Why do I need to see my dentist if I wear dentures?

To check for oral cancer, to determine if they fit properly and to look for other conditions that you might not be aware of (cysts, tumors, growths) that are not cancerous but should still be accounted for and treated if neccesary.

This is an excellent question. People often think that since they don't have natural teeth, "what can go wrong."

Among the things that can go wrong are:
  • ridge resorption causing dentures to become loose 
  • dentures can wear, causing the bite to change and affect the TMJ
  • changes in oral mucosa that can be very serious
  • oral cancer
  • overgrowth of oral tissue due to ill-fitting dentures, making fabrication of new dentures difficult unless oral surgery is performed
I think this is enough to explain why regular dental examinations are important even if your natural teeth have been extracted and you wear dentures.
I prefer that my complete denture patients see me once a year. At this visit I check the dentures for proper fit and repair. We clean the dentures thoroughly in the laboratory with an ultrasonic cleaner and polish the surfaces with acrylic polish. Of course I make any adjustments, repairs or corrections to the dentures that are needed. Usually, dentures will need refitting or relining every five to seven years or sooner to properly stabilize them to the patient's shrinking jaws.

In addition to the above listed services: at this yearly visit, we update their health history, monitor their blood pressure and I perform a head and neck soft tissue examination for oral cancer and other changes that might not be apparent to the patient. Most importantly, I keep updated through photographs of all the grandchildren's adventures and the last vacation pictures!

I usually recommend that my patients who wear dentures see me once a year. This way, I can check the fit of their dentures, get them cleaned and also check their mouth for signs of infection or disease.

If you wear dentures, it's important to see your dentist regularly. Your dentist can check under your dentures and tongue, around your gums to look for infection, ulcers or other irregularities you might not see each day. Your dentist will give you recommendations on using dentures and problems you might encounter if they are ill-fitting. Also, if you have diabetes, you have a higher chance of oral health concerns than people who do not have diabetes. With diabetes, you have a higher risk of serious gum infections around any remaining natural teeth. Your dentist is the healthcare specialist who can look for warning signs of infection and start you on treatment when treatment is most effective.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.