Blog

Perfect Treat for Your New Dentures

Getting yourself new dentures is but one step to regain confidence and your good looks after you have lost your teeth.

new denturesCaring for these new dentures is equally important. This is necessary so you can keep your dentures looking new and your mouth healthy.

Denture care – slightly different from that of natural teeth

protect your teeth

Just like natural teeth, dentures also harbour bacteria and cause bad breath if not properly maintained and cared for. But note that there are ways of taking care of natural teeth that could have a bad effect on dentures.

For instance, you should not use toothpaste in cleaning your dentures. This is because toothpaste is abrasive to dentures, thus will create microscopic scratches on them.

bacteria on teeth

These scratches can serve as breeding grounds for bacteria. It starts with food deposits settling into these spots. Build-up of plaque then follows. Bacteria can multiply fast on plaque and can quickly damage your dentures aside from making them unhygienic.

Dentures therefore require daily maintenance by brushing with a recommended denture cleaner to remove food deposits and prevent build-up of stains.

recommended denture cleaning toolsWhen cleaning dentures, remove them from your mouth and brush them gently on all the surfaces. Use a toothbrush that has soft bristles so that you won’t scratch your dentures. Be careful not to damage the bend attachments.  

Moreover,  rinse your dentures after every meal and in between brushings.

Where do you get these recommended denture cleaning tools?

Most clinics will recommend which denture cleaner and toothbrush you should use.

But if you have your dentures made by Direct Denture Care, you are given a black bag containing items that you should use in caring for  your new dentures. 

Direct Denture Care Packages

The contents of the bag may differ. Among the items that the bag may contain are a number of Polident denture cleaners, Sensodyne and a new toothbrush you can use on your denture. Depending on whether you had a partial or full denture made, you’ll also be given a denture bath.  

Direct Denture Care will also tell you about biotene, a dental hygiene product that comes in form of mouthwash, gel and toothpaste.

What is biotene?

This brings you relief from dry mouth. The mouth becomes dry because of radiation and certain medicines that affect your salivary glands. The mouth becomes drier when you wear dentures.    

Biotene has the same pH level as saliva. It will therefore complement saliva to moisturise the dry mouth. Plus, you won’t feel that your mouth is dry

How can you tell if you have a dry mouth?

A sticky, dry feeling is the most obvious indication that your mouth does not have enough saliva.

dry mouth

Frequent thirst is the other sign of a dry mouth. Plus lips will be flaky and dry, flaky and the tongue pink and rough. The person will also have bad breath.

You may also experience a prickly sensation in the mouth. The tongue will tend to stick against the upper half of your mouth and you may find it difficult to chew.

Sample biotene products for dry mouth

Biotene comes in the following forms:

  1. Oral Balance Gel – this is the most concentrated formula of biotene and provides immediate and long lasting relief.
  2. Mouth spray – provides  immediate relief and can be used anywhere .
  3. Mouthwash – this one brings immediate and long lasting relief and helps freshen your breath as well.
  4. Biotene toothpaste – specially formulated to protect your teeth from cavities.

Some of the most popular biotene products include Polident and Sensodyne.   

  • Polident

This penetrates the biofilm and kills up to 99.9 percent of odour causing bacteria. That’s why this is recommended by most dental clinics, being more effective than regular toothpaste.

Polident also helps remove tough stains and the mild plaque off your dentures. It is also protective and will help maintain the original colour of your dentures.

Plus, it has a fully non-abrasive formula, meaning it cleans the denture without  scratching it.

  • Sensodyne

Sensodyne is known to repair and protect sensitive teeth. There’s a new NOVAMIN Sensodyne formulation that forms a harder layer over vulnerable areas of sensitive teeth.

By brushing twice a day, the added NOVAMIN and the  sodium fluoride creates an even harder reparative layer over the exposed dentine. This brings sustained relief and is recommended for people with partial dentures and sensitive teeth.

Are Dentures Painful?

