Frequently Asked Questions
My dentures have a poor fit or are always loose.

Loose or improper fitting dentures can cause excessive friction between the soft tissues and the dentures, resulting in sore spots that may become infected. Your denture is probably doing you more harm than good. If it is a partial denture the remaining teeth and tissues can be severely damaged, an immediate consultation is recommended. In all cases a loose denture is an undesirable denture.

I have poor chewing ability.

A denture that doesn't fit or teeth that don't function effectively can make it difficult to chew food properly. As a result, many nutritious and harder-to-chew foods may be eliminated from the diet. In these cases, digestion and overall good health are affected.

What about Relines and Rebasing.

Over time, your ridges will naturally shrink as the bone recedes and supporting tissues change. This change will be more rapid with some patients than with others and is affected by the condition of your health and the protective care of your ridges (the ridge is the bony part left when all or some of yor teeth are missing). When this resorption or recession progresses to the point where your dentures are too loose, or in some cases your facial appearance starts to change, it's time to have your dentures rebased, relined, or remade.

What happens if my denture breaks.

We always use the best materials available in the construction of your dentures. However, this does not mean that they are indestructible. Also if you have old dentures breakage is inevitable. If too much force is placed upon them or if you should drop them, they may break. Breakages from cracked dentures to lost teeth can be repaired, often within one day.  But it's an emergency!

A broken denture usually happens at the worst time. In the event that you cannot see us immediately, the broken denture will either have to be tolerated for a while, or if it causes serious discomfort or no longer functions you will need to stop wearing it. Never use "super glue" to fix a denture. 

Of course, because dentures are removable, they can also be misplaced or lost. Then you have no choice but to get a new denture! So now you have to start the whole process of getting new dentures all over again. But in the meantime, you may be in an embarrasing situation.

To save yourself the discomfort and embarrassment of enduring a broken denture, or worse yet, a lost denture, we recommend it may be wise to consider having a twin set of dentures made. This will save you lots of time, money and lots of embarrassment! Most people consider an Identical Twin Denture a wise investment

My teeth do not look real.

For some people teeth that are all the same color can be a tell-tale sign that a person is wearing a denture. The same is true with overly dark teeth. Other signs are flat teeth, lifeless teeth, too much gum, too much teeth or not enough teeth showing. The "Hollywood Smile" does look good for some people but is not suitable for everyone. However, we always do our utmost in advising on the best look for each person.

My dentures appear to make me have premature aging

New dentures can replace the worn ridges, lenghthing and straightening your face, making you look and feel younger!

Inferior denture teeth can wear excessively. This "shortening" of the teeth leads to a shortening of the face. That will increase the wrinkles around your mouth, cheeks and chin. The end result? You look older.

Over time, the ridge tissue will shrink, no longer supporting the denture like it should. An unstable denture can make the ridges shrink even more and at a faster rate.

I have a sore jaw joint.

Excessive denture tooth wear and "shortening"  of the ridges may cause improper support and function which can upset the jaw mechanism. This can, in extreme cases, lead to a temporo mandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.  TMJ can be characterized by pain in the jaw, neck, head, and/or shoulders.

I have bad breath.

Food particles can get stuck in old or dirty dentures. This breeds bacteria, which can weaken the denture and lead to bad breath. Bad breath can of course be caused by other things.

Due to the porous nature of the acrylic or porcelain from which dentures are made and the natural changes occurring in the mouth, even the best made denture should be replaced every 3 years.

Emotional and Psychological

Improper fit or unnatural-looking dentures can make it difficult and embarrassing to speak, eat and socialize.

I don't know when to get new dentures.

Your dentures may need to be replaced every 3 years. 

This should be no surprise! Would you expect clothes, that you wore all day, everyday, to last 20 years?  Even if they do, there would definitely be considerable wear and tear. Certainly, they would not fit in the same way they once did.  You should expect no less from your dentures!

• The gums and ridges of your mouth change over time while dentures do not.
• A denture cannot do its job properly for more than 3 years without modification.
• Wearing the same dentures for more than 3 years can cause changes in your mouth that are often irreversible. For instance, a bad fitting denture can cause the ridges to shrink faster. Therefore, the denture becomes loose. In that case, it then becomes that more difficult to fit future dentures.

Partial dentures and Heart Disease.

Did you know that partial denture wearers may have an increased risk for heart disease?
Recent scientific studies support evidence that bacteria may affect the heart and contribute to heart disease. People with periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection, may be more at risk for heart disease.

• Partial denture wearers should have their teeth cleaned regularly, as bacteria and calculus (hardened plaque) accumulate wherever a denture contacts a tooth.

• Partial dentures should be removed at night to prevent the build up of bacteria and calculus. This is similar to the calculus that can clog your arteries and lead to heart attack.

