Denture Myths

MYTH # 1:

ALL DENTURES LOOK THE SAME BECAUSE DENTURE TEETH ARE ALL MADE IN THE SAME MOULD.

FACT: That is far from the facts. All teeth are made in moulds, but there are countless shapes and sizes as well as shades. The teeth used in your denture are carefully chosen by your DP to not only suit your facial features, but also to be in harmony with your overall appearance. There are no two mouths exactly alike, so individual moulds are required for every single denture ever made. Each denture is individually hand crafted to suit only your mouth.

MYTH # 2:

I’LL NEVER HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE DENTIST OR DP ONCE I HAVE MY TEETH EXTRACTED AND DENTURES MADE.

FACT: Not even our bodies will last forever. A denture is an artificial body part that will require ongoing maintenance. Just because we buy a new car does not mean we will never have to see a mechanic or technician again. In fact, the only way we can be sure of seeing a mechanic less often is if we do have regular check-ups and maintenance. It is exactly the same with dentures. Your mouth is in a constant state of change and should be checked, along with your dentures, at least once a year. It will then be quite realistic for you to expect your dentures to remain in good service between 5 and 8 years.

MYTH # 3:

DENTURES ARE DESIGNED TO LAST A LIFETIME AND WILL NOT BREAK

FACT: No dental material can be guaranteed to last forever or be unbreakable. While our dentures are made of the highest quality, break-resistant materials, they are not totally indestructible. Just hit it with a hammer if you think it might be unbreakable and then see what happens! Neither will they last forever. All dentures are designed to last between 5 and 8 years and whilst some may wear their dentures for a longer period, that does not mean that the dentures are fitting well, that the supporting teeth or gums are not damaged, or that the person can eat as well as they should be eating.

MYTH # 4:

I SHOULD BE ABLE TO BITE AN APPLE OR OTHER HARD FOOD WITH THE FRONT TEETH OF MY DENTURE

FACT: Natural instinct of all humans is to pull the hand away from the mouth as we take a bite. Natural teeth of course are anchored in the bone and will permit this human instinct. Dentures however rely only on suction and that suction will be broken as we pull our hand away after biting. That does not mean you will have to give up eating apples or your favorite food, it simply means you have to change the way you eat by becoming more aware of the tendency for denture dislodgement by biting forces. Eating slightly to one side or cutting your apple or harder foodstuff into smaller portions will enable your continued enjoyment of all foods.

MYTH # 5:

I NEVER HAVE TO TAKE MY DENTURES OUT OF MY MOUTH

FACT: Every denture must be removed daily for two important reasons. First, to permit proper cleaning of the denture and any remaining teeth and secondly so that you can gently massage the supporting gums with a soft brush to stimulate blood flow. That helps to keep the gums clean and healthy. It is also very important for saliva to contact the supporting tissue because of the antibacterial effects saliva has in your mouth.

MYTH # 6:

I NEED ONLY A NEW LOWER DENTURE BECAUSE MY UPPER DENTURE IS FINE

FACT: There is no doubt that most challenges that denture wearers experience is with a lower denture. You should always replace both dentures though, because very often the problem experienced with a lower denture is caused by the design of the upper denture. Even if there is no design problem, there is usually some wear of the teeth and that would cause a design problem with a new lower denture.

MYTH # 7:

A RELINE OF MY DENTURES WILL MAKE THEM AS GOOD AS NEW.

FACT: Relining your dentures may make them as good as new only if there is no wear on the denture teeth, you have no other pain or discomfort and you are totally satisfied with your current appearance. Relining will not necessarily fix any design problem, such as incorrect bite or jaw relationship, that may be causing pain or discomfort, nor will it have an effect on your appearance. Relining of your dentures is advised only when there are no underlying problems.

MYTH # 8:

DENTURE ADHESIVES ARE ONLY FOR ILL FITTING DENTURES

FACT: In fact that is a major time when it is unsafe to use denture adhesives because it may cover up an underlying problem thereby permitting even more damage. A classic example of this is the patient whose denture becomes loose after extractions and then goes on to rely on adhesives to keep the denture in place. That patient may well go on to develop hyperplasic tissue growth. No denture, no matter how well made, will ever be as good as natural teeth, so we need all the help we can get with dentures to make them more comfortable. Polident denture adhesive will make a good denture better, but will never make a bad denture good! Attitudes towards the use of denture adhesives has changed and if you follow the product instructions carefully, you will find that adhesives can enhance denture function and stability of a well fitting denture.

MYTH # 9:

MY MEDICATION WILL NOT AFFECT MY DENTURES

FACT: Medication can and will affect the fit and function of your dentures. A vast number of medications can reduce the supply of saliva in your mouth. Without sufficient saliva, your dentures may not have adequate adhesion. The movement that then results can cause soreness and irritation. Inadequate saliva is a common problem for denture wearers, but with the use of saliva alternatives such as GC DryMouth Gel the problem can become far more manageable. Use of a denture adhesive can also help in this situation.

MYTH # 10:

BROKEN DENTURES CAN JUST BE GLUED BACK TOGETHER

FACT: Dentures are never “glued” back together by your DP. Depending upon what material your denture is made from and what kind of breakage is to be repaired, the process generally requires a plaster mould to be made inside your broken denture and a “key” made to support the outside of the denture. A section of denture is then cut away and a new section made. The denture material will bond to itself, but few glues will bond to it. Glues also form a layer which will hold the two sections apart ever so slightly so that the more glue you use and the more often you apply glue, the greater the gap becomes. Many commercially available glues contain poisons or carcinogens and are not designed for use in your mouth. Even to replace the same tooth on a denture, a new section of the base material must be used.

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