Missing teeth can lead to embarrassment and awkwardness, which is why dentures are an ideal solution. A denture is a removable dental appliance, made as a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. Designed to closely resemble your natural teeth, they enable you to have a natural, comfortable smile.
There are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete are used when all teeth are missing, while partial are used when some natural teeth remain. In addition to filling the space created by missing teeth, a partial denture also prevents other teeth from shifting. Regardless of type, dentures are durable devices that will last many years, although they may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
A complete denture may be either conventional or immediate. Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, a process that usually takes 4-6 weeks. During this time, the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and placed immediately after tooth removal; once the tissues shrink and heal, the dentures are adjusted for a proper fit.
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over a few weeks. The first step is to take highly accurate impressions and measurements to create your custom denture. You will likely need several appointments to try them in your mouth so they can be adjusted for shape, color, and fit.
At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit. It’s normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty; these will subside as your muscles and tissues acclimate to the new dentures.
You’ll be instructed on how to care for your dentures, including how to properly clean them. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will extend their life and your overall oral health.