Dentures are removable false teeth to replace missing teeth. If you have not worn a denture before they can take some practice and time to adjust to a different way of eating and speaking. There are two types of dentures; complete or partial.
Complete dentures replace all missing teeth in a jaw. Conventional complete dentures are made after the teeth have been removed and the gums and bone have completely healed. Immediate dentures are made in advance before removing the teeth and are positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. This method is approximate and the fit of the denture is not perfect. If successful, it means that the wearer is not left without teeth during the healing period. Bones and gums shrink over time and most rapidly straight after the removal of teeth. This means that immediate dentures require significant adjustments during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to gum-coloured plastic base or by a metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures fill in the spaces created by missing teeth and can prevent adjacent teeth from changing position.
What is the process of have a denture made?
Dentures take a few weeks and several appointments to complete. The general steps are to:
Take a series of impressions and measurements of your jaw.
Create models, wax and plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made. A try-in phase is often necessary denture to assess for colour, shape, and fit before the final denture is made.
Adjustments will be made as necessary to fit the denture and subsequent appointments may be needed to remove spots that rub too much on the underlying gums.
New dentures may feel odd or loose until the mouth muscles learn to keep them in place and you get comfortable inserting and removing them. It is common to have some minor irritation or soreness and an increase of saliva flow when you first start wearing dentures. This will lessen as the mouth adjusts.
Eating with new dentures will take a little practice and may be uncomfortable for some wearers for a few weeks. To get used to the new denture, start with soft foods cut into small pieces and chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to new dentures, add other foods. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or extremely sticky or hard foods.
Alternative to dentures in the long term are dental implants.
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