Missing teeth can affect the way you eat and speak, and they can impact your appearance and self-esteem. Dentures are custom-made removable appliances, provided by a dentist, that can help alleviate these problems by replacing missing teeth.
What types of dentures are there?
Those who have lost all or most of their teeth are candidates for complete dentures, which replace all of the teeth. Those who have some natural teeth remaining may consider a partial denture, which can fill in the space created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from changing position. This type of denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is held in place by a metal framework and clasps, or natural-looking connectors called precision attachments.
Conventional dentures are placed in the mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and the tissue has healed, which may take a few months. Immediate dentures are placed in the mouth the same day that the remaining teeth are re- moved. This means you won’t have to go without teeth during the healing period, but your denture may need to be relined or remade after healing is complete.
Overdentures fit over a small number of remaining teeth or implants after they have been prepared by the dentist. Your dentist will usually try to preserve your remaining natural teeth. Saving these teeth can help preserve your jawbone and provide support for the denture.
An implant supported denture allows dentures to remain in place while chewing and in most cases will not need the use of denture adhesive. The implant supported denture also allows the flexibility of removing the denture for cleaning purposes. Contrary to popular belief, placing implants is a routine procedure with Novocain almost similar to doing fillings or removing teeth. There is minimal post-surgery discomfort or pain.
If you currently have an existing denture, it may be possible to place implants and modify your current denture.
How do I get dentures?
The process of getting dentures takes about three to six weeks and consists of several appointments. After the initial diagnosis, the dentist will take impressions and measurements of your jaw and create models to determine the appliance’s shape and position. The dentures’ color, shape, and fit will be assessed during multiple try- in appointments before the final appliance is cast. After you receive the final dentures, the dentist or prosthodontist will make adjustments as necessary.