What are dentures?
Dentures are artificial replacements for your natural teeth and gums. There are many reasons for a lack of teeth including involvement in an accident, cavities, infection, gum disease, or genetically missing teeth. If this is the case, we may suggest dentures to replace these missing teeth. If your case is especially challenging, you may be referred to a denture-specialist called a prosthodontist to make your dentures. There are two main types of dentures: partial and complete. For both types of dentures we make a model of your teeth by taking impressions. The models are used to custom-make your dentures in a lab facility, and are returned to us for insertion when they are ready. They can cause soreness at first and take some time to get used to. We often need a few appointments after insertion, to adjust your bite and any sore spots. All dentures should be taken out at night to allow the tissues and gums to breathe.
Types of Dentures
1. Full/Complete Denture
Complete dentures are used when all of your natural teeth are missing on the top or bottom jaw. They are removable, and are basically held in place by suction.
2. Partial Denture
Partial dentures are used to replace teeth, when there are still a few teeth left in the jaw. They may be used when nearby teeth are not strong enough to hold a bridge, or when more than just a few teeth are missing. Partial dentures are made up of one or more artificial teeth held in place by metal clasps that fit onto nearby natural teeth.
3. Implant Overdenture
If you are having trouble with your complete or partial dentures, we may suggest implant overdentures. An overdenture is a removable denture that snaps in over dental implants. Implants are placed into the jaw bone by an oral surgeon specialist, and once the bone around them has healed we can fit a new denture to snap in on top of them. You can snap them in and out as needed to clean, and these are taken out at nightime. The implants themselves are not removable from the bone.
Conventional Denture vs. Immediate Denture
A conventional denture is one that replaces teeth that have been missing for some time. The gum and bone surrounding these missing teeth are completely healed, and will not change shape in a short period of time. An immediate denture is one that is inserted on the same day that the teeth it is replacing are removed. It must be worn for a few days without removal, otherwise the tissues may swell and prevent it from going back in. We will see you back in a few days to remove, and check for sore spots and to adjust your bite. An immediate denture must be relined a few months after insertion, to add acrylic where the bone has now receded with healing. Without a reline, an immediate denture can become loose and uncomfortable.