teeth with have a natural look.  Once you are happy with way your denture will look, we process your dentures using a high quality, life-like, and durable material.  Once the dentures are ready, you will be carefully fitted and the dentures will be adjusted so they are comfortable and stable on your gums.

How do I take care of my dentures and can I make repairs at home?

Use a soft toothbrush and soap water to brush your dentures.  Do not use toothpaste because it is too abrasive for the denture material.  Remember to also brush your remaining teeth and tongue.  Your gum tissues need time rest so your dentures should be removed each night when sleeping.  When your dentures are not in your mouth, they should be soaking in a denture cleaner mixed with water.  Never use household chemicals, such as bleach, to clean your dentures.

If you notice changes to the fitment of your dentures or if your dentures need repair, you should call our office to make an appointment.  You should never attempt to make repairs at home, because you may cause more damage to your dentures.  As your gums and bone change, your dentures may no longer be comfortable and will need to be relined or replaced.

What can I expect from my new dentures?

It is important to keep this in mind with your new dentures:  Dentures are not a replacement for teeth; dentures are a replacement for no teeth.  Your cheeks, tongue, lips, and muscles in your mouth will require some time to adjust to your new dentures.  Speaking will become easier the longer you use your dentures.  A good practice is to read aloud.  Initially, you will want to choose a soft food diet, making sure to avoid sticky or hard foods.  Cutting food into smaller pieces and chewing using both sides of your dentures will help.  You may notice some salivary and taste changes associated with your dentures.  Over time, these changes will improve.  Complete dentures only give about 20% of the function of your natural teeth.

How often should I come in to your office for care?

After the delivery of your dentures, it is important for you to come back in 24 hours for your dentist to evaluate for sore spots.  After the 24 hour appointment, it is important for you to return for a 1-week appointment to evaluate for new sore spots.  If you have remaining natural teeth, we recommend you come back at least every 6 months to ensure that you retain these teeth for a lifetime.  If you have complete dentures, we recommend you come back at least once every year so we can perform an oral cancer screening and to make sure you do not have any gum infection (yes, you can still get gum infection even if you do not have teeth).  Routine dental checkups allow your dentist to adjust your dentures over time so they continue to fit properly, preventing slipping, sore spots, and potential infections.

A final word from Dr. Trung Phan:

Throughout your denture appointments, you may have questions that are not covered above.  We will make sure to answer all of your questions and make sure you are comfortable during your denture appointments.  We love getting questions from our patients!  Our goal is to help you restore your youth and smile, because your smile is your best asset!