A denture—or a “complete denture” as it is often called—is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces all of the natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
Modern dentures are designed to be comfortable, as well as perform the functions of natural teeth. It will take a few dental visits to fabricate the denture but it is a small price to pay for renewed confidence in chewing and talking.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways:
• A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
• An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
The denture teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination thereof. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal and to continue fitting properly. The alignment will slowly change as the bony ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. With loss of a considerable amount of weight and with the aging process, the fit of a complete denture may change and loosen.
Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.
Removable partial dentures replace missing teeth and anchor to remaining natural teeth. Usually, the replacement teeth are set in tissue colored acrylic bases.
Depending on your needs, we will work with the lab to design a partial denture for you. Crowns on your natural teeth are sometimes needed to improve the fit of a removable partial denture.
The partial denture may have a metal framework and clasps that connect to your natural teeth. These clasps help to keep the partial seated in your mouth. Today, there are newer materials used to fabricate partial dentures, some with tooth-colored clasps and some with flexible acrylic. If you are missing several teeth, partial dentures can be an option to replace teeth and provide you with more surface area to chew and function.