Dentures are a removable dental appliance and a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
Dentures can be made to completely or partially replace teeth. Complete sets are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial set not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A complete denture can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum and bone tissues have completely healed and remodeled (this usually takes 6 months). These are usually made as a replacement set for an old and worn-out denture. Immediate set is made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made. Soft and hard relines also help to ensure a well-adapted and comfortable fit.
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 denture sets:
- Complete set - Loss of all teeth in an arch
- Partial set - Loss of several teeth in an arch
- Enhancing smile and facial tissues
- Improving chewing, speech, and digestion
What is involved?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over a period of 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. There is always an adjustment period with a new denture, especially with immediate 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.
Implants can also be used to add stability to a complete or partial denture: