Much like taking a cat home from the humane society, getting a new denture requires a definite adjustment period before you can settle into your new normal. For some people who are not good candidates for implant supported dentures or dental bridges, removable dentures are the only option. Hearing this may seem like a shock. It may involve some extractions of your remaining teeth. You may worry about what family, friends and colleagues will say or think about your new dentures. Most of all, you may worry about how you will adjust to some aspects of everyday life, like chewing, talking to people, laughing, and the like, with your new prosthetic teeth.
Here’s a general guide to what you can expect from your new dentures.
Did you know that you can have brand new dentures the very same day you get your extractions? True, your gums will be sore and will take time to heal, but at least you won’t have to wait months for complete healing to take place before you can have new teeth. Your denturist can create a pair that is custom-fitted to your mouth, that you can wear home on the same day. That way, at minimum when you’re in social situations, you will be able to get used to the feel of dentures in your mouth.
Soreness will persist as you become used to the dentures, so it’s recommended that you don’t wear them 24 hours a day. Some people prefer to soak them overnight; others only wear them in public. You will find the balance that’s right for you. If you find them very uncomfortable and/or causing sores in your mouth, you will need to visit the denturist for adjustments. One caution: not wearing your new dentures at all means you will not be used to them when you really want and need them.
Once the mouth and gums have fully healed, which usually takes about 90 days, the dentures will be re-fitted to accommodate the changes in your mouth that have resulted from the healing process.
By now, you will be getting used to the changes that result from wearing your dentures. There are some differences, like the feeling of extra saliva in the mouth that you will quickly become accustomed to. By now, you will also have tried eating with dentures and perhaps discovered that an adhesive like Poligrip can be useful in maintaining your normal eating habits. Talking has also become easier as you adjust to the prosthesis in your mouth.
Perhaps you’ve experimented with chewing crunchy, hard or sticky foods and found that you can now manage everything from steak to apples without getting the food stuck under your dentures. Eating a balanced diet is important to overall health and certainly to mouth health! By now, you’re confident enough in public to realize that no one can tell you’re wearing dentures, and they’re not going to fall out while you’re talking. You may still be frustrated by your dentures from time to time, but you’re becoming used to them, just like you would become used to a new pair of glasses.
The dentures are truly yours now and you own them, smiling proudly for pictures where before you used to hide your teeth. Congratulations: you’ve adapted fully to your replacement teeth.