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Dentures Can Restore A Missing Smile

If you've lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile.

Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You'll be able to eat and speak — things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.

There are various types of complete dentures. A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patient's mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed, which may take several months.

An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. The dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patient's jaws during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.

Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food deposits and plaque. Brushing helps prevent dentures from becoming permanently stained and helps your mouth stay healthy. It's best to use a brush designed for cleaning dentures. A toothbrush with soft bristles can also be used. Avoid using hard-bristled brushes that can damage dentures.

Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.

Your dentist will advise you about how often to make a dental appointment. Regular dental check-ups are important. The dentist will examine your mouth to see if your dentures continue to fit properly. The dentist also examines your mouth for signs of oral diseases including cancer.

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.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

2/4/2008

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