If you have missing teeth, a good option for replacing them is dentures. These are prosthetics that can be taken out and put back into the mouth. Although they require an adjustment period and never feel exactly the same as natural teeth, they do offer a good amount of functionality and improve the look of a smile. Today’s dentures are more natural-looking and comfortable than ever.
Types of Dentures
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. The type chosen depends on the number of teeth that need to be replaced as well as the cost involved. They are made in a dental laboratory using impressions taken of your mouth.
- Conventional full denture: These dentures consist of a flesh-colored acrylic base and fit over the gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (roof of the mouth) while the lower denture is horseshoe-shaped to allow room for the tongue. The denture is placed in the mouth after any remaining teeth have been removed and the tissues have completely healed.
- Immediate full denture: Immediate dentures are made using measurements and models of the jaw and are ready to be inserted immediately after the teeth have been removed. Although these eliminate the period of going without teeth as the gums are given time to heal, they do not fit as well as conventional dentures and must be relined after being inserted.
- Partial dentures: If some natural teeth still remain in the mouth, a partial denture can be used. It rests on a metal framework and attaches to the natural teeth. Crowns may be needed to serve as anchors. Partial dentures are a convenient alternative to bridges as they are removable.
Dentures do require an adjustment period as the mouth gets used to wearing a foreign object for long stretches of time and you get used to speaking and eating with them. Over time, dentures may need to be relined, remade, or rebased, but with proper care (daily cleaning and checkups), dentures should last for years.