17 Common questions asked about complete dentures (Explained & answered)

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 35 million Americans are missing all their teeth in one or both jaws due to periodontal disease and other dental issues. 

While losing teeth isn’t unusual, you don’t have to live with it. Complete dentures to the rescue! Denture technology is a revolutionary way to replace missing teeth for improved functionality. 

Denture gives you a more natural look, improves your smile, and helps restore chewing and biting functions. Are you considering complete dentures? There are some facts you need to know. 

To help your denture treatment, we’ve rounded up some commonly asked questions about dentures.

1. What is a complete denture?

Complete dentures, also known as full dentures or false teeth, are prosthetic devices that replace an arch of missing teeth. 

smiling complete dentures
Smiling complete denture

These devices are held in place by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Complete dentures include conventional, immediate, and implant-supported overdentures. 

While immediate dentures are worn temporarily after tooth extraction, conventional dentures are worn permanently. 

Meanwhile, implant-supported overdentures are worn long-term, providing support for dentures.

2. Who can do a complete denture?

  • Individuals with a full arch of missing teeth
  • Patients that can’t afford implants
  • Medically compromised patients with complications during surgery

3. What are the side effects of a complete denture?

  • Bone necrosis
  • Infected tooth after tooth extraction
  • Severe dental alveolar ridges
  • Abscess, ulcers, tumors, and cysts

4. Are dentures long-lasting?

Depending on the type of dentures, they can last 4-8 years, but in some cases, they can last up to 12 years. 

Factors like materials used in producing them and frequency of use contribute to their longevity. Those made with quality materials are likely to last long. 

Also, people who don’t always wear their dentures will enjoy these devices for years as they’re less likely to undergo wear and tear.

5. Are dentures uncomfortable?

If you’re wearing dentures for the first time, you might feel a little discomfort, but you’ll get used to it over time, possibly within a few weeks. 

While dentures may not be comfy initially, you shouldn’t tolerate too much discomfort. If you feel sore or have uneven pressure around your mouth, remove the dentures or see a dental prosthetist as soon as possible.

6. How long will it take to get a complete denture?

Typically, it takes six weeks to three months to make a complete denture, but it may be longer due to tooth extraction, healing time, or the type of denture.

7. Will it be difficult to talk while wearing dentures?

If you’re wearing dentures for the first time, you may find it difficult to pronounce some words and become self-conscious. After some weeks, you will get used to the dentures. 

Upon fixing dentures, the dentist will suggest exercises to help your speech. You can try reading out loud to yourself or speaking slowly to help you speak normally.

8. Will my eating habits be affected by my dentures?

Yes, it will. You’ll have difficulty eating with new dentures for a few weeks, but with some practice and skills, you’ll get used to the dentures. 

If you’ve just had dentures fitted, you’ll have to start eating soft foods before adding solid/textured foods to your diet.

9. What are the materials for making complete dentures?

Complete dentures are made from various dental materials like acrylic, resin, porcelain, and metal. 

Among these, acrylic is the most common material used for dentures; it is easy to fix and cheaper than porcelain. 

Many people prefer porcelain because it’s strong and durable but pricey. Dentures made from metal are smaller than acrylic or plastic ones, making them adaptable to patients.

10. Will I need denture adhesive?

Properly fitted dentures do not require an adhesive, but a dental prosthetist may recommend using a denture adhesive if dentures become loose. 

Furthermore, individuals on cold medications, including those with dry mouth and neurological disabilities which weaken dentures, can use denture adhesive. Adhesives promote stability, bite force, and retention.

11. Are denture adhesives safe to use?

So long you use the adhesives as instructed, they are safe. Also, if the dentures are properly fitted and adhesive is only used for extra stability, there should be no side effects.

12. What are the advantages of complete dentures?

  • A complete denture is a quicker and cost-efficient procedure.
  • Complete dentures improve facial structure while boosting confidence and self-esteem.
  • Properly fitted dentures support chewing and speaking.
  • They are easy to clean, durable, and long-lasting.

13. What are the disadvantages of complete dentures?

While dentistry has solved many concerns associated with dentures, below are some downsides of complete dentures.

  • They must be removed and cleaned regularly to prevent diseases and infections.
  • Improperly fitted dentures can cause discomfort, leading to pain and difficulty in chewing.
  • Due to continuous bone reabsorption, dentures need to be relined or rebased.

14. What’s the best way to take care of dentures?

Proper denture care is crucial to your oral hygiene. Here’s how to care for your dentures.

  • Remove and rinse dentures after eating.
  • Handle dentures carefully during cleaning.
  • Brush dentures with a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for dentures. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush as it’s damaging to dentures.
  • As recommended by dentists, clean your dentures at least once daily.
  • Use a non-abrasive denture cleanser to remove food, plague, and other deposits.
  • Keep dentures moist when not used, so they don’t dry out and lose shape.
  • Rinse dentures thoroughly before replacing them, especially if washed with a denture-soaking solution.
  • Avoid putting dentures in hot water to prevent them from being deformed.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups

15. Are dentures worn 24 hours a day?

Your dentist will instruct you on how long to wear dentures. At the early stage, the dentist may recommend wearing dentures daily, even while sleeping. However, as time goes on, you may only need to wear them during the day.

16. Can I adjust or repair dentures?

Yes, you can adjust dentures once they become loose or wobbly, but you shouldn’t attempt to adjust them yourself. Visit the dentist to check if your dentures are damaged and require adjustments.

17. What does wearing new dentures feel like?

Wearing dentures for the first time may seem awkward and unnatural, but after some time, everything feels normal. At first, you might experience soreness for the first few hours to weeks. 

However, these symptoms will diminish once your mouth, facial muscles, and tongue adjusts to the dentures.

Conclusion

We hope we’ve answered all your pressing questions about complete dentures.

Dentures aren’t as scary as they seem. While you may feel discomfort or have difficulty speaking after a complete denture, the long-term benefits are worthwhile.

When you get new dentures, you get a lot more than teeth; you get a new smile, a natural look, and a boost of confidence.

Simisola Babatunde is a Public Health student. She has always had a flair for writing from her childhood, promoting healthy lifestyles and best practices through insightful blog posts. She identifies as a multipotentialite interested in writing, education, and health. When Simisola isn't writing, she's surfing the net or having her nose in a book.