A denture is 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.
There are two types of dentures – partial and complete dentures.
A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting. It is often constructed of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal and it is a cost-effective alternative to a fixed bridge.
Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A complete denture can be either “conventional” or “immediate.”
Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed (usually takes 4 to 6 weeks). During this time, some patients may choose to go without teeth.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, which provides an option for those patients that don’t want to go without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments 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 and tear.
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over a period of several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (moulds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, colour, 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.