A denture is a removable dental appliance to replace missing teeth and the surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. A denture helps you to properly chew food and can improve speech and prevent a sagging face by providing support for the cheeks and lips.
There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually 4-6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. On the other hand, immediate dentures are made in advance and placed at the same appointment that the teeth are removed, preventing the patient from having to go without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made to an immediate denture.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired or relined due to normal wear.
REASONS FOR DENTURES AND PARTIALS:
- Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.
- Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch.
- Enhancing smiles and facial tissues.
- Improving chewing, speech and digestion.
WHAT DOES GETTING DENTURES INVOLVE?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape color and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and deliver the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however, this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
Dentures can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance. Regular dentist examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change. You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will extend the life of your new dentures.