All About Permanent Dentures
If many (or all) of your teeth are badly damaged or missing, you may be a candidate for permanent dentures. Teeth can become compromised from decay caused by all kinds of factors including sugars, diseases, and certain medications.
There are many reasons that you may want to get dentures, besides the obvious cosmetic ones. Dentures not only help you to chew food and with speech, but they also aid in keeping the jaw muscles in shape.
If you decide that permanent dentures are right for you, research cosmetic dentists before choosing one to perform the procedure. You’ll want to look for patient feedback, before and after pictures, and credentials. Ask how many times he or she has performed the procedure.
Getting Your Permanent Dentures
If your remaining teeth are healthy, a partial denture (also called a “bridge”) can be created to fit into the areas where teeth are missing. If your teeth are all missing, or in really poor condition – then full dentures might be right for you.
Dentures resemble real teeth very closely – and as an added benefit, the dentures often look nicer and more symmetrical than your real teeth did (even when they were healthy). The false teeth are usually made of acrylic resin, but sometimes with metal, porcelain, or combinations of those materials. Your permanent dentures will be custom fitted by your doctor and made specifically for your mouth.
Not all dentures, of course, are permanent. Many people wear removable bridges or dentures. Permanent dentures are just like they sound, and you cannot take them out.
Having this type of dentures put in is a serious surgery, and you should make sure that you understand the procedure and are aware of the risks involved before you make any decisions. Your overall health can dictate whether you are a candidate for any type of surgery, and you should discuss your medical history with your dentist.
Taking Care of Your New Teeth
Once you’ve gone through the preparation and the procedure, after care specifications must be adhered to in order for optimal healing to take place.
- You will probably be given pain medications as well as antibiotic pills and mouthwash.
- Use gauze to soak up the blood that will otherwise fill your mouth post-op (later, you can bite on a wet tea bag).
- Keep your head elevated for the first couple of days to decrease bleeding and swelling.
- Relax as much as possible for at least two days after surgery; avoid working out, and any other activity that could exacerbate the bleeding.
- Avoid talking as much as possible. This probably won’t be hard, since your mouth will be tender.
- Drink lots of fluids and stick to liquid or soft foods for at least one week.
- Once you’ve recuperated, follow your doctor’s guidelines when it comes to the cleaning and maintenance of your permanent dentures.
- Keep your fingers and other objects out of your mouth to avoid infection.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water a few times a day to further aid infection prevention.
- Avoid smoking and drinking for at least a couple of weeks after dental surgery.
- Steer clear of crunchy, chewy, and very spicy foods for a few weeks.
Remember that your jawbone will have to mold around the posts that hold your new teeth in place, and that this will cause considerable pain for several weeks. Taking ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers can help.
Once you’ve recovered from your surgery, you can begin to enjoy your new teeth. Not only will you look much more youthful and healthy with your permanent dentures, you’ll be able to eat anything you want without a care.