Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth, typically made out of an acrylic resin, and sometimes incorporating porcelain or metal for additional structural support. The two main types of dentures, Complete and Partial Dentures, are finely crafted and custom-fitted to your mouth.
Properly maintained, dentures appear natural and can help strengthen the muscles controlling facial expressions, alleviating pronunciation problems caused by missing teeth and aiding with chewing. If you’ve lost, or are losing, all of your teeth, a Complete Denture may be the solution for you. If some of your teeth remain and are healthy, a Partial denture may be your path to a great smile.
The major difference between dentures and other forms of tooth replacement is that they can be taken out at any time and put back in again. If you’re looking at this option, it will help to know more about dentures before going ahead.
What are dentures?
Dentures are custom-made artificial tooth replacements and are used when you have lost most or all of your adult teeth.
Bottom jaw dentures sit over your gums and are shaped like a horseshoe. Upper jaw dentures will also sit tight against your gums, but will also have a cover across the roof of your mouth on the palate to help them stay in place.
As well as replacing your teeth and making it easier to speak, eat and smile, dentures also help to maintain your appearance. This is because without teeth, the muscles in your cheeks can sag and leave a ‘hollow’ look.
Types of dentures
Dentures can be full or partial, immediate or conventional.
Full dentures simply mean that you will get a complete row of artificial teeth. If you only need a handful of teeth replaced, you can opt for partial dentures instead.
Should you get immediate dentures, it means you have impressions taken of your mouth as soon as you have lost your last teeth or had them removed. You will receive a denture straight away, which means you won’t spend any time without teeth. However, it also means you’ll need to have the dentures relined after a few months as your jaw and gums heal and change shape.
In the case of conventional dentures, there will be a waiting period of a few months after you’ve lost your final teeth to allow your gums to heal and settle into their new shape. After this time, your dentist will take impressions and have the dentures custom-made so that they fit perfectly.
All types of dentures will take some getting used to as your muscles learn how to hold them in place, and as you learn to speak and eat while wearing them. If you have further questions about dentures, don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist.