What are Dentures?

Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be removed and placed back into your mouth. While it can take a while to get used to dentures because they will never feel like a perfect replica as one’s natural teeth, today’s dentures are more natural looking and much more comfortable than ever.

Dentures come in two different types: full and partial. After making an appointment, your dentist will help you choose the best type of denture for you. They will base it on how many teeth need to be replaced and how much it will cost.

How Long Before I Get Used to My Dentures?

New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few weeks or even months. Eating and speaking with dentures might take a little practice. A bulky or loose feeling is not uncommon, while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold your dentures in place. Excessive saliva flow, a feeling that the tongue does not have adequate room, and minor irritation or soreness are also not unusual. If you experience irritation, see your dentist.

How Long do Dentures Last?

Over a period of time, your denture will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear. Rebasing means making a new base while keeping the existing denture teeth. Also, as you age, your mouth naturally changes. These changes cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. At a minimum, you should see your dentist annually for a checkup.

Types of Dentures

  • Conventional Full Denture
    A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth after all remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth.
  • Immediate Full Denture
    An immediate full denture is inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. A benefit of immediate dentures is that you never have to be without your teeth, but this means that they must be relined several months after being inserted. The reason for this is that the bone that supports your teeth will reshape while healing, which will cause the denture to become loose.
  • Partial Denture
    A partial denture sits on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Crowns may be placed on your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures provide a removable alternative to bridges.

How do Dentures Work?

With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base is placed over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the roof of your mouth, while the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.  Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from molds taken of your mouth. Your dentist will determine which of the three types of dentures described is best for you.

Dental Procedures