Ask a Pro

Do you have a question about your dentures? Ask a Pro provides answers to frequently asked questions that we have received from past clients and the general public.

Why should I see a denturist?

A denturist is a professional that works with dentures every day and is specifically trained in both the clinical and laboratory procedures related to dentures. As a result, a denturist will be familiar with all of the aspects of making a perfect set of dentures, regardless of the situation.

At McCabe, the denturist who works with you at each appointment will be the same person who is going to make your dentures in our on-site lab, so you can be sure that your final dentures will work for you. We can also complete same-day repairs and relines, thanks to our on-site facilities.

What should I avoid eating with dentures?

Dentures can make it difficult to bite into foods without making the dentures come loose. Foods
including sandwiches (soft bread), nuts, raw fruits and vegetables become more challenging to eat with dentures.

As you get used to your dentures, you will learn the skills required to eating your favourite foods. We recommend starting with foods that don’t require as much chewing, such as potatoes and pasta. Over time, you will learn to adjust your tongue to help hold the denture. Cutting your food into smaller pieces, chewing on both sides of your mouth at the same time, and relying on your back teeth to chew will help.

Denture adhesive will help hold your denture in place, but for increased confidence and larger food selection options, denture implants should be considered.

Will new dentures make me look different?

Dentures play a major role in your appearance. If dentures are poorly made, or ill-fitting, they can change your appearance for the worse.

A witch’s chin, sagging face, crooked jaw, and sunken lips are common complaints by patients with old or poorly-made dentures. On the other hand, if dentures are fabricated correctly, or implant-supported, they can dramatically improve your appearance.

Contact us today to examine your dentures and explore your options.

Can a denture replicate my old smile?

Denturists can create custom dentures to suit each individual patient. Whether you’d like to match your old smile from before you had your teeth extracted, or if you prefer a new look, denturists can make that happen.

If you’re getting your first denture, it’s important to have a conversation with the denturist about how your teeth looked previously (size, shape, spaces, and colour) and what you’re looking for in your new smile.

At McCabe, we recommend bringing in old pictures of you smiling, so the denturist can help replicate your old smile.

Should I wear my dentures while I sleep?

No, it is recommended that you remove your denture for at least eight hours every day. This will allow for normal stimulation and cleansing of your gum tissues by your tongue and saliva. We suggest that after you remove your dentures, you brush them thoroughly and place them in a denture bath with a cleansing tablet.

However, there are some people that cannot tolerate removing their dentures while sleeping. If this is a problem for you, please contact our office and we would be happy to offer you some solutions.

I would like to have my teeth extracted and dentures placed immediately. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing it this way?

The most obvious advantage to having the denture placed the day of extractions is the fact that you will not have to go without teeth. You will also find that an immediate / temporary denture will act similar to a bandage over your gums, helping to control bleeding and swelling following extractions.

The major disadvantage of an immediate denture is the fit. The denture must be fabricated before your natural teeth are extracted, therefore the accuracy of the fit is reduced. It also does not allow to try out your denture to verify the appearance.

Often the treatment of choice is a temporary / immediate denture, worn while the gums resorb, followed by a permanent denture six to twelve months later.

I had an immediate denture relined one month after extractions and it is already loose. How often should immediate dentures be relined?

The use of immediate dentures (dentures placed at the time of extractions) is to allow the patient to have teeth put in as soon as their natural teeth get extracted. However, when teeth are extracted, it will cause your bone to shrink, which is why the denture will stop fitting after a certain amount of time.

The number of relines required to keep your immediate denture fitting properly will be based on the individual. Typically, we will recommend that you have an immediate / temporary denture made, followed by a set of permanent dentures six to twelve months following extraction.

At McCabe, we provide consultations to review a treatment plan suited to your budget. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

My upper denture fits tightly, but my lower denture is always loose. Why is this happening?

Lower dentures are typically always loose. The upper denture uses the palate for suction, but the lower denture does not have a stable surface to rest on.

