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Myths & Facts

When it comes to myths, dentures have spawned a colourful collection. Unfortunately, many of these common misconceptions about dentures have prevented people from achieving their best health, appearance and self-confidence.

The fact of the matter is that proper denture fit, maintenance and regular dental care can positively impact everyone who wears full or partial dentures. So check out the following myths. You may be surprised to find out that one or two you have accepted as fact, are in fact, fiction.

Myth: Dentures last forever.

Fact: While it's true that dentures are durable, they aren't any more permanent than eyeglasses. Dropping them even a few inches can break a tooth or the denture base.

Even with conscientious care, denture teeth can loose their natural appearance and chewing ability due to chewing, brushing and age.

The way you care for your dentures can also alter their fit. Dentures can warp if placed in hot water. If they become dried out, they may change shape. When you remove you dentures at night, place them in a container of denture-cleaning solution. Also, it's best to use a brush designed for dentures as well as a denture cleaner rather than toothpaste, because some toothpaste may be too abrasive for dentures.

Myth: Once you have dentures, you don’t need to see a dentist anymore.

Fact: Dentists do far more than fix teeth. They diagnose and treat all the structures of your mouth, including gums, tongue, jaw and soft tissues. A dentist is the only oral health professional with the extended training and skill to meet all your oral health needs—not just teeth!

You should see you dentist regularly for an oral examination, because your mouth is continually changing. Mouth tissue can reveal signs of diseases, such as diabetes, that first manifest themselves in the mouth. Besides checking your dentures, the dentist will check for signs of oral cancer and examine your gum ridges, tongue and jaw joints.

Myth: All dentures are the same. It makes sense to shop around and look for the lowest price.

Fact: Before prescribing a denture, the dentist reviews your health history, performs a thorough oral examination and carefully measures and prepares your mouth for dentures. Dentists work closely with reputable dental laboratories, where trained technicians make your dentures to match your dentist's specifications. Mail order specials for self-fitting dentures are a waste of money, and can cause serious oral health problems. So see your dentist. Or, Find a Professional in your area.

Myth: I lost all my teeth and now have to suffer with dentures for the rest of my life.

Fact: Having dentures doesn’t have to mean suffering! Today with modern dentistry, you can have dental implants, which help retain and stabilize a denture. The implant-supported denture also allows you to eat food that you would normally not be able to eat. Studies have shown that an implant supported denture gives patients almost the same satisfaction level as crowns and bridges.

Myth: I have been wearing dentures for most of my adult life and have very little bone to support a denture. Now I’m going to have to go through the twilight of my life being unable to wear a denture at all.

Fact: Modern dentistry can replace and even rebuild that missing bone. Even without bone replacing techniques, implants can still be placed in many cases. Your dentist is the best judge as to what is best for your mouth and health.

Myth: I need to see a denturist for my dentures, not a dentist.

Fact: Dentists provide dentures and can do everything necessary to plan, fit, adjust and care for your complete or partial dentures or dentures with implants. Your dentist will work with you for a natural looking, comfortable, healthy result and give you guidance in proper denture and dental care.

Myth: Dentures are just embarrassing. Everyone knows when you're wearing them.

Fact: Dentures can be as attractive and natural looking as your own teeth. Many of the telltale signs that someone is wearing dentures, like clicking or slipping, unpleasant odour or stains, are actually signs of poor fit or improper home maintenance.

Regular professional examinations and following your dentist's instructions on home care are essential steps in assuring a natural appearance.

Confidence in wearing dentures comes from realizing that you have taken a positive step towards improving your health and appearance.

Myth: Denture wearers can't eat normally.

Fact: While not all denture wearers can eat everything they would like, many find they have no trouble eating the foods they enjoy. Properly fitting dentures may actually encourage you to eat a varied and well balanced diet that maximizes your overall health. And, you'll be able to enjoy the social benefits that make dining with friends such a pleasant experience.

Myth: If I take my teeth to the dentist for refitting or repairs, I’ll be without teeth for days!

Fact: Advances in modern dentistry have made it possible for your dentist to reline or repair dentures quickly - often right in the office. If you let your dentist know that you are in need of a denture repair, the correction can frequently be made on the same day, sometimes within one hour.

Myth: Wearing dentures will change the way I sound. I don’t want to talk funny.

Fact: It’s true that getting dentures will take some adjustment. But it shouldn’t take long before you sound like your old self. If you develop persistent speech problems at any time, have your dentist check the fit of your denture as soon as possible.

Myth: I know my natural teeth could be affected by over-the-counter and prescription medications, but I don’t have to think about that anymore because I have dentures.

Fact: Drugs can affect denture fit and wearability. For example, certain medications can reduce the supply of saliva in your mouth, making it difficult to swallow or chew. Be sure to let your dentist know of any medications you may be taking, whether it is regularly or just occasionally.

Myth: I will always have to use adhesive to make my dentures fit. Otherwise I won’t be able to wear them all day.

Fact: This is a particularly dangerous myth. Dentures are made to fit precisely and usually do not require regular use of an adhesive for comfort. In an emergency, denture adhesives can be used to keep the dentures stable until you see the dentist, but prolonged use can mask infections and cause bone loss in the jaw. Likewise, a poorly fitting denture, which causes constant irritation over a long period, may contribute to the development of sores and tumors. If your dentures begin to feel loose, or cause pronounced discomfort, see your dentist immediately.

Myth: I have a fixed income. Regular dental care is too expensive.

Fact: Before deciding that oral examinations and denture care is too costly, discuss the situation with your dentist. Be frank. Ask about charges for denture adjustments, repairs and possible replacement. Keep in mind that if you are in your 60s, you are likely to have twenty more years of talking, eating and smiling. Your oral health is a vital part of your total health.

Myth: I can make my own denture repairs. How hard could it be?

Fact: Even if you are a whiz at fixing toasters, leaky pipes or automobiles, do not try to adjust or repair your dentures yourself. Improperly relined dentures can be bulky, causing increased pressure on the jaw and more rapid loss of jawbone. Do-it-yourself reliners can also irritate the soft tissues of your mouth. The handyman approach can cause irreparable damage and may result in the need for a new denture.

Myth: Anyone can make dentures and restore implants. You don’t have to be a dentist.

Fact: It takes specific training and a licence to treat patients. Non-dentists can get limited training that allows them to make removable dentures, but only if they have a certificate of oral health signed by a dentist or doctor. They can also fill a dentist’s prescription for partial dentures. But because they do not have University training, they cannot call themselves a doctor or dentist and are not legally recognized specialists. It can be confusing because they may refer to themselves as specialists.

Myth: If I get my dentures replaced, I’m going to have to go through a long adjustment period again when I get my new ones. I just don’t want to deal with it.

Fact: The first time is always the hardest. You're a pro now. You've learned the basics about eating, speaking and wearing a denture. There will be some adjustment, but it will probably be shorter and easier than the first time. And it is important! Prolonged use of ill fitting dentures can irritate the gums, tongue and cheek, and even cause the ridges of your mouth to shrink to the point where it will almost be impossible to fit you with normal denture. Your ability to chew may decrease, and your face may acquire deep aging lines and wrinkles. When you look at the big picture, the temporary adjustment period isn't so bad.