Natural looking replacements for teeth
Teeth may be need to be extracted for a variety of reasons such as decay, severe gum disease, trauma or heavy wear. Regardless of age, when many teeth are extracted a denture may have to be fitted to maintain normal chewing, bite, speech and appearance. Many people wear dentures which look natural, fit well and feel comfortable.
Types of Dentures:
- A partial denture is made to fill the space left when there are only a few missing teeth. Clasps are used to hold the denture in place by wrapping around nearby natural teeth.
- Full denture is needed when all the natural teeth are missing, it can be fitted to the upper or lower jaws.
- Immediate dentures can be used to avoid a period with a space which is left after a tooth is lost. Your dentist inserts the denture at the same appointment as the teeth are extracted.
- An over-denture is a denture that fits over the tops of remaining teeth, over tooth roots that have had root canal treatment or by attachment to dental implants.
Dentures can be made of acrylic, acrylic and metal or a special resin. Your dentist will be able to advised you about which material will suit you best.
To make a denture impressions are taken of the upper and lower dental arches as well as a record of your bite. These are sent to a dental laboratory where the denture is made according to the dentist’s specifications. This process may take multiple visits over a few weeks.
Over the first few weeks you will need to become accustomed to your denture as they may feel tight or uncomfortable, bulky in your mouth, your gums may feel sore, you may notice an increase in saliva, you may only be able softer foods and your speech may be affected but should improve.
After a few years your denture may feel loose and as if it is not fitting properly. This can be due to gum shrinkage and changes in the underlying jawbone over time. Your dentist can adjust the fit by placing an inner lining in the denture to ensure it feels more secure and comfortable.
Like your teeth, dentures need to be cleaned after each meal or at least twice a day. Remove them, rinse away food particles with water, use a denture brush and mild soap or denture-cleaning cream to carefully brush them until they appear clean. With a good regular care routine your dentures will maintain their appearance and last many years.