Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and reinserted into the mouth. Depending on each individual patient, a full or partial denture may be needed. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth while partial dentures only cover a certain area.
There are two types of full dentures:
- Conventional Full Dentures – All the teeth are removed and the tissue is given time to heal before the dentures are placed. The healing process takes a few months and the patient will be without teeth for the duration.
- Immediate Full Dentures – Prior to removing teeth, the dentist takes measurements and has dentures fitted for the patient’s mouth. The denture is placed immediately after removing the teeth. The benefit is that the patient will not have to spend any time without teeth. However, follow-up visits are needed to refit the dentures as the mouth heals and the jaw bone changes shape. After the jaw bone fully heals, the denture will need to be tightened.
Partial dentures are used when not all of the teeth require removal. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture and can be removed.
Dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base is placed over the gums. It might feel bulky or crowded inside the mouth. On the other hand, the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and speak for a short period of time. Over time, your mouth become will become accustomed to eating and speaking with your denture. It will feel more and more like your natural teeth.
Dentures should be cared for like real teeth. Brush the dentures to remove plaque and food particles before removing. After they have been removed, dentures should be placed directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them and do not adjust dentures yourself. Always consult your dentist with any concerns regarding your dentures.
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