Dentures San Rafael, Novato
Marin County

A denture or a complete denture, as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.

Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.

The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination thereof. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.

Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Dentures

I need dentures. Where do I start?

Start your denture journey by scheduling an appointment with us. We are specialists in restoration and replacement teeth, including dentures. We will work with you to determine if dentures are the best option for you.

What types of dentures are there?

Complete dentures replace all of your teeth and rest on your gums, covering your jawbones. We can attach these prosthetics to dental implants to improve stability. Partial dentures are an option for those who need to replace some but not all of their teeth. These dentures attach to existing teeth while covering and resting on the gums and bone where teeth are missing.

What is the average cost of dentures?

Factors that affect the cost of dentures at our practice include the type of denture you require and the complexity of your case. We recommend you come in for a consultation at which time we can access your situation and present all costs upfront. We offer a variety of financing options to ensure you get the care you need.

How do I care for my dentures?

Since dentures can not be whitened, take care to minimize the chances of staining by cleaning your dentures every day with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive soap or denture paste. Do not use normal toothpaste, because it often contains materials that can damage the plastic. After cleaning your dentures properly, soak them in water-based cleaning solution each night. If you damage your dentures, make an appointment to come in and see us immediately. Do not attempt to fix them on their own. They may require a simple reline that only professionals have the means to perform. They may no longer fit properly because your jaw has changed shape.

Can I sleep in my dentures?

Yes, but we recommend you remove them at night to give your gums and bone a break from the pressure they experience all day. If you need to wear them at night, find another time during the day to remove and clean them. You shouldn’t wear your dentures for more than 24 hours at a time without giving them the proper care and cleaning.

Can I eat normally with dentures?

Yes, but it takes time to get used to eating with dentures. If you’re having trouble eating comfortably with them, apply a very small amount of adhesive to stabilize them and hold them in place. While eating with dentures can be learned, chewing gum with dentures usually can’t. Gum often sticks to dentures and can break the seal, causing them to loosen.

How much pain is involved with getting dentures?

Dentures should cause you no pain. It’s not uncommon, however, to experience some irritation as you get used to a new pair. If you’ve had extractions, those areas of may be painful as they heal. But after a few weeks, that pain will subside. Come into our office for regular visits to ensure your dentures fit and your healing has progressed.

How do you know when it’s time to reline dentures?

If you’re dentures don’t fit, it’s time for a reline. This procedure refits the base of the denture so that it fits comfortably on your jaw. We recommend you do not use over-the-counter reline kits, but come into our office to have them fixed professionally.

What are permanent dentures?

Permanent dentures are false teeth that are retained by screws, or dental implants, that we place in your jaw. Implant retained dentures can be removed by professionals only. And they do have the potential to wear down, break, and become stained.

Is it possible to have dentures put in the same day as teeth removal?

Yes, extracting teeth and placing a denture in the same day is a procedure we perform in our office called immediate dentures.

Is it possible to perfectly color match my partial denture to my remaining natural teeth?

Yes. We are highly trained in color matching and can easily match a new denture to your remaining teeth. We recommend having new partial dentures made rather than recoloring old ones to match your teeth because the cost of each is the same.

What do I do if my dentures feel very heavy and it is difficult to close my mouth?

If you had your teeth extracted and a denture placed all in one visit, and your new denture feels heavy, come in for a visit so we can make sure the denture fits as you continue to move through the healing period. But it is also possible that your dentures feel heavy because you’re just not used to wearing them. Give yourself several weeks to acclimate, and if they still remain heavy, schedule an appointment to come in so we can check them out. We want to do everything we can to ensure your denture experience is a success.