A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and can often enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it can also prevent other teeth from shifting.
A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional full denture is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking several months. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Healing time varies from patient to patient, and will be evaluated by your dentist during the healing phase.
An Immediate denture is a denture that is placed at the extraction appointment therefore allowing the patient to socially function without the embarrassment of having missing or no teeth.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. Always brush them to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. After they have been removed you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don't drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself as you could cause permanent damage. Always see your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose. Your dentist can adjust them properly.
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, 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.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.