Frequently Asked Questions

How long should dentures last?

The usual lifespan of a denture is 5-7 years, with relines done in the interim at 1-3 years. Even though dentures may look like they are still in good shape, the important question is "do they still fit your changing mouth and chew efficiently?" Just as eyeglass prescriptions need to be renewed to accommodate changing eyesight, dentures need to be renewed to accommodate worn teeth and the shrinking of gum tissue and jaw bones (also referred to as ridges). Medical conditions or medications can affect the speed in which this occurs. Changes to dentures, bone loss, and biting position usually happen so gradually that most people are not aware of them, and as a result sometimes go too long between new dentures. This causes painful or sore spots in the mouth, the denture to become loose, and the patients' bite to become over closed. In addition to these physical effects, the denture base becomes stained and teeth are worn down affecting chewing ability. Whether a patient experiences any of these changes or not, a visit to a Denturist is recommended to check the fit and condition of the dentures and the health of the gums annually. Remember - it's not whether or not the dentures still look good, it's do they still fit the mouth and function properly?

Should I wear dentures all the time?

A denture is a foreign object that places pressure on the tissues of the mouth. Leaving dentures out overnight allows for normal circulation to return to the mouth and gums, and will also prevent grinding or clenching. We recommend soaking the denture in a denture cleaner to aid in cleaning off plaque and bacteria. If leaving the denture out overnight is not possible due to medical or other reasons, the mouth and gums should be brushed with a very soft toothbrush or at least rubbed with a finger at least once a day to stimulate blood flow and circulation. Even soaking dentures while showering is beneficial to both the mouth and dentures.

Can I use denture adhesives?

Dentures are custom made to fit each person’s mouth accurately and as such, should not require the use of an adhesive. However, there are applications for adhesive use, especially as temporary solutions. These include emergency situations when unable to access professional help, special occasions to provide extra security or peace of mind, or for many people that have excessive bone loss that prefer to use adhesives every day. Preventative hygiene is very important in these cases to prevent additional problems. USING ADHESIVES IN ORDER TO DELAY RELINES OR REPLACEMENT IS NOT ADVISED. The main reason is that the underlying cause of loose dentures or constant irritations and sore spots is not being addressed, which could affect a patients gum, tissues and overall health. Loose dentures can contribute to bone loss if not dealt with in a timely manner. Implant Dentures may also be an optional permanent solution to loose dentures.

What is the proper care for my mouth with dentures?

Whether or not a patient has natural teeth left, it's important to have an annual exam of the mouth and dentures. During this exam, the Denturist is looking for abnormal or excessive tissue growth, damage or inflammation (due to shrinking bone and tissues), oral cancer or other medical conditions, fit of the denture, correct biting position, and overall condition of the mouth and dentures. Catching small problems in advance can allow preventative steps to be done before more severe conditions develop in the future. To keep the mouth and gums healthy, brush or massage the gums, tongue and palate 1-2 times a day with a soft denture brush or clean finger, and leave dentures out overnight. How do I clean my dentures? It's best to brush dentures after every meal, however if this is not practical, at least 1-2 times a day using a quality denture brush and denture cleaning solution. Do not use regular toothpaste as it is abrasive and can scratch the dentures - leaving places for plaque and bacteria to build up. Plaque can form on dentures and harden into calculus, which can result in staining, bacterial problems, or denture odours. We carry NU-DENT, a stronger cleaner that what can be bought commercially, as well as inexpensive ultrasonic denture baths. If a denture has a lot of build up, we can also clean it in our ultrasonic cleaner. Tips for cleaning:
  1. To avoid or minimize breakage, always clean dentures over a towel or partially filled sink.
  2. Use lukewarm water to remove loose food particles. Hot water may warp the denture.
  3. Support the denture evenly without squeezing the sides or ends together, apply cleaner and brush lightly and thoroughly.
  4. Rinse dentures well to remove all traces of cleaning products.
  5. Before inserting dentures, using a clean finger or soft toothbrush, massage or brush gums tongue, and palate lightly. Stimulating blood flow promotes healthy tissue.
  6. Insert dentures. At night soak dentures in a cleaner, then rinse in the morning before wearing.

How should I store my denture?

For overnight storage, dentures should be cleaned thoroughly and placed in a lukewarm or cool denture cleaning solution to prevent them from drying out and inhibiting bacterial growth. Long term storage of previous sets, should be done after thoroughly cleaning them, drying them off and placing them in a denture case. Dentures should be soaked for 24 hours prior to reuse.

Are dentures made from a generic mould?

No. Dentures are made from individual impressions taken from the mouth. Just as no two people are alike, neither are two dentures. Each denture is hand crafted and custom made and will not work for anyone else. This is also why dentures cannot be bought or made as a "quick" temporary disposable set. There are no short cuts - impressions are taken, the bite is determined and dentures are made all using excellent quality materials and workmanship.

Are dentures breakable?

Even with technology today, the best and most advanced denture acrylic and teeth on the market can still break or chip if dropped even from a small height onto a hard surface. "Impact resistant" is totally dependent on the type of impact, how hard and where it occurs - very similar to water resistant in marketing. We treat repairs as emergencies and most can be done on the same day with minimum wait. There are features that can be added to a denture to make it stronger, however the acrylic and teeth are still brittle and can break or chip if dropped, or if chewed by pets.

Can I fix my dentures with glue?

Many patients use crazy glue in emergency situations and it may work temporarily. Some of the concerns are that materials or chemicals not designed for the mouth can seep into the body, the integrity of the denture may be compromised depending on the extensiveness of the break, but MOST importantly, if the denture broke while being used, WHY did it break? If the reason is not obvious, it needs to be determined and corrected otherwise the same break may continue to occur. To repair dentures professionally, new acrylic is used to chemically bond with existing acrylic resulting in a stronger repair than using glue.

Should I adjust my own dentures?

No. Irreparable damage can be done to the denture using the wrong tools or adjusting in the wrong spot. This in turn can either cause a much worse fitting denture or cost more to have it redone.

Answer not found?

If you haven't found an answer to your question, you may be experiencing something more specific that an individual consultation is required. Please feel free to call our office to set up a no obligation, no pressure, FREE consultation at your convenience. We would love to have the chance of helping you.