Initial adjustments may have been made to your new appliance at the time of delivery. As the appliance settles in, additional adjustments may be needed due to the formation of sore spots. Adjustments of these areas are needed for proper fit and relief. NOTE: Never force a partial denture into position by biting down on it; this could bend or break the metal clasps. Inserting and removing it will require some practice. Adjustments to these metal clasps, by Dr. Holleman or her trained team, will help with the fit. Please do not attempt to adjust on the appliance itself, as this can cause more problems for the fit and we will be unable to ensure the guarantee of the appliance at that point. If you are unable to schedule an appointment immediately and the sore spots worsen, remove it from your mouth and allow for healing. For the FULL day prior to coming in for your scheduled appointment, please re-insert the appliance in your mouth to allow the sore spots to unfortunately return, so that our team knows where and how much to adjust for.
Different factors will affect the stable, secure fit of your appliance. Over time, the bone and soft tissue that supports your appliance may change, causing it to become loose. Once teeth are lost, the bone that once supported teeth naturally diminishes. While this process is generally slow, it does vary from person to person. Weight gain or loss may also change the fit of your appliance. A loose, ill-fitting appliance can generally be made snug again by a simple procedure called a soft reline. A soft reline is temporarily placed to create a cushion for the space now present from the loss of bone and soft tissue. The laboratory hard reline, which is more permanent, requires the taking of a new impression of the mouth so that the appliance fits the mouth as it is now and not as it was. In this way, any spaces that formed under the appliance due to the shrinkage of bone and soft tissue will be filled, resulting in a snug, more comfortable fit. This hard reline is generally recommended 6-9 months after extractions and/or every 3-4 years, or as needed.
You can seriously damage your appliance and cause harm to your mouth by improperly adjusting or repairing it yourself. Glue, whether regular or superglue, sold over the counter often contains harmful chemicals and once improperly repaired, the appliance can be much more difficult to correct. Always have your appliance repairs and adjustments performed by a trained professional.
The supporting bone and tissues in your mouth need regular rest from denture/partial wearing. Therefore, it is important that you take your appliance out at least once a day for at least 30 minutes to an hour. The best place to store them is in a water-filled plastic container. This procedure will prevent your appliance from drying out, which can adversely affect their fit. Also during this time, you may soak the appliance in Efferdent or related products to help clean them better. Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped even a few inches. Handling dentures over a folded towel or a sink full of water will help prevent breaks from occurring when dropped. When not wearing the appliance, store it away from children and pets. Our office suggests that the appliance be worn while you sleep to decrease the soreness that may be present in the morning after having not worn them overnight.
Keeping your appliance clean is essential in maintaining good oral health. Removable appliances, like natural teeth, attract plaque, become stained from smoking and food dyes, and collect food particles that can cause bad breath. Soaking and brushing are ways to keep them clean.
- SOAKING – Placing your appliance in a water bath with an effervescent tablet will help loosen food particles and plaque from crevices and spaces between the teeth. This will also help remove bacteria and odor causing film, resulting in a fresh feel. Use as directed on package.
- BRUSHING – While soaking is a good way of loosening particles, brushing is very important, since stubborn particles must often be physically removed. Daily brushing of your appliance is just as important as daily brushing of natural teeth in order to maintain a bright and healthy smile. Brush and clean your denture at least twice a day, in the morning when you wake and in the evening before bedtime. It is also important to rinse your mouth with an ALCOHOL-FREE mouthwash and gently brush the soft gum tissue of your mouth that supports the appliance as well as the tongue. A soft toothbrush should be used. This stimulates blood flow in the tissues, keeps the gum tissue clean and removes bacteria that tend to build up in the crevices of the tongue. NOTE: If you have a partial denture, it is very important to maintain the overall health of your remaining teeth, as these teeth help hold the appliance in place. Regular brushing twice a day, as well as regular dental cleanings with your dentist, will help in the maintenance of these teeth.
NEW DENTURE/PARTIAL FEEL
Your new removable appliance will often feel large. You may even experience a gag reaction to the fullness of the appliance, particularly in the back of your mouth. This is a normal first reaction. Be patient. In time, with a little practice, you will adjust naturally to this initial feel of fullness. Wear the new appliance as much as possible, even if it feels sore or loose. If adjustments are needed, Dr. Holleman and her dental team will have the advantage of seeing how they have affected your soft tissues. Sore spots will be more identifiable and easily corrected.
Your new removable appliance may cause an increase in saliva flow. This is normal. For the first few days of wearing it, you should expect to swallow more frequently. In a few days, your saliva flow will adjust.
Wearing a new appliance (even for the patient who has worn these appliances before) will often result in altered speech. A common problem is pronouncing words containing “s” sounds. In most cases, practicing speech aloud with your new appliance in place will help restore your normal speaking quality. One of the best practice methods is to read aloud from a book or magazine in front of a mirror to get used to the new speaking position of your tongue and new teeth. This will add confidence and comfort. Another good habit is to bite and swallow prior to speaking to “set” the dentures and partials in position, which enhances fit and speech.
False teeth simply do not perform in the same manner as natural teeth. While natural teeth are anchored in bone via large roots, denture/partial teeth are placed in an acrylic base that sits on top of the soft tissue of the mouth. People with natural teeth can bite on one side at a time or tear food by using their front teeth. Denture wearers, in comparison, must take smaller bites and learn to chew on both sides at the same time, maintaining their dentures in balance so as not to dislodge the dentures while eating. Patience and practice will help to accomplish this. Partial dentures, although still false teeth, have more stability than full dentures when chewing, as they generally anchor off of the natural teeth.
REGULAR CHECK-UPS AND MAINTENANCE
Regular checkups are required every 6 months to maintain the health of your gums and removable appliance. At these appointments, the dentist can check any areas that may need attention, i.e. sore spots, abnormal skin flaps, excessive wear on teeth, and/or looseness of the appliance.
Additional Instructions for IMMEDIATE Complete Denture and/or Partial Denture
- Your immediate denture and/or partial has been inserted after extracting some or all of your teeth. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR APPLIANCE FROM YOUR MOUTH FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS. After teeth extractions, the surgery sites will swell slightly so you might not be able to re-insert the appliance for several days if removed for more than even a few minutes. The appliance at this stage acts as a bandage in helping the surgery site clot and heal.
- The site where your teeth were extracted will have a healing socket and will gradually fill in and shrink as you continue to heal. As your gums and bone shrink, a space develops between your gums and appliance, causing them to become loose. Therefore they will need to be relined to fill this space. Additional information on these relines as well as what to expect are outlined below.