A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding tissue that was once connected to those teeth. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures – complete (full) denture and partial dentures (most often simply referred to as a “partial”). Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, whereas immediate dentures are made in advance of extractions and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years. Over time, they may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, we will adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased salivary flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
But...do I still need to go to the dentist if I don’t have teeth?
Yes, you still need your regular visits. Even though you don't have teeth, you still have tissue and bone, so in addition to an examination, we also still take routine X-rays to check the bone structure underneath your tissue. We will also clean and adjust your denture (if necessary).
How long will it take for me to get used to my new denture or partial?
This will be different for everyone, but what we can say for sure is patience will be your friend in the long run! At first, a new denture can be challenging but those challenges will subside over time. There will be sore spots and adjustments that need to be made as your oral tissue, tongue and facial muscles become acclimated to something new. This may tempt you to not wear the appliance, however, the more you wear it the faster that acclimation period will be.