Dentures, Denture Maintenance and Denture Stomatitis

A denture is a removable appliance for the replacement of missing teeth. There are basically two types of dentures, cobalt chrome and acrylic. However, the process of making either type of denture is the same. This usually consists of a consultation and taking of the impression, a ‘try-in’ stage where you can inspect the appearance and fit of the denture prior to completion and the final stage where the finished product is fitted. At Harpenden Dental Centre we utilise the best materials and liaise closely with the patient and laboratory at every stage of the process to ensure an excellent, natural and comfortable result.


A denture is a removable appliance that replaces lost or missing teeth.

A partial denture is a denture that fills in the spaces left by lost or missing teeth in the upper or lower arch.

A complete denture replaces all the teeth in the upper or lower arch.

Dentures can either be made completely of acrylic or part acrylic where the frame work is made of cobalt chrome.

An immediate denture is a denture that is fitted immediately after the teeth have been removed. All measurements and impressions are taken prior to the teeth be removed.

It is extremely important to realise that with an immediate denture the gums and bone will shrink under the denture as the sockets heal. This will continue over a 6 month period. During the 6 month healing phase it may be necessary to have the denture relined or adjusted. At the end of this period it may be necessary to have a new denture if the change in the mouth has been dramatic.

In some cases it may make more sense to remove the teeth, wait 6 months for healing to occur and then make a new denture in a mouth that is then stable. The main advantage of this is that, as a patient, you are not paying for two dentures!

With immediate dentures it is important to wear them as much as possible especially immediately after the teeth have been extracted. This is because the soft tissues will heal to the shape of the denture. With out the denture being in, the soft tissues will swell haphazardly and then placement of the denture will be difficult and uncomfortable.

Denture Maintenance

Denture cleaning is important to help prevent gum disease, inflammation and fungal infections. Dentures should be cleaned twice a day.

When cleaning dentures always perform this task over a bowl of water so that they do not break if you drop them. Use soap and a soft nail brush to clean the denture or toothpaste and a tooth brush. One can use an effervescent denture cleaner to help remove stubborn stains.

Please avoid bleaching products where possible as these will weaken the denture and affect its appearance.

Overnight dentures should be left in water to prevent them drying out. Dehydration of the denture will cause the sharp of the denture to change and will also weaken the denture.

Hard to remove staining and tartar can removed by your dentist.

Your denture should be changed every two to three years.

Denture Stomatitis

This is an infection of the mouth otherwise known as ‘thrush’ caused by candida which is a fungus. Basically the fungus colonises on the fit surface of the denture and the patient gets an inflammatory response from this.

Signs and symptoms

Redness under the denture and red sore areas at the corners of the mouth.

Treatment and prevention

Maintain good oral hygiene and avoid smoking.

Leave the denture out at night. Use warm soapy water and a soft nail brush to clean the fit surface of the denture. The denture can then be soaked over night in a denture cleaner. Ask you local chemist about the best ones on the market.

If denture stomatitis still persists, the dentist may advise the use of antifungal agents to help alleviate the problem.

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