What are Dentures?
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Complete / Full Dentures
Complete dentures can be either "conventional" or "immediate." Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-coloured plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position.
A partial denture is a removable appliance replacing one or more missing natural teeth. It is supported by the natural remaining teeth and gums. It replaces what is lost and preserves what is left.
Basically removable partial dentures come in two types - an acrylic or metal base. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The type suited to your particular requirements can be assessed in consultation with our dentist.
A partial denture offers improved appearance and function. It helps maintain the remaining natural teeth, improves the restores appearance, speech and certainly the ability to chew.
DENTURE REPAIRS & ADDITIONS
If a partial denture requires repairing, never attempt to repair it yourself, or use household adhesives. Always contact our dentist as the type of repair required may vary greatly. The stress of chewing puts enormous pressure on the teeth and denture base. If natural teeth are subsequently lost or extracted, it is normally possible to add additional artificial teeth to your partial denture, as a temporary measure.
Metal or chrome alloy dentures have superior physical properties and generally occupy less space in the mouth than acrylic dentures. They are stronger, have a greater resistance to fatigue and are less likely to break under normal conditions. Many wearers claim they also allow for the ability to enjoy the flavours of food and drink better than with an acrylic denture.
Acrylic or plastic base dentures are a quicker solution for temporary dentures. They can be used for almost all cases, but they are not necessarily the best for the majority of cases. They are a light weight and easier material to repair, but are weaker and can fracture more easily due to the forces of chewing, therefore they generally require a thicker and more extensive coverage, making the denture more bulky by design.
ARE THERE ANY ALTERNATIVES TO DENTURES?
Yes, dental implants can be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost is substantially greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Consult your dentist for advice.
DOES INSURANCE COVER THE COSTS OF DENTURES?
Most dental insurance providers cover some or all of the cost of dentures. However, contact your company to find out the specifics of what they will cover.
WHAT DO NEW DENTURES FEEL LIKE ?
New dentures may feel a little odd or loose for a few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you get comfortable inserting and removing them. Also, it is not unusual for minor irritation or soreness to occur and for saliva flow to increase when you first start wearing dentures, but these problems will diminish as your mouth adjusts to the new denture.
WILL DENTURES MAKE ME LOOK DIFFERENT?
Dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may can improve your smile and fill out your facial appearance, often making you appear younger!
Even though dentures are fabricated from extremely durable materials, they will break, wear out, a tooth will come out, or their fit will change. Then it’s time for denture repair.
Accidents happen and for some strange reason dogs, like to chew on plates of the dental kind! In fact, it is frequently not a matter of "if," but rather a matter of "when" a denture will become broken, lost, or damaged.
You can be assured that a problem will happen when least expected, and immediate, usually important, plans definitely will be altered unless a person is prepared.
Planned Periodic Maintenance
All dentures need to be periodically relined to accommodate the constant change in shape of a person's jaws. There are also times when the plastic body of a denture needs to be changed due to deterioration, or the entire denture replaced because of wear or poor fit from changing mouth conditions that can no longer be remedied by relining.
While relines can be completed in a one appointment office visit, more durable relines may require that a dentist keep a denture for several days. Replacing the plastic body of a denture (called a rebase) takes a few days and making a replacement denture takes several weeks.