What Does It Feel Like to Wear Dentures?
For people who have never worn dentures before, it can be difficult to imagine what the devices feel like to wear. Are they uncomfortable? Slimy? Tight? Rough? Here to answer those questions is Dr. Brian Heck of Heck Family Dentistry in Lawrence, KS. A family dentist with years of experience, Dr. Heck says patients should know what to expect before getting fitted for their first set of dentures.
First and foremost, Dr. Heck says that people need to know that wearing dentures can make eating slightly more difficult – at least at first. He says that denture wearers should expect at least a 60% loss in the ability to chew and taste food during their first few months of wearing the dentures.
The typical experience for a new denture wearer is to go through a short to medium time period of being fairly uncomfortable, as well. Dr. Heck says this uncomfortable period usually coincides with the time when the patient’s mouth is still healing, since one or more teeth usually have to extracted in order for the denture to fit properly in place. It can take months for a person’s mouth to fully heal from a tooth extraction procedure, and the more teeth that are removed the longer the recovery period is likely to be.
During that healing phase, Dr. Heck says that most patients describe the feeling of wearing an immediate denture as being similar to having a prosthesis sitting over an open wound. Although this might be slightly uncomfortable, it should not be painful in the least. Along with the discomfort, Dr. Heck says patients should expect to have some adaptation in their speech.
Patients who opt for both upper and lower dentures can expect additional troubles, since it can be very difficult to get used to wearing a lower denture. The reason for this, Dr. Heck explains, is because there is usually not enough gum tissue to establish a strong suction between the gums and the denture itself. This makes it difficult to stabilize the denture, and it takes many patients a period of time before they can develop the musculature around the mouth to do so effectively.
Rather than going through all of the trouble with conventional dentures, Dr. Heck recommends that patients look into dental implants as well. Dr. Heck has placed implants in patients’ mouths that were used to help retain lower dentures. He says that in Canada, the government pays for implants to accompany every set of full dentures. In the U.S., however, the practice of using implant-retained dentures is still catching on.
Nonetheless, facts are facts. Implant retained dentures are easier to wear and easier to maintain, and Dr. Heck says that he would recommend that anyone who needs both upper and lower dentures look into getting implants placed at the same time.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.