Dentures and Removable Partial Dentures
What are dentures?
Dentures are one option to replace missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. Two types of removable dentures are available: complete and partial. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth, while partial dentures are used when some of the original teeth remain. Partial dentures usually consist of artificial teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. A metal framework holds the denture in place inside the mouth. A partial denture both fills in the space created by missing teeth as well as prevents the other teeth from changing position.
Creating and placing dentures takes several appointments over the course of three to six weeks. Your dentist will make a series of impressions of your jaws as well as take measurements to determine the space between them and how they relate to each other. A model made from wax or plastic in the shape of the denture will be made. Your dentist will place this model several times and adjust it for fit, color, and shape. Once the model is ready, a dental laboratory will cast the final denture. Your dentist will fit the denture in place and make adjustments as necessary.
What should I know before getting dentures or partial dentures?
Dentures can be either conventional (made after teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually after about 8 to 12 weeks) or immediate (made in advance and positioned as soon as the teeth are removed, so that the wearer does not need to be without teeth during the healing period.) Immediate dentures require more adjustments to fit properly, as bones and gums can shrink over time. Your dentist may recommend that immediate dentures be a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
Even if you wear full dentures, proper oral hygiene is still very important. Your dentist will show you how to brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning before you insert your dentures. This will stimulate circulation in your tissues as well as remove plaque.