At first, dentures may feel strange but they should not feel uncomfortable or painful. Every effort is taken to design dentures that you will get used to wearing in the shortest time possible. There are many factors affecting the comfort of your dentures, however to keep it simple we will focus on a small number of factors here. We will discuss in general terms how the denture should feel and why they are able to feel so good.
Your denture should feel;
Secure during normal facial movements
During the construction of your dentures, your facial movements will be recorded in order to shape the denture within these normal muscle movements. This will ensure that the denture stays in place during normal daily function. While extreme movements of the face (called border movements) well inevitably dislodge a denture, the majority of facial movements should have very little impact on your denture.
“Invisible” to your senses
Partial denture should sit and function within the normal contact relationship of your natural teeth. This means that, when biting together while wearing your denture, your natural teeth should contact in their normal position. When this occur, the nerves and brain record their normal feedback stimulus and thus tell the muscles to continue to function in their usual way. If however the denture is biting before your natural teeth or stops your natural teeth from contacting, your brains response is to rectify this by clenching and grinding your teeth, and pain may occur. This approach to bite force balancing is our approach to all of our dentures, our patients often tell us they forget that they have their dentures in their mouths, as they feel so natural.
There are a lot of methods for characterising the gum area of a denture to make they appear like natural gums. By modifying the shape, texture and colour of the gums we can ensure that when a friend sees your gums when laughing or smiling, they will not be able to identify it as a denture. This natural effect enables you to feel confident and safe during your important social outings.
Bite force feedback
The ability to hear your teeth when they come into contact is a normal process in the natural teeth. The sound generated by this tooth contact is created as the force of impact vibrates through the jaw bone and into the inner ear where it is recognised as sound. This process is also important in dentures. By using different types of denture tooth materials (such as porcelain, acrylics and composite resins) this effect can be optimise to give the best level of feedback to the wearer. When you receive a dense, heavy and solid, single contact sound when closing there teeth together you will quickly develop a feeling of security, stability and confidence in the bite function of your dentures.
Taste and touch sensation
You will have heard it said that “you must educate your palate” in order to appreciate fine wines. This statement draws on the close relationship between the saliva and oxygenated food molecules in the top of your mouth during chewing and how they interact with the taste buds on the top of the tongue. It is therefore very important to always try and not cover the palate with a denture. While this is not always possible it is a consideration in the construction of all of our dentures.
The entire mouth is sensitive to touch. However, one of the most important areas to leave uncovered by a denture is the incisive papilla, the small bump of skin at the front of your top gum between you middle two front teeth. The bump covers an area of sensation nerves that cover the palate. When your tongue or food touches this bump it quickly feedback to the brain and enables effective chewing and speech. Every effort is made to ensure that these areas are not covered by a denture to ensure maximum natural function of your mouth.
We hope this very brief overview has given you a little better understanding of some factors affecting the outcome and effectiveness of dentures. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss this topic further.