If you have lost some or all of your teeth, whether from tooth decay, periodontal disease, or injury, partial/full dentures can replace your missing teeth and let you smile comfortably again! With improvements in dental implants (see Implants) and other techniques in recent years, removable dentures are not as common as they once were. However conventional removable partial or full dentures can still be a very effective solution for many people who suffer from complete or partial tooth loss. Your dental professional can evaluate which options for tooth replacement are available to you and answer your questions about risks and benefits.
Are there different kinds of dentures?
Yes there are – depending on how many teeth you have remaining and what the condition of your bone and gums are:
- A full denture replaces all of the teeth in either the upper or lower arch of your mouth and can be supported by implants.
- A partial denture is recommended when you still have some natural teeth remaining to anchor the denture to but a bridge or implant support is not an option.
The timing of the placement of a denture is also very important:
- A ‘conventional’ full/partial denture is made and fit after teeth are extracted and the gums and bones have healed. This usually requires a few visits for fittings over several weeks.
- ‘Immediate’ full/partial dentures can be placed immediately after the tooth removal so you do not have to be without teeth during the healing period however relining or rebasing of the denture may be required as the gums and bone shrink throughout the healing process.
- For more stability you can elect to have implants surgically placed to support your denture.
How Many Appointments Are Needed For A Denture?
Several appointments are usually necessary. We will discuss with you the estimated time required in order to make your new dentures and provide a proper fit throughout each step of fabrication. We take great care and pride in providing our denture patients with very high-quality, esthetically attractive, well-fitting and natural looking dentures (whichever type you choose).
What Special Care Do Dentures Require?
Denture success depends on a good fit, a well-made denture, and on following the advice of your dentist. Denture wearers gain confidence about how their dentures feel and look as they adjust to them over time. They usually learn to speak and eat more confidently than ever before. When you have dentures regular appointments with us and a good daily cleaning routine can help you lead a healthy and natural lifestyle. Even with the best of care however it may be necessary to have dentures relined or remade after several years. This is because the boney ridge in your mouth that the dentures rest on goes through natural changes over time causing the dentures to become loose and/or fit improperly.
Each morning and evening you should brush your gums, tongue and palate with a soft-bristled brush. This removes plaque and stimulates proper blood circulation in the tissues. A balanced diet is also very important. Your dentures are custom fit precisely to you and usually will not require the use of an adhesive unless there is not enough bone to support the denture. In an emergency, denture adhesives can be used to keep the dentures stable but prolonged use can mask infection and/or cause bone loss in the jaw. During your regular check-up appointments we will examine the denture and your mouth to determine if the denture still fits properly, identify sore spots and determine if repair and/or replacement is necessary.
How Long Should I Wear My Denture?
We provide detailed instructions about wearing and caring for your removable dentures. During the first few days you may be advised to wear your removable dentures most of the time even while you sleep. The muscles of your cheeks and tongue need to learn how to keep the denture in place. The new dentures may feel a bit loose and awkward for a few weeks and it is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. Two or more follow-up appointments with us are generally needed once you receive your denture. After the initial adjustment period and once you become accustomed to the denture you will be instructed to remove them before going to bed each night. This allows your gum tissues to rest and promotes good oral health.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
Over time dentures will need to be relined or completely replaced due to tissue changes and normal wear.
- Bone and gums can recede or shrink. This can also cause your jaw to align differently.
- Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause sores and infection.
If you are experiencing problems with the fit and comfort of your old dentures we can determine whether they need to be repaired or replaced. Regular dental check-ups will help identify these types of problems before they cause discomfort and affect your dental health.