A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding gum tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all 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 also prevents other teeth from shifting into the empty space.
A complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, the patient will be without any teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be 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.
The process of getting dentures requires multiple appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom dentures. 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 difficulties, 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, maintaining good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.