Dentures are great in replacing teeth that have fell off or removed. Plus, because of dental care innovations, dentures have become more natural looking and more comfortable, so no reason not to wear them as substitute for lost teeth.

are-dentures-painful-direct-denture-careStill, it may feel uncomfortable at first. Your gums need to heal and your mouth needs to get used to the false teeth, especially if you’ve had no teeth in the empty spaces for some time. Sometimes it takes a few months for you  depending on how fast your body heals.

During this time, you are likely to feel sore. This pain and swelling of the gums will however slowly subside.

partial-or-full-dentures-direct-denture-careIt can be a partial or full denture, but during the following instances it’s necessary to have remaining teeth extracted and replaced with a full denture:

  1. There are only few remaining teeth that cannot support a new prosthesis.
  2. The natural teeth are in poor condition.
  3. If the sockets or gums are infected so that they can no longer support the remaining natural teeth.

Nonetheless, it’s up to the dental prosthetist to decide if it’s better to remove or keep the remaining teeth.

dentist-direct-denture-careIn case a tooth or a number of teeth are extracted, it’s recommended that you see your dentist a day (24 hours) after. You also need to consult the day after you got your dentures. Then a follow-up visit is necessary after one week.

These follow-up visits are important because:

  1. They allow your Dental Prosthetist to check for any sustained soreness that need his or her attention i.e. sore spots.
  2. How your dentures fit should be checked. The Dental Prosthetist will make adjustments to your dentures if necessary. Sometimes you may require soft relines to your dentures following the denture procedure.

These visits are recommended for immediate dentures.

What immediate dentures involve

Immediate dentures are dentures placed immediately after the extraction of the remaining teeth. The procedure involves taking impressions of your mouth while the teeth are still present.

By the time the teeth are removed, a denture is ready to be inserted and everything is done on one visit.

tooth-extraction-direct-denture-careThis differs from the traditional way. Usually, teeth are extracted during an initial visit. The gum and jaw bone would then be allowed time to heal before your dentures are fabricated.

This could take several weeks, and you’d have to go around without teeth in the meantime.

Given this, more prefer the immediate denture technique so that they won’t have to go around without teeth.

Yet this procedure has the following disadvantages:

  1. Aesthetic compromises

lost-a-tooth-direct-denture-careThis happens because the Dental Prosthetist is unable to fit the denture prior to the extraction of the teeth. This can also cause soreness and the need to adjust the denture.

  1. Swelling of gums

Since the denture is placed immediately following tooth extraction, you are likely to experience some swelling.

gum-swelling-direct-denture-care

You are therefore required to keep the denture on for the subsequent 24 hours and see the Dental Prosthetist the next day. This is necessary because taking off the dentures may cause bleeding and swelling that could prevent you from putting the dentures back on.

So you’ll know what to do, the Dental Prosthetist will give you some post-operative instructions. It is important that you follow these to the letter.

How to care for your new dentures

Note that during the healing process, your speech may be slightly altered and your tongue and lips need to adapt to using the new denture.

Here are steps you must do to speed up healing:

  • Do not remove your dentures for three days, or as directed by the Dental Prosthetist. This will help minimise the chances of bleeding and keep swelling to a minimum.

diet-direct-denture-care2) Chew only soft foods and in small bites. You should not chew as hard using your dentures nor eat hard foods as if you’re using natural teeth. They can’t chew the same way natural teeth do.

In case your bite feels uneven several days down the line, tell your Dental Prosthetist.

In the off chance that you develop a severe sore spot which prevents you from wearing the denture, visit your Dental Prosthetist.

 

3) After three days, take off your dentures before every bedtime to allow you gums to  heal. Check with your Dental Prosthetist on how you should clean your denture. You should clean it regularly to prevent stains and bacteria from accumulating.

Though you may experience some pain with fresh new dentures, the pain will surely subside and having a complete set of teeth, albeit false, boosts your confidence significantly. This is confidence that will allow you to achieve greater things.

 

 

 

Are Dentures Covered by Medicare?

If you wear dentures, you’ll want to know what funding methods are available for you. This is necessary as you need to visit your dental prosthetist regularly to maintain your dentures.