After teeth are extracted, the lower jaw shrinks or resorbs at a rate four times faster than the upper jaw. As the lower jaw shrinks, the lower denture comes in closer contact with muscle attachments, which dislodge the denture.

Implant-supported dentures are the best solution for securing loose lower dentures.

I have lost weight and I notice my dentures aren’t fitting anymore. Is this normal?

Losing weight can have an unintended consequence – it can cause your dentures to become loose. When you lose weight, your entire body changes, including your mouth and gums. This affects the fit of the denture and can cause them to become uncomfortable. This can often make eating and day-to-day life a struggle.

Loose dentures can be fixed by a denture reline. Denture adhesive may mask the looseness of your dentures, but you will still not be receiving the function and appearance that you deserve. At McCabe, we can provide same-day dentures relines with our on-site lab facility.

After a long period of denture wearing, I’m losing gum tissue and bone. Can this be fixed?

Dental research has shown that once teeth have been removed, the jaw bone shrinks and changes shape. Dentures should receive a full examination by a denturist every year to see if relining the denture will solve these issues. However, dentures should also be replaced every 5-10 years.

In the long-term, denture adhesive may mask the looseness of your dentures, but you will still not be receiving the function and appearance that you deserve. When your bone shrinks, your entire face changes and this can contribute to aging your appearance. Physical characteristics of bone loss include a deep wrinkling around the mouth, a pointed chin, and the corners of the mouth turning downward.

Denture implants have the ability to prevent bone loss, since their presence stimulates the jaw (as a natural tooth root would), while restoring biting strength and chewing ability. For this reason, denture implants can provide a good proactive solution to this issue, but they will not be able to restore lost tissue or bone structure after the fact.

When I try to chew food with my lower denture it tips. What can I do?

Chewing with a lower denture is very different than chewing with your natural teeth because traditional dentures do not have roots like your natural teeth. Your denture can be compared to a fence without fence posts.

With dentures, you must develop a skill of chewing on both sides at the same time. Just like balancing a teeter-totter, you must have an equal load on both sides.

The alternative to your difficulty chewing is to place two or more fence posts (implants), which will stabilize your denture and allow you to eat more naturally. Learn more about how denture implants can improve your quality of life.

Is it possible to match my partial dentures to the colour of my remaining teeth?

Denturists are highly-trained in the art of colour and shade matching. We can work with you to match your remaining natural teeth. In addition to training, we also use technologically advanced tools that assist the denturist with shade selection.

Once the denturist has set up the teeth, you will have an appointment to try your partial dentures on and decide if you are happy with the look. We will not make the denture until you are 100% satisfied with the look. Book a consultation with us today to get started.

Do I have to replace my dentures?

Yes, you have to consider replacing your dentures as they will not last indefinitely. Denture teeth and the base will wear and stain, and the tissues in your mouth are continually changing — this will require adjustments, relines, and eventually new dentures.

Our college recommends that the average life of a patient’s dentures not exceed 5-7 years. However, factors such as patient’s preference or tolerance, habits, and length of time that
you have worn dentures can all affect the lifespan. Wearing old or ill-fitting dentures can cause a change in your facial features, increase sore spots, and increase the risk of breakage.

Make sure to book an annual exam with us to have your dentures assessed!

How often do my dentures need to be replaced?

On average, dentures should be replaced every five to 10 years. Over time, your face, jaw, and tissues will change as a result of resorption. As dentures are made of stable, rigid material, they do not adapt to these physical changes.

The following signs may indicate that you need new dentures:

  • Problems chewing certain foods (digestion problems)
  • Sore, irritated tissues
  • Loose dentures
  • Bone (ridge) loss
  • Thinning lips, sagging mouth
  • Persistent cracks in the corners of your mouth
  • Lower jaw sticking out more than it used to
  • Dentures are cracked, or teeth are chipped or broken
  • Dentures are discoloured or have an odour
  • Headaches, neck, or ear pain
  • Dentures are not in your mouth most of the time

If you have any questions regarding the fit, appearance, or function of your dentures, please contact our office.