What Are Dentures?
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. Dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth. Even though there hasn’t been any significant technological advance in dentures, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than before.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Your dentist will help you choose the type of denture that’s best for you based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and the cost involved.
How Do Dentures Work?
With full dentures, a gum-coloured acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.
Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. Your dentist will determine which of the three types of dentures described below is best for you.
Conventional Full Denture
A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth. This is the best technique.
Immediate Full Denture
An immediate full denture is inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. (Your dentist takes measurements and makes models of your jaw during a prior visit.) While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be rebased several months after being inserted. The reason is that the bone supporting the teeth shrinks away as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.
A partial denture rests on a metal/plastic framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for this denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.