• Medications prescribed for heart disease can increase the incidence of bleeding gums. This can increase the likelihood of gum infection that can be prevented by a dentist. These drugs may alter or decrease your taste perception.

• Overgrowth or enlargement, of gum tissue may occur when taking certain medications for high blood pressure or chest pain. This gum inflamation may cause your dentures to fit improperly.

• Many of the agents used to treat high blood pressure are also frequently associated with decreased salivation and dry mouth.

• Dry mouth leaves the mouth without enough saliva to wash away food and neutralize plaque, leaving you far more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

• Dry mouth can also weaken the retention of dentures.

• Heart disease medications can cause edema or fluid retention that will cause a swelling of the body's tissues. Denture fit can fluctuate noticeably because this swelling will affect your gum tissue.

• All denture wearers should be especially attentive to their diets.  Research consistently shows the link between unhealthy eating habits and an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

• Regular checkups can help to ensure that you will be able to eat a wide variety of wholesome, heart-smart foods.

Does Diabetes affect dental health.

Diabetes,if untreated,can have severe consequences for your dental health.

Diabetic patients require more dental care to avoid further health problems.Diabetics’ high glucose levels create a feast for oral bacteria. Therefore thorough periodontal care and patient education in proper hygiene is crucial. Click here to learn more.

Did you know that denture wearers should be screened annually for Oral Cancer?

Ill fitting dentures can increase the possibility of oral cancer and you should see a dentist at least once a year for screening.

General Denture Care.
Dentures can change shape or discolor if they dry out. When you remove your dentures for prolonged periods of time, keep them in a covered container filled with water.

Dentures can warp if placed in boiling water, always rinse and store your dentures in cold or lukewarm water.

Brushing your dentures too vigorously can cause damage. Abrasive tooth pastes, brushes with rigid bristles and excessively hard brushing can dull denture teeth, cause premature wear and tear, or lead to the thinning of the acrylic lining of your dentures. For gentle and effective daily denture cleaning, use a denture brush with soft bristles, as well as a non-abrasive denture cleaner.

Denture teeth are just as susceptible to the destructive effects of plaque as natural teeth? Once plaque hardens into calculus, it can present an irresistible invitation to bacterial problems, gum disease and irritations, and a range of digestive problems. Daily denture care and yearly professional check ups will help to maintain your oral health and appearance.

Caring for your dentures is not difficult, but it does take a little time and effort each day. With regular maintenance and daily attention, your dentures can stay looking and feeling fresh.

How should I clean my dentures.

The most important thing to remember is to clean your dentures gently and do so daily. Just as you eat with clean silverware, of course you should eat with clean dentures! You may use a soft toothbrush, never hard, and always keep brushing to a minimum.

There are also inexpensive electrosonic denture baths and specialty cleaning products available from your dentist. These products are generally very economical and they reduce the need for brushing. A thorough rinsing of your dentures after every meal will certainly help you keep your dentures clean

When cleaning your dentures, do so over a sink partially full of water, or drape a soft towel in the sink basin. This will serve to minimize breakage in the event that you accidentally drop your dentures. This is another good reason to consider having an identical twin denture made.

Never use hot water as this will warp your dentures. Lukewarm water from the tap will do just fine. Keep dentures in clean, cold water when they are not being worn.

How should i manage my oral care.

Each time you remove your dentures for cleaning, some care and attention should be paid to your gums and ridges. Using a clean finger, massage your gums, both upper and lower, for a minute or two. This can also be done with a clean, soft toothbrush. This serves to stimulate blood flow to the area which helps promote healthy gums. You can also rinse your mouth several times a day with warm salt water to help heal any chafing or rubbing caused by the dentures,both new and old .

Most importantly, remove your dentures each night or at least for a few hours a day to allow the tissue and oral structures supporting the dentures to rest. Just as you remove shoes, glasses or clothing when you go to bed, so should you remove your dentures. You were not born with them and it is unhealthy to wear them all the time.  It has been proven that patients who never remove their dentures have a higher risk of oral cancer, an increased bacterial count in the mouth and excessive damage to the tissue and ridges that result in a loss of fit.

What about regular Dental examinations.

At least once a year, your should make an appointment with your dentist for a thorough examination of your entire mouth. Such an examination provides your dentist with an opportunity to correct any problems that may have appeared due to natural and progressive changes in your oral structures that can cause shifting of the dentures, undue pressure on supporting ridges, or damage to oral structures and bony projections. 

This step is crucial to maintaining correct alignment of your dentures as well as good oral health and healthy ridges. At that time, we also recommend an annual oral cancer screening. In addition, regular professional cleaning and polishing of your dentures will help to prevent disagreeable tastes and odors from forming on your dentures.

© 2004 Australian Orthodontic Laboratories Pty Ltd