Dentures are the most common and affordable way of replacing several missing teeth. There are two types of dentures: partial dentures (used when several but not all teeth are missing) and full dentures (used when all teeth are absent). Dentures can be costly, however they help improve one’s ability to bite, chew, speak and smile with confidence thereby making them a important investment.
Dentures can be initially inserted into the mouth in two different instances:
An immediate denture is a denture that is inserted into the mouth immediately following one or more tooth extractions. If dentures are required, many patients will opt for an immediate denture because they will not have to go without teeth for any period of time. Immediate dentures are fabricated before teeth are extracted allowing them to be placed the same day of extraction. One drawback of having immediate dentures as opposed to conventional dentures is the amount of adjustments that are required to maintain an accurate fit. This is because the tissue and bone surrounding the extraction site will take time to heal. During the healing process the shape of the tissue and bone will change slightly; the denture must be adjusted to accommodate these changes in the mouth otherwise it will not fit correctly.
Conventional dentures, on the other hand, are initially inserted into the mouth months after teeth have been extracted. The time between extraction and denture insertion allows for the tissue and bone surrounding the extraction site to heal. Once the bone and tissue have healed, minimal changes will occur to the shape of the mouth and jaw reducing the amount of required denture adjustments. One drawback of having conventional dentures as opposed to immediate dentures is the amount of time one must endure without teeth. This can be problematic to people who are self conscious about how their smile looks.
A partial denture, also referred to as a partial, is used to replace several missing teeth. Partials can also be used to replace just one missing tooth; there are other treatment options to replace an individual tooth, such as a bridge or implant, which prove more beneficial in these types of cases. Partials are comprised of one or more artificial teeth that rest on a “plate” which consists of either acrylic or metal materials. Attached to the plate are special claps that snap onto remaining natural teeth and hold the partial denture in place. Partials can be removed by the patient, usually at night, for cleaning maintenance.
A full denture is used to replace teeth when no natural teeth remain. Full dentures are comprised of artificial teeth that rest on a “plate” which consists of either acrylic or metal materials. The denture is held in place by suction and is therefore removed at night to allow for cleaning maintenance. Several adjustments to your denture may be required before you are completely happy with how it fits which is completely normal. Getting used to your new denture may also take a few weeks; your mouth will eventually learn to work with the denture maximizing your chewing and speaking ability.