Now It would certainly be a blessing if the country’s main healthcare fund Medicare, covers the cost of these visits.

The Department of Health develops the Medicare policy while Australia’s Department of Human Services administers Medicare and will pay for you the benefits if you are eligible.

So, does Medicare cover dentures?

dental prosthetist

It’s important to understand Medicare and how it works so that you’ll know if it covers denture outlays. You are eligible if:

  • You are a permanent Australian resident
  • You are a citizen of Australia or New Zealand
  • You have applied for permanent residency and meet a few other basic criteria – this excludes applications for parent visas, and;
  • You are a beneficiary of a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement cover by another country.

If you pass any of these eligibility criteria, you are issued with a Medicare card that represents your enrolment to the fund. You need to be at least 15 years old to have your own Medicare card. Children below 15 can be a beneficiary of their parents’ Medicare.

What is covered under Medicare?

Dentist office

 

  • Treatment that health professionals provide can either be free or subsidised. These professionals include doctors, optometrists, specialists, as well as other allied health practitioners and dentists in specific circumstances.
  • 75 percent of the Medicare Schedule fee for medical procedures and services. if you are a private patient in a public or private hospital. (excludes hospital accommodation and additional items like theatre fees and medicines.)
  • Free treatment and accommodation in public hospitals for public Medicare patients.

For dental care, Medicare only covers treatments if they are deemed to be essential for the well-being of the patient.

Dental Hygiene of Teeth with Braces

This means that dental procedures that will enhance your appearance (cosmetic purposes) are not covered by Medicare. The underlying assumption is that the life of the patient does not depend on the item of cosmetic adjustment.

Because  most general dental treatments and examinations are not essential to the wellbeing of the individual, these are not covered by Medicare. And when the dental service is covered, it may not cover the whole cost.

Dental procedures covered by Medicare

  • Oral surgery – Medicare covers specific oral surgeries if they are required for particular non-cosmetic purposes.

Dental technician

  • Diagnostic – The fund will cover diagnostic procedures recommended by medical practitioners. Examples here include dental x-rays.
  • Preventative – Procedures that help prevent greater and costlier dental problems from developing later on such as cleaning and sealing are provided limited cover.

costlier dental problems from developing later on such as cleaning and sealing are provided limited cover

 

      • Restorative – Restorative procedures such as dental implants and root canal therapy are covered partially. Though this only happens in some states and territories and not the whole country.

Each state and territory has its own public dental program. As such, they have their own schemes and eligibility requirements.

From the foregoing, dentures are not essentially covered by Medicare. So it is advisable that you get your dentures from a clinic that works in partnership with established health funds to ensure you have prompt and efficient payment processing for all your private health fund claims.

Note: Even though dental procedures intended primarily for cosmetic purposes are not covered, essential treatments may bring with it improvement in the patient’s appearance.

How Medicare covers dental procedures

The Federal Government provides funding for dental treatments for eligible grownups and children through various schemes that are not mainstream Medicare. These include:

Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme

This scheme has been introduced as a replacement of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule to provide ongoing funding in partnership with states and territories. This scheme aims to assist in covering public dental services for all children as well as for adults with concession cards.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

This has since been replaced with the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme. Under this scheme, eligible children aged between 2 and 17 years of old would access basic dental services. Children who were entitled to government benefits such as the Family Tax Benefit Part A would receive benefits capped at $1,000 per child every two years to cover services like examinations, cleaning, x-rays, fissure sealing, root canals, fillings and extractions.

When this was replaced with the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme, the coverage was widened, to increase the number of beneficiaries.

Moreover, the scheme aims to improve the oral health of Australian people who are unable to afford private healthcare insurance.

Persons who can afford private health cover can also enjoy different levels of dental cover supported by the government through the extras cover. These may range from general preventative dental care to orthodontics and other major dental procedures.

Understanding Dentures

Missing teeth often leave gaps that can cause both eating and speech problems. Additionally, teeth left on either side of the gap may grow into the space at some angle. That’s why no one wants to lose their natural teeth.

