A Denture (also known as false teeth) is a custom-made removable replacement for multiple missing teeth. Full dentures replace most or all of your teeth, and partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth. Both types of dentures support facial muscles and lips, and keep them from sagging and receding which will make you look younger, improve speech, and improve your health by enabling you to eat properly.
Dentures are custom made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, full dentures can last 5-10 years. Over a period of time as your mouth naturally changes shape, dentures need to be relined, remade, or rebased. (Rebasing a denture means a new base is created utilizing the teeth on your current denture).
Full dentures may be prescribed by your Dentist if you have lost, or are about to lose, all of your teeth as a result of disease, decay, injury, or surgery.
Types of Dentures
There are two main types of full dentures, conventional and immediate:
- Conventional dentures are fabricated and placed in the patient's mouth after all or most teeth have been removed and tissues have healed. (If tooth extraction is required, several months of healing must take place before conventional dentures can be provided.) Conventional dentures can replace:
- All of your teeth on your upper arch, lower arch, or both.
- Most of your teeth. In this case, an over denture is fabricated to fit over one or more natural teeth or dental implants for support.
- Immediate dentures are inserted in the patient's mouth as soon as any remaining teeth are removed. With immediate dentures, the wearer has teeth to use during the healing period. Oftentimes, denture wearers switch to conventional dentures when their gums have shrunk after the healing period.
- It is common that some oral surgery may be required to prepare your mouth for full dentures. Sometimes teeth must be extracted or the bony ridge of your gum must be improved to provide your dentures with optimum stability.
- A putty-like material is used to make an impression of your arch. Your dentures will be fabricated based on this impression. Sometimes a try-in appointment is required to fine tune the tooth color, shape, and to customize the fit.
After a thorough exam of your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure, your Dentist will discuss treatment options with you and answer your questions. If the agreed-upon treatment includes dentures, here's what to expect:
Dentures and oral tissues must be checked annually. Damage to oral tissue can occur without any pain or other symptoms. Early detection and elimination of inflammation is important to minimize shrinkage of the supporting bone and tissues.