A denture is a removable dental replacement for missing teeth and nearby tissue. They are made to directly resemble your natural teeth and enhance your smile.
There are three types of dentures:
- Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing.
- Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture prevents other teeth from shifting and fills in the spaces created by missing teeth.
- Hybrid dentures are used when all or most of the teeth are missing on the upper or lower jaw. They are useful when a lot of bone is lost and someone is having a hard time wearing a denture. Hybrid dentures consists of a metal frame screwed onto implants with teeth and pink plastic added to simulate teeth and gums. This type of prosthesis does not come out. It is a fixed option for replacing teeth. The appliance can only be removed by a prosthodontist by accessing and removing the screws.
A complete denture may be either conventional or immediate:
- A conventional denture is produced after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking up to 6 to 9 months. During this period the individual will go without teeth.
- Immediate dentures are made before the teeth are extracted and immediately placed when the teeth are removed, preventing you from having to be without teeth throughout the healing process. Once the tissues have healed, adjustments will need to be made. Sometimes this immediate denture can be relined after adequate healing. This would be done if the patient is satisfied with all aspects of the denture. The reline simply makes it fit well against the remodeled tissues.
Dentures are used for:
- Loss of all teeth (complete denture)
- Loss of several teeth (partial denture)
- Smile and facial tissue enhancement
- Chewing, speech and digestion improvement
The course of getting dentures requires several appointments over several weeks. Impressions and measurements are made and used to create your custom denture. Several appointments are necessary to ensure proper shape, color and fit. At the final appointment, your prosthodontist will adjust and place the completed denture, providing an expected and comfortable fit.
Your prosthodontist will provide care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will help enhance the life of your new dentures.