But no matter how you take care of your teeth, age and decay can force you to have it extracted.  When this happens, your options include:

  • 1. Removable teeth replacement (partial or complete dentures)
    2. Fixed replacement (bridges or implants).

Depending on the level of damage, you may need to remove the remaining teeth.

For teeth replacement, the most popular option is having dentures.

What are dentures?

These are removable false teeth made of nylon, acrylic (plastic) or metal that fit snugly on the gums in the socket where teeth are missing. Dentures are custom-made for you.

The patient chooses whether the denture would be made of acrylic or metal. The denture bases will however be made from a rigid acrylic. To ensure that your denture fits perfectly, the dental prosthetist will normally take moulded impressions of your mouth that will be used to create the denture.

The kind of dentures the dental prosthetist fits for you will depend whether you just had a few or all of your teeth removed. What you need also determines how much you need to pay. Prepare to pay anywhere at least $1,900 for upper and lower full dentures.

And if you choose to have your dentures made out of porcelain, this costs slightly higher. Upper partial dentures cost $600 upwards on average while each tooth may cost $43.

No matter the cost, both partial and complete dentures replace missing teeth and eliminate the potential problems generally caused by gaps.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures replace some missing teeth, with natural teeth remaining. They are made from acrylic with a little metal. This small metal helps clasp the dentures in place. The bases of most partial dentures are made from a rather flexible type of thermoplastic such as nylon. Though these are little expensive, but they  feel and look more natural.

partial-denture

Complete dentures

Also referred to as full dentures, these are made and used when all the teeth are missing. To fully replace teeth in the upper jaw, the dentures will include a flesh-coloured acrylic base covering the gums as well as the roof of the mouth. This allows the entire set of false teeth to sit firmly in place.

Though complete dentures for the lower jaw are similar, their acrylic base is typically shaped like a horseshoe so they can avoid covering the tongue.

Denture

What to expect when getting your first denture

If you have some or all of your teeth missing, you should consider having them replaced with partial or complete dentures to restore your confident smile and ability to chew.

After you choose to have a denture, here’s what to expect between your visits to the DP and the time you’ll take to adjust to new dentures.

Fitting your denture

The DP will first take you through the steps in fitting  – explaining in details what you are supposed to expect.

They will also explain if you’ll need to have any remaining natural teeth removed before fitting the dentures.

Then he/she will remove any remaining teeth in the jaw before fitting the dentures.

Dental impression

The DP will take moulds of your mouth in order to create a denture that suits you.

+ Bite moulds

The dental prosthetist uses wax blocks to check if you’re comfortable when you bite with your denture on.  

During this phase the DP may also ask you to choose the shape and colour of your new teeth.

+ Wax models

The dentures (your new teeth) are set in wax. This helps you get a good idea of how your final denture will look.

+ Fitting

The final phase is to fit your denture. You are then given instructions on how to care for the denture.

Adapting to dentures

Once you have your new dentures fitted, you may use them. However, it’s important to understand that dentures are not exactly like regular teeth. They need a different type of care and require some getting used to.

It may feel weird to have new dentures in your mouth at first, but your tongue, mouth and the facial muscles eventually get used to it. You just need to be patient and practice speaking and eating with it.

To make the process more comfortable, your dental prosthetist may recommend using denture adhesives and cleansers. These should help you feel a lot more confident while wearing your new denture.

Note that the prices for the dentures will depend on many factors such as:

1. The work that’s involved in fitting the dental prosthetist
2. The number of follow-up appointments needed overed:
3. The type of dentures that you choose. Different dental prosthetists also charge differently for their respective services, so it’s rewarding to canvas around for the best deals.

Conclusion

Dentures can be the best thing since sliced bread for anyone who has missing teeth. If some or all of your teeth are missing, find a dental prosthetist to recommend the right dentures for you. Whatever your budget, there are a suitable plan and denture type to help you enjoy your life again.

What to Expect When You Have New Dentures

Anyone with missing teeth will agree that dentures are the best thing since sliced bread.

