FAQ

Here You can find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) dealing with your teeth replacement in any way. A dental dictionary is avaible as well.


Dentures

What are dentures made of?

The base of a denture is called a plate and can be made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal. The teeth are normally made of acrylic and can be made to match your natural teeth. This is especially important in the case of partial dentures.

Will dentures make me look different?

Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will be noticeable. Modern dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face.

Will I be able to eat with dentures?

Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the denture from moving. As you become more used to your denture, add other foods until you return to your normal healthy diet.

Will dentures change how I speak?

Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating difficult words will help. Over time you will adjust and get used to it, so don’t worry! If you find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile, reposition the denture by gently biting down and swallowing. If this continues consult your dentist.

Will my sense of taste be affected?

This is quite a common worry, but the fact is that your teeth have nothing to do with your sense of taste. Your taste buds are mainly on your tongue and they will still be there so eventually everything will not taste too different. However, at first food may not taste the same, as your dentures will interfere with your taste buds while your mouth adjusts to the feel of the dentures. Your ability to sense hot food and drink may also be affected, so for a while it is a good idea to avoid very hot food and drinks, as you may burn yourself.

How long should I wear my dentures?

During the first few days, you may be advised to wear them for most of the time, including while you are asleep. This will allow you to adjust to your new dentures and let them settle in. After an initial period of adjustment your dentist may advise that you remove them before going to bed. This allows your gums to rest and helps promote oral health. If you decide to keep them in overnight, it is important that you clean them thoroughly before you go to bed, just as you would natural teeth.

Must I do anything special to care for my mouth?

Even with full dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Every morning and evening, brush your gums, tongue and palate (roof of your mouth) with a soft –bristled brush. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. It is vitally important that partial denture wearers brush their teeth thoroughly every day to prevent tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to further teeth being lost.

What is the difference between conventional and Immediate Dentures?

Conventional dentures are made and inserted after teeth have been removed and the tissues have healed. Healing may take several months. Immediate Dentures are inserted immediately after teeth have been removed. To do this, the dentist takes measurements and impressions of your mouth during a preliminary visit An advantage of Immediate Dentures is that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bone and gums can shrink over time, especially during the first six months after teeth have been removed. When gums shrink, Immediate Dentures may require relining or even replacing to fit properly.

What will dentures feel like?

New dentures may feel awkward or even uncomfortable for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. Should this continue, consult your dentist. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness during this period. You may also find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. If any problems persist, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist as soon as possible and not wait for your regular check up. Do not take your dentures out though, leave them in, that way the dentist will be able to see where it is sore and sort the problem out quicker.

How do I take care of my dentures?

Dentures are very delicate and may break if dropped. When cleaning dentures it is recommended that you do so over a folded towel or sink of water. When you are not wearing your dentures, they should be stored in a container containing enough water to cover them. Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food debris and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures becoming stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. There are special denture cleaning brushes available but a soft bristled toothbrush can also be used. Avoid using hard-bristled brushes, which can cause damage. The use of an effervescent denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher.

Can dentures be re-polished?

Yes they can. After considerable use, dentures can become slightly dull and rough. However, if you take them back to your dentist, they can be re-polished and restored to their original appearance.

Will my dentures need to be replaced?

Over a period of time, dentures will need to be relined or re-made due to normal wear or a change in the shape of your mouth. Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink causing jaws to align differently. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections not to mention discomfort. A loose or ill-fitting denture can also make eating and speaking more difficult. It is important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures before they cause problems.

How often should I see my dentist?

Regular dental check-ups and having your teeth professionally cleaned are vital for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, most dentists recommend that under normal circumstances this should be done every 6 months. Full denture wearers should consult their dentist as to frequency of visits. With regular professional care, a positive attitude and persistence, you can become one of the millions of people who wear their dentures with a smile.


Bridges

Why should I replace missing teeth?

Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by missing tooth can mean greater strain on the teeth on either side. A gap can also mean your ‘bite’ is affected because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes both decay and gum disease.

How are missing teeth replaced?

This depends on the number of teeth missing and on where they are in the mouth. The condition of the other teeth also affects the decision. There are two main ways to replace the missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth – a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge. A bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.

Can I always have a bridge to replace missing teeth?

Yes, if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support. Your dentist will help you decide which is the best way of replacing the teeth within your budget.

