Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are fitted to the mouth to replace the lost or removed natural teeth. Commonly known as false teeth, they are custom designed by a dentist to visually match your existing teeth. Dentures can either be full or partial meaning they can either replace one tooth, several or all of your teeth. They fit snugly over the gums and act as prosthesis for missing teeth by eliminating the gaps.
Well, that’s not all! Dentists play a much broader role than replacing the missing teeth. Properly fitted dentures can help improve speech allowing you to pronounce common words and sounds properly. They also enhance eating capabilities and rejuvenate your smile.
What materials are they made of?
Unlike the earlier times when dentures were made of plastic or porcelain, modern dentures are made from resin and are more durable. Are you wondering what’s the difference? Traditional porcelain dentures are vulnerable to cracks and can easily break if accidently dropped on the floor which makes them less durable and less ideal for longer term use. Also they cause excessive wear on natural teeth if they bite against them.Thanks to the modern technologies in dentistry there have been considerable advances in the materials used to make dentures. Today dentures are generally designed using hard resin which makes teeth more durable and natural looking. More recently, acrylic resin has become the preferred material for denture teeth. This is because acrylic dentures can be affixed more securely to the denture base. Also it is easier for the dentist to adjust them in the patient’s mouth to achieve the correct occlusion.
Why and when you should wear dentures?
If you have a few or multiple missing teeth, Dentures can replace the missing teeth and improve the appearance of a smile. When they are anchored to the gums or remaining teeth, they restore the structure of the mouth and allow you to bite and chew all foods. Regardless of the type you need, dentures are the perfect replicas for missing teeth. As they provide the desired facial support and correct the smile, they greatly help boost self confidence. By correcting the gaps between the missing teeth, dentures also help improve your speech. Last but not the least, dentures not only save people from discomfort and embarrassment associated with missing teeth, they are ideal for replacing teeth that are causing significant mouth and facial pain and leading to oral health issues. Hence, undoubtedly, dentures are an important contributor to overall oral health.
Below are the most common types of dentures for replacing the missing teeth.
Types of dentures
Complete dentures are full coverage oral prosthetic devices that are used for patients who are missing all of their teeth. Also known as full dentures, complete dentures are used after the faulty teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal. Designed and fabricated by an experienced dentist to fit over root canaled teeth properly, complete denture is a conventional form of denture which helps replace a complete arch of missing teeth. In general, the dentist places the complete dentures after about eight to 12 weeks following the tooth extraction. Complete dentures are usually of the removable type but you can also get them installed permanently with the help of your dentist.
Partial dentures are ideal for people who are missing one or more natural teeth. Made of a resin base, they consist of one or more artificial teeth on it. As they help you function more normally while chewing and talking, they improve the quality of life. Once placed, they are held in the mouth by metal clasps and the pink-colored base. Partial dentures not only fill in the gaps created by missing teeth, but prevent other teeth from changing position. As they closely resemble natural teeth and gums, they help improve the look of your smile. Depending on your requirements, you can choose between removable partial dentures and fixed bridges.
An immediate denture is a complete denture or partial denture which is placed in your mouth on the same day of the teeth extraction. As they are placed immediately after extraction, they save you from embarrassment in public without teeth. To analyse the form and size of your remaining natural teeth, he first takes an impression of the patient’s mouth before the teeth are extracted and then begins preparing immediate dentures that match the shape, color and arrangement of your natural teeth. Besides providing a certain amount of esthetics for the patient and improving natural facial expressions, immediate dentures protect the tissues and reduce bleeding after the tooth extraction. Once the healing has occurred after approx 6 -7 months post extraction, they will have to be rebased or redesigned.
How to clean and maintain your dentures
Wearing dentures at night can put pressure on your gums and the bones underneath. Hence, it is advisable to always remove your dentures before sleeping to give your gums some time to relax and avoid damage to the mouth and gums. To clean and disinfect your dentures, submerge them fully in warm, but not hot, water. Soak them only if your dentures do not have metal attachments. This is because solutions containing chlorine can tarnish and corrode the metal.