Are dentures comfortable?

Man on couch wearing comfortable dentures

Ask any denture wearer what is the most important feature of your denture? and the most common response is - comfort. While not the same as your natural teeth, dentures are specifically designed to be comfortable as well as functional. Without comfort, you can’t enjoy important aspects of your life, like enjoying your food. If your denture is comfortable, you forget you’re wearing one. Comfort comes before how good your denture makes you look, the confidence it gives you, or how it allows you to eat, speak, smile and laugh confidently, or even how it protects your health. Indeed, a comfortable denture is fundamental to enjoying a life close to, or even better than the one you had with natural teeth.

Why is denture comfort important?

Let’s think about shoes for a moment. Yes, I know it’s a long way from dentures but bear with me, it’s a useful analogy. So, imagine you purchase a new pair of shoes. They make your heart sing, and they looked great when you tried them on in the store. You anticipate how good you will feel wearing them out. Except, you get them home and … they hurt! All the wonderful things about them like the confidence they give you and the way they look, mean nothing if you can’t wear them. Perhaps you persist and wear them anyway. The thought of how much those shoes cost makes your eyes water. The resulting sore feet, blisters, and agony with every step, is evident in your tortured grimace. As if it’s not painful enough to look at your diminished bank balance, you must also endure the hurt and discomfort the shoes caused. Now, back to your denture. Can you see how crucial it is to get the all-important aspect of comfort right the first time?

Putting comfort first

Getting the comfort of your denture right the first time involves some work on your part, and it has a lot to do with making the right choices. But you’re not on your own. Your dental prosthetist will be a valuable ally in this most important quest. So, the first choice you must make in pursuit of a comfortable denture is to choose the right dental prosthetist for you. In your search for a dental prosthetist, you might consider adding the following qualities to your list:

  • Someone you can easily communicate with.
  • Must be a good listener and work in collaboration with you.
  • Must be able to work within your budget.
  • Must be able to adjust or repair your denture within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Proximity to home.

Since all Australian dental prosthetists undergo professional training and are overseen by the Dental Board of Australia (DBA) under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), choosing one that suits is more of an exercise in finding a personal fit for you.

What is so unique about each denture patient?

A denture isn’t ‘a one size fits all’ exercise. There simply is no such thing because each denture wearer brings with them a unique set of circumstances including clinical, medical, financial, as well as personal expectations. Your dental prosthetist is equipped to weigh-up all these elements and present the best options tailored especially for you. Having decided on what you would like in terms of the type of denture, and what you are able to afford, your dental prosthetist is happy to discuss whether your choices suit your clinical and medical needs if you have any.

What are my choices?

Producing a comfortable denture for their patient is ultimately what every prosthetist strives to achieve. Nothing quite makes their eyes light up as a patient telling them how comfortable their denture is. With evolving dental technology and new improved methods, this has never been more achievable. While you can easily make a choice on a denture’s aesthetic qualities and how much it costs, you will rely on your prosthetist to deliver the crucial element of comfort. Remember, unlike a pair of shoes, you will have your denture for many years and wear it most of your waking hours. The financial investment you make in your denture is really an investment in your quality of life. Short term budget pain can’t be compared to long term comfort when considering which denture to choose. See here for the pros and cons of a range of denture options.

What can I do to ensure my new denture is comfortable?

You’ve heard the old cliché about Rome not being built in a day? Well, the same principle can be applied to the process of getting a comfortable denture. If you are new to dentures and had teeth extracted, then you must expect a period of healing and adjustment as the swelling subsides and your gums shrink. You may have been fitted with an immediate or temporary denture which will need replacing once the healing has finally taken place. These dentures have a life of about 18 – 24 months. Alternatively, you may have opted to wait the months it takes for this healing process to finish before getting a permanent denture. These waiting times will not apply if you are replacing an existing denture, although your prosthetist may sometimes make adjustments as your mouth conforms to the new teeth. Having patience and confidence in the process which ever route you’ve chosen, will save unnecessary angst.

How can I restore my denture’s comfort?

Perhaps you’ve had your denture for a long time. You and your denture have become so familiar, you’ve barely registered the changes taking place as you both age. That is until your denture becomes loose or causes you discomfort, or when it no longer adequately supports your changing facial structure, prematurely ageing your appearance. Nothing lasts forever, not even a good denture. If you have been attending your denture clinic regularly for check-ups your prosthetist will have warned you the time for a new denture is approaching. In the meantime, they will have ensured proper maintenance has prolonged the denture’s life. These measures to ensure your denture remains comfortable throughout its lifetime include denture relines.

Hard and soft denture relines

Denture relines are a way of restoring the snug fit you enjoyed when your dentures were new. A lining is applied to the underside of your denture where it contacts with your gums and jaw. The aim is to closely conform to your changed oral topography eliminating any gaps or spaces which have developed between your mouth and the denture, which may compromise suction or cause friction when eating. For those patients unable to tolerate a firm denture surface because of sensitivities or sore spots, a softer, more pliable lining is applied for a cushioning effect. Soft liners can be applied to new or existing dentures. Soft liners offer comfort and relief to patients chronically sensitive to biting and chewing pressures for various clinical or medical reasons.

Are partial dentures comfortable?

Partial dentures are designed to replace one or a few missing teeth. Partial dentures can be easier on the budget, quicker to get used to, and less likely to cause discomfort. Because of their reduced size compared to full dentures, they have less contact with oral tissues therefore are less likely to cause rubbing or friction. Patients often choose flexible dentures for their lightweight, thin profile in the mouth. Similarly, metal partial dentures are lighter and thinner to wear than the slightly bulkier acrylic partial dentures.

Maintaining your denture’s comfort

Regular maintenance is essential to preserving your denture’s comfort. Cleaning your denture twice a day with a soft brush and soaking each night will keep your denture hygienic and bacteria free. Damage to the delicate surface of a denture can harbour harmful bacteria causing painful inflammation or fungi colonisations like candida albicans. Having regular checks with your prosthetist ensures your denture’s continuing close fit and therefore comfort, prolonging your denture’s longevity, and protecting your investment by implementing small repairs before larger ones are necessary.

A final word - are dentures comfortable?

Comfort is foremost in every denture wearer’s mind. Without it, life can be grim. Thankfully, given today’s dental technology and advanced methodology, getting a comfortable, well-functioning denture is easier than ever before. Having a good working relationship with your dental prosthetist is essential, especially through the adjustment period of a new denture. Unlike those beautiful new shoes you threw in the back of your cupboard because they tortured your feet, an uncomfortable denture can be modified or adjusted to ensure you get the comfort you deserve.

Northern Rivers Denture Clinic is located in the heart of Tweed Heads, southern Gold Coast. Finally have the smile you deserve with handcrafted, quality dentures.

Call (07) 5536 4241

Free 30-minute Consultation

We believe in informed decisions. That's why we offer free 30-minute consultations to all our patients, new and existing. During this no-pressure appointment, we'll discuss your denture needs and goals, provide a personalised treatment plan and clear cost estimate, with no obligation to proceed. We want you to feel comfortable and empowered.