Dentures


Old woman wearing dentures

What are dentures?

When some or all teeth are missing, priority is placed on replacing those teeth to restore full function. This is accomplished with dentures, a removal appliance custom made to the patient’s specifications. Because dentures are customized, they can be made to replace a few teeth, as a partial denture, or to replace all teeth, as a full denture. Although there are other options for tooth replacement today, dentures are still widely used with great success.

Conventional Dentures

Dentures model

Conventional dentures are crafted some time after the patient’s teeth extraction has taken place. After the natural teeth have been extracted, it takes time for the gum tissue to heal. So the dentist will wait till the accurate impression of the jaws can be taken. Thereafter, it may take one or two weeks to get the dentures ready in the laboratory. So, the patient may be provided with some kind of temporary dentures, until his or her custom made dentures are ready.

Immediate Dentures

In this case, the dentures are produced in advance, even before the teeth have been extracted. The advantage in this case is that the patient gets his new set of dentures almost immediately after the extraction. But the disadvantage in this case is that the fitting and adjustment of these dentures may not be perfect. The bone and gums may re-adjust their position after the extraction, causing the dentures to loosen. Therefore, conventional dentures are preferable over immediate dentures in the long run.

Adjustments Required with Dentures

Technological advancements have brought about several improvements in dentures. Compared to what they were a few years ago, today’s dentures are more natural in appearance, comfort and functionality. However, initially they may still feel like an alien contraption in the mouth. The dentist will need to maintain a close look for the first few days to determine whether the dentures are fitting properly and functioning as expected. Over a period of time, the contours of the mouth may undergo a change, causing the dentist to adjust the dentures slightly to adapt to the changed condition.

Dental implant technology has helped to improve the denture stability and retention in the mouth. A dental implant can be used as an anchor to keep the dentures in place firmly. The patient can use the dentures much more comfortably and without the risk of the dentures loosening or falling off while chewing or speaking.

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