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Two women are talking in a café, one is smiling with confidence, even though she is wearing dentures.

Frequently Asked Questions about Speaking with Dentures

2 minutes to read

Posted: Jul 16, 2021

Learning how to talk with new dentures has been compared to relearning how to walk. For years, you have been speaking a certain way based on the placement of your tongue, gums, and teeth, and now everything is different. The American College of Prosthodontists answers the most-asked speech-related questions below.

I am so nervous to get dentures because I’m worried about them falling out when I'm eating or speaking. Will my dentures fall out when speaking or when eating? How long can you keep them in? And do they have to come out at night when I sleep? 

Answer: The best starting point is to see your dentist or a prosthodontist—a specialist with an additional three years of training after dental school who focuses on the restoration and replacement of teeth, including dentures for even the most complex cases. There are options where you can have dental implants with secured bridges attached that will not come out. However, this usually requires the skills of a prosthodontist to have the best result. A prosthodontist also will be able to help determine if another treatment option might be more suited to your particular situation. A prosthodontist, is a dentist with three years of training beyond dental school who specializes in the care and maintenance of dentures. To find a prosthodontist near you, visit www.gotoapro.org. You should also remove your dentures at night to give your gums and bone a chance to relax from the pressure of the denture during the day. Dentures should be cleaned at night and stored in water during the night.  

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists. 

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I am 43 years old and considering dentures. I will need to have 20 teeth extracted and the immediate dentures put in, full upper and lower. I am worried and scared. First about the stereotype of what a person looks like without dentures. Also, I'm worried about people being able to tell, as well as how long it will take to heal. Are dentures noticeable? What is the healing process like? 

Answer: After teeth are extracted, the soft gum tissue often closes over and heals within 10 to 14 days. However, the final healing and changes within the underlying bone may continue for several months. You may notice that the shape of your gum tissues continue to change for weeks after teeth have been extracted—even though your gums appear healed. This could impact how well your dentures fit if you wear dentures or have new dentures fitted too soon after teeth are removed. The construction of dentures is a joint effort between you, your dentist or prosthodontist, and the laboratory technician. You should return to your dentist or prosthodontist and ask him/her to address your specific concerns. If he/she is unable to resolve the appearance of your new dentures, you should seek a second opinion and may consider the care of a prosthodontist. A prosthodontist is a dentist with three years of training beyond dental school who specializes in the esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth. To locate a prosthodontist near you, visit www.gotoapro.org

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists. 

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I am 31 and I need dentures very badly (I need my remaining teeth pulled). But I am so embarrassed to get them. I am scared of what they will look like and if they will look too big for me. How is the size of the dentures determined? 

Answer: You need to discuss the tooth selection with your dentist or prosthodontist prior to making the dentures. A wide selection of denture tooth shapes, sizes, and colors is available. Measurements are made to determine the correct tooth size for your mouth. Immediate dentures are placed the day your teeth are removed, and your own teeth can help determine the correct size and shape of the teeth in your dentures. When your dentist is making the molds for your dentures, talk to him or her about any changes you might want to make in the appearance of your smile. You may want to seek the care of a prosthodontist, a dental specialist with three years of additional training in the restoration and replacement of teeth, including dentures. To find a prosthodontist near you, visit www.gotoapro.org

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists. 

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I’m a small person and have small teeth. Will my dentures look natural? My concern is having a mouth full of teeth that I won’t be able to keep in place and that are too big. 

Answer: Whenever someone loses all of his/her teeth, the jawbones immediately begin to shrink and continue to change throughout the years. The changing bone affects the fit of the dentures and the appearance of your face. As the years pass, it becomes more difficult to make dentures that fully support your lips and restore the youthful contours of your face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your new dentures, you should discuss your concerns with the dentist who made them. The laboratory technician follows the dentist’s instructions; so, the first step is talking to the dentist. You might bring your old dentures with you so the dentist can compare the difference in your appearance with the new dentures versus the old ones. You may consider seeking the care of a prosthodontist, a dental specialist with three years of additional education after dental school who is trained to serve patients with a combination of needs, including dentures. To find a prosthodontist near you, visit www.gotoapro.org

Response provided by the American College of Prosthodontists. 

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