What are Dentures

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What are Dentures

Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.

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There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Your dentist will help you choose the type of denture that’s best for you based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and the cost involved.

How do Dentures Work?

With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.

Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. Your dentist will determine which of the three types of dentures described below is best for you.

  • Conventional Full Denture

    A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth.

  • Immediate Full Denture

    An immediate full denture is inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. (Your dentist takes measurements and makes models of your jaw during a prior visit.) While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be relined several months after being inserted. The reason is that the bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.

  • Partial Denture

    A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.

What are the different types of dentures?

Complete Dentures: Complete dentures are made of a plastic base that is colored in order to replicate gum tissue and supports a full set of plastic or porcelain teeth. The traditional full denture is held in the mouth by forming a seal with the gums. They can also be held in place by attaching to dental implants that are surgically placed in the bone of the jaws. This treatment is much more expensive than the traditional complete denture.
Partial Dentures: Partial dentures can either be made with a plastic base or a metal framework that supports the number of teeth that need to be replaced. It is held in the mouth by using clasps and rests that are carefully adapted around the natural teeth. The partial denture that uses a metal framework is the traditional design, due to the rigidity and strength of the metal. Plastic partial dentures have normally been used as emergency or temporary replacements of missing teeth, allowing the gums and bone to heal before a definitive restorative solution is obtained. Recently, however, various materials such as Valplast have been developed to provide durable, flexible alternatives in certain situations

How Long Before I Get Used to My Dentures?

New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few weeks or even months. Eating and speaking with dentures might take a little practice. A bulky or loose feeling is not uncommon, while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold your dentures in place. Excessive saliva flows, a feeling that the tongue does not have adequate room, and minor irritation or soreness are also not unusual. If you experience irritation, see your dentist.

How Long do Dentures Last?

Over a period of time, your denture will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear. Rebasing means making a new base while keeping the existing denture teeth. Also, as you age, your

How are dentures made?

After a tooth is extracted or lost, the tooth socket starts to fill in with bone and the gum tissue heals and changes shape. This process takes a few months until the gums and bone reach a stable shape. After this time a conventional full denture is made, preferably about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth were extracted or lost from the mouth.

The process starts by taking a series of impressions or molds of the oral tissues that will support the denture. A dental lab will use these impressions to make models of the patient’s mouth.

Mouth naturally changes. These changes cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. At a minimum, you should see your dentist annually for a checkup.

Here are tips for caring for your dentures:

  • When handling your dentures, stand over a folded towel or basin of water. Dentures are delicate and may break if dropped.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Place them in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in plain water when you’re not wearing them. Never use hot water, which can cause them to warp.
  • Brushing your dentures daily will remove food deposits and plaque, and help prevent them from becoming stained. An ultrasonic cleaner may be used to care for your dentures, but it does not replace a thorough daily brushing.
  • Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures. This stimulates circulation in your tissues and helps remove plaque.
  • See your dentist if your dentures break, chip, crack or become loose. Don’t be tempted to adjust them yourself — this can damage them beyond repair.

Are there alternatives to dentures?

There are two other ways missing teeth can be replaced — with bridges and implants.

Bridges: A bridge replaces missing teeth by placing crowns on the teeth next to space and attaching a fake tooth to both of the crowns. Bridges are made from gold, porcelain fused to gold, all porcelain, or zirconium. Bridges can only replace about two to three missing teeth in a row, depending on the location. Since bridges are cemented in place, they are considered a “fixed or permanent denture.”
Implants: An implant is a metal post that is inserted into the bone of the upper or lower jaw. This post is then used to replace a single tooth by attaching a crown to it, or multiple teeth by attaching a bridge to multiple implants. Implants are the most expensive option for tooth replacement, but implants simulate natural teeth better than any of the other options.

How does one take care of dentures?

Dentures must be handled with great care and placed in a container of water or denture cleaner when not being worn. They should never be placed in hot water, for they can be damaged or warped. They must be cleaned daily using a soft toothbrush with soap and water. The mouth should be rinsed daily without the dentures in place to clean off any plaque and reduce the risk of infection like candidacies.

There are a lot of different denture products that can be purchased at any drugstore to help with caring for and cleaning dentures.

Should I use a denture adhesive?

Denture adhesive is a paste or glue that helps the denture adhere to the supporting tissues instead of relying on suction or clasps. Sometimes the adhesive is called denture cream. A small amount of denture adhesive can be applied evenly to the clean surface of a denture to enhance stability and retention. It shouldn’t be used to compensate for a poor-fitting denture or as an alternative to visiting the dentist for regular checkups.

How much do dentures cost?

Denture prices vary widely depending on the materials used. One can expect to pay at least a couple thousand dollars for a set of dentures.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of dentures?

Most dental insurance companies cover some or all of the cost of dentures, making them very affordable. The insurance company should be contacted to determine the exact amount of coverage.

How long do dentures last?

If cared for properly, dentures should last a minimum of 5 years. Over time, the bone shrinks and causes the denture to become loose. The rate that this happens varies with each individual but can be controlled by visiting a dentist regularly to ensure that the denture is fitting properly. An ill-fitting denture causes the bone to shrink more rapidly. To prolong the life of a denture, a dentist will often use a denture liner to refit the internal surface of the denture to the oral tissues.

DENTURES

Overview

Dentures are custom-made replacements for missing teeth and can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as natural teeth, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever

Benefits of DENTURES

Replacing missing teeth will help to improve your appearance and smile. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. Dentures can help you eat and speak more comfortably.

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