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The importance of regular dental visits for patients with dentures

Some people who have full dentures and no remaining natural teeth are under the impression that they no longer need to visit the dentist regularly, as long as their dentures fit and they are able to eat and speak clearly. For several important reasons, seeing a dentist at least annually is still a good idea even for denture wearers.

The stability and comfort of dentures depends upon the “foundation” that supports them. Good oral health includes healthy gums and adequate bone to support the denture.   The longer patients wear dentures, the more likely it becomes that the denture may begin to fit poorly due to hard and soft tissue changes. Often, patients don’t recognize the changes that are happening and become accustomed to using denture adhesives to keep the denture in place. Regular dental visits, proper homecare and wearing your dentures are important factors for keeping your mouth healthy and your dentures in good shape.

During a routine dental visit, the dentist will remove the denture to check the health of the tissue under it. If any sore spots exist, the denture can be adjusted to eliminate this issue. An oral cancer screening exam is an important part of a routine dental visit since it is the soft tissue in the mouth where oral cancer occurs.   Oral cancer screening is especially important for denture wearers since many people who lose their teeth are older and may be at greater risk for oral cancer.

Ill-fitting dentures can also lead to other health issues such as poor nutrition. Patients can experience difficulty eating healthy foods if their dentures don’t fit properly. Often, as patients age, if their dentures don’t fit and function properly, they lose weight, compounding the difficulty to stay healthy.  Dentures should be worn daily and left in a recommended cleaning solution overnight. Always use the products that are meant for dentures and not for natural teeth. When soaking overnight, place in a closed container away from pets.

Regular preventive care can lengthen the life of your denture and keep the “foundation” secure. Oral health is essential to general overall health. If you have dentures, talk to your dentist about scheduling regular preventive care.