Dentures are a semi-permanent way to replace missing or broken teeth. They are removable, so they can be taken out and put back into your mouth as you please. There are both full and partial dentures, depending on the needs of each particular patient. Full dentures are used as a replacement when all of the natural teeth are missing from the mouth. There are two types of full dentures.
- Conventional Full Dentures – This is when all remaining teeth are removed from the mouth and time is allowed for the gum tissue to completely heal before the dentures are placed. You will be without teeth during the healing process, which could take up to several months.
- Immediate Full Dentures – This is when all remaining teeth are removed, then the dentist takes the necessary measurements and immediately fits and places the dentures into your mouth. This method is convenient, because you are never without teeth, but a follow up visit is required to refit your dentures after your gums and jawbone have healed. This is due to the fact that the jawbone will change shape as your mouth heals.
Partial dentures are another option when you are missing only some of your natural teeth. They are similar to a bridge, only partial dentures are not a permanent fixture.
Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The base of the dentures is flesh colored and placed over your gums. When first placed in the mouth they might feel bulky. Some people say that they make their mouth feel crowded, leaving little space for the tongue. Other times the dentures may feel loose. Due to these temporary discomforts your speech and eating habits can be affected. Over time, they start to feel more like your natural teeth, making speaking and eating easier. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it’s a much better alternative than not having teeth.
Although dentures are not your real teeth, they should be cared for like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. Once removed, they should be placed directly into water or a denture cleaning solution.
Whatever soaking solutions you choose make sure it is room temperature, as hot water can warp dentures. Be careful not to drop your dentures because they are delicate. If your dentures feel loose or uncomfortable, you should always seek assistance from a dental professional for maintenance. Attempting to adjust your dentures yourself could ruin them.
Denture implants, also known as mini dental implants, are small titanium posts used to stabilize or provide a more secure fit for a denture. The system consists of a miniature titanium implants that act like the roots of your teeth and a retaining fixture that is incorporated into the base of your denture.