Dentures are removable dental appliances replacing missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures - full and partial dentures. Full 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 full denture is usually made in advance and immediately placed on the day the teeth are removed, thus allowing the patient to have their teeth right away. Once the tissues shrink and heal (after about 6 months), adjustments (called relines) will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for dentures:
Full Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch (often due to bone loss).
Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
Enhancing smile 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 place 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.
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 aid in the life of your new dentures.
Although dentures are a substitute for natural teeth, they do not have as good of retention as natural teeth nor the same chewing efficiency (about 90% LESS chewing efficiency). Careful consideration should be given to bone and tooth loss prevention in order to avoid this substitution. Fortunately, in cases, when dentures are the best choice, new advances in implant technology create new options to increase retention and chewing efficiency.