Dentures are prosthetic dental devices designed to replace missing teeth. Dentures can either be partial dentures, which replace a few missing teeth, or complete dentures, which replace all of the teeth in one jaw. Partial dentures are a good idea when a few teeth are missing, because they keep the remaining teeth in their proper place. If there is a space where no teeth are present, the teeth may shift out of their correct positions.
A person may need to have teeth extracted to control dental cavities and periodontal disease. Some people also have genetic defects that affect the teeth. Loss of teeth can also be caused by trauma, malnutrition and drug use. A person may want to get dentures to replace missing teeth for cosmetic reasons and to improve activities such as chewing and speaking.
Traditional dentures are used after the tooth extraction sites heal, but there are some types of dentures that are available immediately after the teeth are extracted. After the healing process is completed, these dentures are adjusted to make them suitable for long-term use.
Most types of dentures are completely removable. It is also possible to get a set of partial dentures that are “fixed” to two dental crowns; this type of dental prosthesis is not removable, and is sometimes called a bridge.
When a patient goes to get dentures, a dentist takes molds of their mouth. The data is then sent to an external manufacturing laboratory and dentures are made from a material called acrylic. The dentures are customized to match the bite and jaw bone shape of the patient, and the teeth can be customized to many different shades and shapes that will complement the patient’s facial features. The dentist will make sure that the dentures fit the patient’s mouth properly before sending them home. It is possible that minor adjustments will need to be made to the dentures after the patient tries them.
One of the things that patients with dentures may experience is increased salivation. Some mouth soreness and speech changes are possible as a patient gets used to their new dentures. These problems go away over time, especially if the dentures are properly fit.
Most sets of dentures last a long time, but they may need to be replaced or repaired if they are damaged acutely or over time.