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Frequently asked questions

Choosing a dental prosthesist

What is a dental prosthetist?

A dental Prosthetist is a highly qualified and skilled member of the dental profession who constructs, fits and provides a complete and professional denture care service.

They will maintain, repair and reline dentures as required by the patient, or referring practitioner. Your Dental Prosthetist will personally consult advice and assist you in all relevant aspects of your treatment and where necessary, provide you with appropriate treatment.

Will they save me time and money?

Yes, because a consultation with a Dental Prosthetist means you deal directly with the practitioner who will personally construct your dentures.

Can I choose my own Dental Dental Prosthetist and do I need a referral?

You may attend a Dental Prosthetist of your choice by direct consultation. A referral is not necessary or needed.

What are the benefits to me?

By direct consultation, your Dental Prosthetist will construct and fit dentures or sporting mouthguards.

Your Dental Prosthetist will maintain, repair and reline dentures as required by the patient, or refereeing practitioner.
They will personally consult advice and assist patients in all relevant aspects of their treatment, and where necessary provide referrals.

When should I make an appointment?

You should make an appointment if your present dentures are in excess of 5 years old, if they show excessive wear, or are ill fitting and cause discomfort.

You should also consult a Dental Prosthetist if you consider your facial features are lacking support.

Can I claim from a health fund?

Patients with private health insurance who have the appropriate benefits cover may claim generous rebates on fees paid to Dental Prosthetist.

Dental Prosthetist is also registered and licensed providers for patients coming under the administration of the veterans affairs Department and state Denture Scheme.

About your new dentures

What you can expect from your new dentures?

Artificial teeth are, at best, a substitute for healthy, natural teeth. If you have unfortunately lost some or all of your teeth, then a partial or full denture enables you to maintain a pleasing facial appearance, and will, in most cases satisfactorily assist you to chew your food.

At first you may find some difficulty getting used to dentures and initially have difficulty chewing some types of food. In time, you will overcome this and adjust to your new dentures.

With a lower denture there is a tendency at first for the tongue and lower jaw muscles to displace it. This can be prevented by implants being surgically placed in the lower jaw. Your Dental Prosthetist will advise you about this procedure.

What are dentures made of?

Denture teeth are made from acrylic or porcelain, specially selected for size, shape and colour to conform and harmonise with your facial characteristics.

A plastic or metal base holds together and supports these teeth on your gums.

How long should dentures last?

You should never consider your first set of dentures as your last. Many people believe their dentures should last forever, but this not so. Generally a denture should be reviewed every two years for remodelling/relining or replacement.

Apart from being worn down by continual use, the supporting tissue is actually changing. Even when your dentures feel quite comfortable, they should be inspected regularly to ensure no permanent damage is being done to the mouth.

If ever a sore or growth is discovered, you should immediately seek advice. These areas may be quite harmless and may only require minor adjustment to the denture, but only a professional can evaluate and rectify the situation.

Denture Care

How do I take care of my new dentures?

Dentures can be broken whilst being cleaned- it is so easy to prevent this from happening. When cleaning your dentures, place a towel or face washer in the basin so that if the denture slips from your hand, the towel will cushion the fall. Dentures should never be cleaned in the shower.

The lower denture is fragile and should not be held in the palm of the hand as you could break it if you squeeze it too hard. Hold it with two fingers and the thumb.

Cleaning the denture with bleach can cause discolouring and unnatural looking teeth. Some stains may require professional cleaning. Abrasive cleaners and hard brushes can also cause unnecessary wear and tear on the plastic base resulting in the dentures becoming loose.

Your Dental Prosthetist is the best person to advise you cleaning and maintaining your dentures.

Should dentures be worn overnight?

This is totally your choice but it is recommended that you leave your dentures out at night, if you find that your jaws or the muscles of your face ache but over closing your jaws without the dentures- leave them in – on the other hand, if you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep- take them out as it will reduce the breakdown of your gums.

Should Partial Dentures be removed at night?

Partial dentures need as much attention as full dentures; usually more. The fit, care and hygiene of partial dentures are very important to your remaining teeth. Partial dentures can trap food which will cause decay in your natural teeth.

You should always remove your denture after eating and brush them and your own teeth well, if the partial denture is a poor fit, it can severely damage the gums supporting your natural teeth. A poor fit can cause bleeding, soreness and swelling of the gums, and consequently you should seek further attention.

Denture Problems

What are some of the problems that may be associated with poorly fitting dentures?

Sometimes, when too much shrinkage occurs in the gums supporting your dentures, or dentures are worn down, the lower jaw can move out of its proper relationship with the upper jaw. This can sometimes lead to a number of problems, other symptoms which may occur include:

  • Cracked and continually sore corners of the mouth.
  • A dull pain in, or about the ear.
  • Impaired hearing.
  • A stuffy or stopping sensation in the ears, continuous, or with intervals of improvement.
  • A clicking or snapping noise when chewing.
  • Mild or severe dizziness.
  • Headache.
  • A burning sensation in the throat, tongue, and side of the nose.

When dentures are first inserted they fit the gums snugly. But as the gums shrink, may people unwisely resort to adhesive and self-liners from the pharmacy. These do-it-yourself kits can result in a rapid breakdown of the gums and can lead to complications.

There is no substitute for a well fitting denture, and to make sure you have no problems, always have yours checked regularly by your Dental Prosthetist.