What are bridges made of?

Bridges are usually made of a precious alloy. If the bridge will show, porcelain is then bonded to the base. Sometimes, there are other non-precious alloys used in the base to reduce the cost.

Are bridges expensive?

Although a bridge may seem expensive it will last many years. It will also improve your appearance and bite. A bridge uses the considerable skill of the dentist and technician, and in this way, it’s similar to ordering a piece of hand-made jewellery. The materials are also expensive, so it’s fair to say a bridge will not be the cheapest treatment you have ever had.

How do I look after my bridge?

You need to clean your bridge every day to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. You also have to clean under the false tooth every day. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to use bridge needle or special floss, as a normal toothbrush cannot reach.

Are there other methods for fixing false teeth?

There are other methods, such as using a combination of crowns and partial dentures that can keep the retaining clips out of sight. These are quite specialised dentures, so you should ask your dentist about them. You can also have teeth implanted, ask your dentist for more information. Remember that it’s as important to care for your remaining teeth as it is to replace the missing ones.

Are there different types of bridges?

Yes, there are different types of bridge which use different fixing methods. Your dentist will choose the most effective and conservative bridge for your personal situation.


Crowns

What is a crown?

Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild teeth which have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. The crown fits right over the remaining part of the tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘caps’.

Why would I need a crown?

There are a number of reasons. For instance: The tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth You may have had a root filling which will require a crown to protect it You may have had an accident and damaged the tooth It may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place

What are crowns made of?

Crowns are made of a variety of materials and new materials are being introduced all the time. Here are some of the options available at present: Porcelain bonded to precious metal: this is what most crowns are made from,a precious metal base is made and layers of porcelain are then applied over it. Porcelain: these crowns are not as strong as bonded crowns but they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth. Porcelain and composite: porcelain and composite resin materials can sometimes look the most natural. However, these crowns are not as strong as bonded metal crowns. Glass: these crowns look very natural and are used on both front and back teeth. Precious metal (gold and palladium): these crowns are very strong and hard-wearing, but are usually used at the back of the mouth, where they are not visible.

How is a tooth prepared for a crown?

The dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will mean removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner ‘core’. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown to be fitted. Once the tooth is shaped, the dentist will take an impression of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together. The impressions will be given to the technician, along with any other information they need to make the crown.

Who makes the crown?

The impressions and information about the shade of your teeth will be given to a dental technician who will be skilled in making crowns. They will make models of your mouth and make the crown on these to be sure that the crown fits perfectly.

Will the crown be noticeable?

No. The crown will be made to match your other teeth exactly. The shade of the neighbouring teeth will be recorded, to make sure that the colour looks natural and matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown, usually made in plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the permanent one is ready. These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only in place for about two weeks.

How long does the treatment take?

You will need to have at least two visits: the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting of the temporary crown and the second to fit the permanent crown.

Does it hurt to have a tooth prepared for a crown?

No, a local anaesthetic is used and the preparation should feel no different from a filling. If the tooth does not have a nerve, and a post crown is being prepared, then local anaesthetic may not be needed.

Are post crowns different?

Post crowns may be used when the tooth has been root filled. The weakened crown of the tooth is drilled off at the level of the gum. The dentist makes a double-ended ‘post’ to fit into the root canal. This can be either prefabricated stainless steel or custom made of gold. One end of the post is cemented into the root canal, and the other end holds the crown firmly in place.

Are there any alternatives to post crowns for root-filled teeth ?

If a root-filled tooth is not completely broken down, it may be possible to build it up again using filling material. This ‘core’ is then prepared in the same way as a natural tooth and the impressions are taken.

How long will a crown last?

The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay could endanger the crown. Properly cared for crowns will last for many years – your dentist will be able to give you an idea of how long.

How are crowns fixed to teeth?

Once the fit and appearance of the crown has been checked – and approved by you – it will be cemented in place with special dental cement. The cement also forms a seal to help hold it firmly in place.

Will the crown feel different?

Because the shape of the crown will be slightly different from the shape of you tooth before it was crowned, you may be aware of it to begin with. Within a few days it should feel fine, and you will not notice it. The crown may need some adjustment if it feels higher than the surrounding teeth. If it is at all uncomfortable ask your dentist to check and adjust it.

A compilation of TEETH ARE US Dental Laboratory Ulrich Heker


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