Being artificial teeth, however, you have to adjust to get used to them. The first few days with new dentures may feel a little awful. But you will shortly get used to wearing them.  

Your mindset plays a major role in how fast you adapt to new dentures. You must  understand that a denture is an alternative to having no teeth, not a substitute for your natural teeth.

They are designed to last at least 5 years. With proper care, they can even  last up to 10 years.  

But just like natural teeth, your dentures need regular maintenance to last that long.

Adapting to New Dentures

Like any new experience, you’ll need to be patient with your new dentures in order to get used to them.

Depending on the nature of your oral tissue, there may be slight spasms of pain within the first 2 to 3 days of wearing your new denture. You may have to put up with some soreness in the beginning, as you’ll need to leave your denture in your mouth for the first few days.

Your DP will tell you how long you should wear your dentures before you can start taking it out at bedtime and during the day for cleaning.They will also make any adjustments to your dentures as required after they have been inserted.  

Whichever the case, the experience should naturally improve after the first 48 hours. These two days are the most challenging.  These are among  the challenges that you may encounter and how to overcome each of them.

+ Speech is affected

New dentures may affect your speech, but this can easily be solved. . Simply practise reading out loud or singing – whichever you prefer.

speech

Either of these will exercise your tongue and let it find the right position to produce clear speech.

Slow down if your talking is impeded. Eventually you’ll pinpoint the pace you’re comfortable in when speaking with your new denture.

+ Retention and Stability of Dentures

Unlike your natural teeth, dentures are generally less stable. No denture is expected to match the perfection of healthy natural teeth.

One way to enhance retention and stability is to use denture adhesives.  But remember these will only help well-fitting dentures, not a poorly fitting one. A match stick size of adhesive is all that is required, possibly in two places.

retention

Thus, it is best to check in with your DP for a reline or a new denture if the present one does not fit well.

And note that not all new dentures need adhesives. There are some dentures that use other mechanisms to have stability and retention. For best results, consult with your DP.

+ Suction with a New Denture

It may take 24 hours for your new denture to achieve proper suction depending on the type of soft tissue in your mouth and the amount of bone available. Note that an upper denture may take longer than a lower one.

However, a full lower denture will rarely have the same suction as the upper denture. Here’s a tip: some people can make the suction of their new dentures become stronger by drinking through a straw.

+ Excess Saliva

You may frequently have lots of saliva in your mouth with new dentures. To remove excess saliva, you should drink more water.

excesssaliva

The water also helps in maintaining the right levels of moisture in your mouth during the early stages of wearing a new denture.

Care for New Dentures

Your DP will often ask you to keep your new denture in your mouth for at least 2 days. This is a challenge given the discomfort brought about by new dentures.

Removing the denture prematurely for whatever reason may cause your gums to swell and make it impossible to put the denture back into the socket.

Bleeding may also occur and the tissue that’s been freshly operated on may be affected.

In case you feel some pain or soreness, do not hesitate to inform your DP about it.

Clean your dentures at least twice a day. Just like your natural teeth would require brushing after every meal to control bacteria, your dentures equally need regular removal and cleaning for your oral hygiene and overall health.

Massage your gums to improve blood flow. Removing your new dentures for cleaning during the day will allow you to massage your gums to boost blood flow and ease nerve tension.

Remove your dentures when going to bed. It’s recommended that you remove your dentures overnight and put them back in their socket only in the morning. At night, soak the dentures in a glass of water or denture bath  and leave them by the side of your bed.

removeyourdenture

 

If this is not an option for you, then be sure to find at least two other times of the day to take out your denture.

Regularly check in with your DP

Some people brag that they have not seen a DP for x amount of years, You require to get your dentures checked every 2-3 years. Your jaw and facial muscles change shape every year plus the teeth in the denture can wear down, depending what teeth you decided on putting into the denture.

Summary

Dentures improve your appearance and boost your confidence. How long your dentures last will depend on how well you look after them. To prolong their usage, follow the denture care procedures given here and the recommendations of your DP.