Dentures are artificial replacements for your natural teeth and can be removed and placed back into your mouth whenever you need them. If an accident, a disease or poor oral health care has left you with only a few healthy teeth or none at all, your dentist or prosthodontist might suggest dentures to replace your missing teeth. Depending on the patient's case, they may need full or partial dentures. For both types of dentures your dentist or specialist makes a model of your teeth by taking impressions. The models are used to custom-make your dentures.
Complete dentures are designed to replace the teeth in an entire arch when all the teeth are missing. You can have them fitted for your top or bottom gum line, and are held in place by suction and/or the help of an oral adhesive. Just like partial dentures, they are easily removable. There are two types of complete dentures:
Conventional Full Dentures are when all teeth have been removed and the tissue has been given time to heal before the dentures are placed. It could take a few months for the gum tissue to heal completely, and during this time you will be completely without teeth.
Immediate Full Dentures are when the teeth are still in your mouth. The dentist will take measurements and has dentures fitted for your mouth. When your teeth are removed, the dentures are immediately placed in your mouth. The benefit of immediate full dentures is that you will not need to spend time without any teeth. However, you will need to make follow-up appointments to refit your dentures as your jaw will change shape as your mouth heals. The denture will need to be tightened as your jaw bone heals.
Partial dentures are often used instead of other tooth replacement methods when the surrounding natural teeth are not strong enough to support structures such as dental bridges, or when more than one or two teeth are missing. It is similar to a bridge, differing only that it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth like a bridge.
Complete and partial dentures can provide patients with a functional replacement when teeth have been lost.
Complete dentures consist of an acrylic base to imitate gum tissue, and the teeth can be made of acrylic or porcelain. The denture base is made to closely fit the contours of the arch to ensure the denture is stable during normal oral functions such as eating, speaking, or swallowing.
Partial dentures can be made with a metal framework and teeth attached in the areas where the teeth are missing. The metal framework also has clasps or arms that extend out and fit around some of the existing teeth. The combination of the framework and the arms that wrap around some of the teeth keep the partial denture stable during normal oral functions.
An implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to implants. A regular denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants. An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn't have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants.
How to clean Dentures
Regardless of what kind of dentures you may have, all dentures need to be cleaned daily, just like regular teeth. Even though dentures are made up of artificial teeth, bacteria, plaque, and tartar still build up on them and can harm existing teeth and gums. To clean your dentures, take them out of your mouth and run clean water over them to dislodge any food particles that may be stuck between teeth, along the gum line, or underneath the structure. Then brush the dentures all over with a denture brush or very soft toothbrush using a mild soap or denture cleaner. While your dentures are out of your mouth, be sure to clean your gums and any natural teeth as well.
After the Procedure
Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don't have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it is much better than the alternative of not having teeth.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should 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. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose.
Our knowledgeable dentists will provide all necessary information for patient education, helping you to understand if this is the right choice for you.
Grand River Dental in Kitchener offers both complete and partial dentures. If you are missing teeth, we encourage you to book a consultation and see if dentures are the right option for you. Please call us at (519) 896-2669
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