You may be thinking about getting dentures yourself, or you may know someone who already has them, but in any case you're likely to have some questions about dentures. The information below should tell you what you need to know about dentures, so that you can make an informed decision about replacing any missing teeth you have. After reading the material below, you should have a much better idea about whether or not dentures are right for you.
What exactly are dentures?
Dentures are artificial replacements for teeth which you have lost, and they are literally conformed to your mouth, so they can be as close as possible to the natural features of your mouth. Dentures can either be partial or a full set, which means they can either replace all the teeth on your top or bottom, or they can just replace several which are missing. Regardless of the type of dentures you need, they will always be custom-designed to make the best fit for your mouth, and they will also generally be matched in color and shade to the rest of your existing teeth.
In the past, dentures were primarily made of plastic or porcelain, but nowadays dentures are much more likely to be made from a hard resin. No matter what your dentures are made of, it will be a substance that is not nearly as hard as your original teeth were, and that means they can be chipped or cracked if you should drop them.
Regardless of the substance they're made from, your dentures will wear down much more quickly than your natural teeth would have, so they will need to be replaced usually every five years or so. The oral structure which supports dentures and holds the artificial teeth in place looks very much like your natural gum line and is made out of the same kind of resin used for your artificial teeth, or sometimes a flexible polymer material which adapts itself snugly to your natural gum line.
How do dentures work?
Many people use dentures as a temporary tooth replacement, simply because they are easily removable. One of the issues associated with missing teeth is that the shape of your jaw will change and your teeth may slip over a period of time. Since they're removable, dentures are not particularly useful for helping to maintain your natural mouth shape, in the way that some other dental options can.
After a period of time, you dentures might not fit as well as they first did when installed, and might have to be remade. When you dentures don't fit well, it can cause discomfort in your mouth, and your gums can become irritated. You can help prolong the life of your dentures by brushing them thoroughly every day and placing them in a soaking solution.
Types of dentures
There are several types of it dentures you may have need of in your particular situation. A conventional full denture will be designed to custom fit over all the remaining teeth you have, and these can generally be installed between eight and 12 weeks after any tooth extractions have been made. Once the healing process is complete, your dentist can start taking impressions to get the procedure underway.
An immediate full denture is also called a same-day denture, and this alternative option is designed to be installed on the same day as your tooth extraction. Many people favor immediate full dentures because they eliminate the waiting time after extraction, and they can actually help expedite healing by protecting oral tissues and gums.
Partial dentures are used by those individuals who only have a few teeth missing, and these are made from a combination of acrylic and metal. They will generally attach to your natural teeth, but they're different than a dental bridge because they're removable. Implant-supported dentures are an option which is more expensive than conventional dentures, but they have the appeal of anchoring your dentures solidly in your mouth, so that there is no slippage, and so you can eat and speak freely.
Benefits of dentures
You may not have heard a lot of good things about dentures, but the truth is they do impart several advantages to those who wear them. For instance, if you have some teeth missing and do nothing about it, your appearance is likely to be degraded, whereas having dentures installed will restore your normal smile. Dentures are also custom fitted for your mouth, so they can have the best fit possible, although with usage the good fit will lose some of its value. Dentures are also easy to clean, and they can help reduce the likelihood of any additional oral issues which you might be subject to.
Concerns with dentures
When dentures are first installed, they generally fit very well and provide good service to the patient. However, after a number of months or years go by, it’s possible that the good fit will be lost, and there can be slippage in your mouth. This can result in difficulty eating as well as speaking clearly, and it can be embarrassing if you have these problems in the midst of company.
It does take a little practice to eat properly with dentures, especially when you bite down on solid foods, you may also notice that hard foods like seeds and nuts can get stuck under your dentures and irritate your gums. It can also be somewhat challenging to speak normally when you first have dentures installed, although with a little bit of practice, you’ll probably learn how to pronounce words fairly well so that you can be understood.
Other options include denture stabilization or even multiple single implants.