Dentures are removable prosthetic replacements for missing teeth and tissue or other oral structures. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. While dentures will never feel exactly the same as your natural teeth, they are natural looking and more comfortable than ever. Dentures can replace a complete arch of missing natural teeth, or if some natural teeth remain, can replace the missing teeth in a partial denture.
Conventional Complete Denture
A conventional complete denture is fabricated for your mouth when no natural teeth remain or after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed.
A partial denture is fabricated with a metal framework that has connectors that attach to your natural teeth. Sometimes special crowns are placed on your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures are a removable alternative to bridges and not only fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, but also prevent other teeth from shifting.
Immediate Complete or Partial Denture
An immediate or temporary complete or partial denture is inserted immediately after any remaining teeth are removed. These prostheses are fabricated prior to removal of the teeth from measurements and models of your mouth. Immediate dentures offer the benefit of replacing missing teeth during the healing period. They will be relined several times in the weeks after being inserted. This is because the bone and soft tissue that once supported the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose. Once the bone and tissues have healed sufficiently, usually about 4 to 6 months, a conventional complete denture should be fabricated.
What To Expect
The process of fabricating dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Detailed and accurate impressions, along with measurements to determine the size and shape of teeth, are made and used to fabricate your custom dentures. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. Dentures are processed in a dental laboratory from the impressions and measurements taken of your mouth. At the delivery appointment, we will adjust and place the completed denture. Usually, a few appointments are required after delivery to make final adjustments.
New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable it is not uncommon to experience increased saliva flow, soreness, and speech and chewing difficulty. This will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
Over time, your denture will need to be adjusted, relined, rebased or remade. As time progresses, your mouth continues to change. These changes can cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing more difficult and irritating your gums.
Dentures are fairly durable, lasting many years. You will be given care instructions for your new dentures at the delivery appointment. Along with proper cleaning of your dentures, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures. At a minimum, you should see your dentist annually for a checkup.