Dentures are removable prosthesis that replace missing teeth. A complete or full denture replaces the natural teeth and provides support for cheeks and lips. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person appear older and reduce their ability to eat and speak.
Dentures do take some time to get used to and don’t restore the same feeling that the lost natural teeth previously gave, however technology is constantly improving and nowadays dentures are much more comfortable and natural looking.
There is a tissue-coloured base made from acrylic which fits over your gums. The upper denture base will include a palate covering incorporated into the base and the lower denture has space to accommodate your tongue. The replacement teeth sit in harmony, restoring chewing, speaking and swallowing functions, as well as increasing facial aesthetics.
If you have missing teeth, a denture can replace all those missing teeth or even replace just a few missing teeth.
With dentures there is an issue with fit. Over time the tissues in the mouth holding the dentures changes, meaning that the denture doesn’t fit as well as it used to. There are however new materials being used for dentures and new technologies which are constantly improving the way dentures fit.
A full denture will replace all the teeth in the mouth. Once the teeth have been removed there is a couple months of waiting to allow the tissues to heal. After this period is over the denture can be made.
An immediate full denture is inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. This means that you have something to wear whilst the tissue is healing. These dentures are only a short term solution as they need to be adapted often to ensure an adequate fit. The reason for this is that during the healing period after tooth removal, the bone and tissue reshapes. Therefore if the denture is not re-adapted it will become loose.
A partial denture replaces missing teeth by attaching to your remaining natural teeth. This is a removable alternative to bridges.
New dentures may feel uncomfortable for the first few weeks or months. Learning how to eat and speak with the dentures may take some practice and they often feel bulky or loose while the cheek and tongue muscles adapt to them. Visit your dentist to discuss the possible solutions for this.
Dentures need to be looked after correctly. If you do this then there is a good chance that your dentures will last a long time. It is important however to see you dentist regularly for a checkup because over time your mouth naturally changes and this can cause your denture to loosen and become uncomfortable. Your dentures may then require a relining, rebasing or they may need to be remade.