A denture is an appliance which replaces lost or missing teeth with artificial teeth. Dentures can be made of an acrylic or metal substructure with acrylic or porcelain teeth. Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing some of their teeth in a particular arch. Partial dentures contain several false teeth made of acrylic resin and other plastic materials. The plate or the base of the denture can be made of either an acrylic or metal framework that helps hold them in the mouth.
Complete dentures are made for patients who are missing all of the teeth. They can be either conventional or immediate dentures. Conventional dentures are usually placed in the mouth about 8-12 weeks after the teeth have been removed and the gums have healed.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and placed in the mouth as soon as the teeth are removed. Because of bone and gum shrinkage during the healing process, they require more appointments to adjust the fit of the denture than conventional dentures.
Advantages of dentures
- Replace missing teeth
- Improve chewing ability
- Provide a natural look of your teeth and your smile
- Improve self-esteem
- Improve pronunciation and speech
Disadvantages of dentures
- New dentures can cause sore spots in the mouth as they compress the soft tissues. This problem can be fixed with a few adjustments
- Less stable over time particularly in the lower jaw.
In order to make a denture we need to take an impression of the jaw and any remaining teeth using a special flexible material. The colour and shape of the artificial teeth and the relationship between the upper and lower jaws is determined. i.e. how they fit together