When a person decides to have a denture made, it is very important to understand the process and the limitations of the treatment. It is not rational to imagine that a denture prosthesis can replace real teeth. It cannot. Here are some of the pointers to what you should understand.

I understand that dentures are not a replacement for teeth.  Dentures are a replacement for no teeth.

I understand that dental implant supported dentures are a better treatment alternative.

As a first-time denture wearer, I understand that a denture is an addition to the mouth.  It will take time to accept the denture flanges and extension across palate.

I understand that different people adapt at different rates.  It may be months before the dentures feel natural.

I understand that all denture patients will have an adjustment period in order to learn to speak naturally with their new prosthesis. Words are formed by the tongue adapting itself in different positions relative to the teeth and palate.  A new denture will change the shapes in your mouth.  Most patients adapt, if they stick with it.

I understand that with dentures, my new teeth will no longer be held in by roots.  Muscles and suction will hold in the denture

I understand that a lower denture is harder to keep in place than an upper denture.  This is because, unlike upper dentures that cover the palate and create a 360-degree seal, a lower denture has no suction.

I understand that the tongue has a tendency to unseat the lower denture when swallowing and talking.

I understand that because the lower denture has less surface area, there is a greater tendency for the gums under lower dentures to become sore from bite pressure.

I understand that if I have continued problems with sore gums under a lower denture, a denture soft-liner may be a solution.  There will be an additional cost.

I understand that dental implants are a solution for dentures.  dental implants and implant prosthesis cost between $6000 and $25,000 per arch, depending on the complexity.

I understand that new denture wearers need to learn a new way to bite and chew.

I understand that front teeth are just for show and that I need to learn to bite and chew on back teeth, where the ridge can support the bite.

I understand that the Doctor or I may decide at any point it is in my best interest to stop the process of making my denture.  In that case, I will not be responsible the entire fee, only fees covering the doctor’s time and materials to that point.

I understand that I must leave my prosthesis out 4 to 8 hours every day or I will do irreparable harm to my gums, bone and mouth.

  • Dentures left in place will grow yeast and fungus infections.
  • Dentures can place a destructive compressive force on the gums and the underlying bone.  The compressive force presses on vessels that pass through the gums to supply oxygen and nutrients.  Studies show that bone underlying a denture will resorb and erode under constant compressive forces.
  • Leaving the denture in to destroy bone and gums won’t have a noticeable effect immediately.  However the long term effect of destructive denture wearing habits is risk of
    • A greater chance of infection
    • A shorter life for the current denture
    • A slow steady loss of gum and bone support
    • Future possibility I may not be able to wear a denture at all.

I understand that gums and bone continually change under my denture and that dentures will need to be evaluated every 6 months to insure that a change in fit is not doing irreparable damage to the gums and bone.

I understand that regular dental exams are essential to staying healthy and functioning well with a denture.  The most important reason for denture patients to have examinations is to screen for oral cancer.  It is also important to determine the appropriate time to reline a denture before it fits so poorly that damage to tissues has occurred.

I understand that the time will come when my denture will have to be relined or remade.  That time may be as short as 6 months or as long as 8 years.

I understand that the use of  do-it-yourself denture relining products is strongly discouraged.  Denture relines using these products are more porous, harbor more bacteria, and the resulting fit can lead to sever bone and soft tissue damage.