Dentures - Full & Partial
Dentures are often considered as a good choice for patients who are having multiple missing teeth or completely missing teeth in one or both arches. Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are formed to your mouth and created in laboratory to replace your natural teeth.
Dentures can either replace all teeth in your mouth or just a few that are missing. Regardless of the type of dentures you may need, they will be custom designed for your mouth, and made to match your existing teeth.
Why do we need to wear dentures?
Dentures help in:
- Improve the appearance of multiple missing teeth,
- Maintain muscle tone and structure of the mouth sound by supporting the structures around the cheeks and lips.
- Easy to eat foods that require chewing, to ensure that you are properly nourished.
How are dentures made?
A mold of your existing jaw is made. A dental lab will use these measurements to make models of the patient's mouth. The dentist and laboratory will then work hand in hand to start building the dentures on these models. This is often a multi-step process, which requires check in patient’s mouth at each step to ensure proper fit, establish a proper bite, and ensure that the appearance and esthetics of the denture are desirable. Finally, a flesh-colored acrylic base is made to fit over your gums. Upon this, teeth are arranged so as to help in proper biting and give good looks.
This complete process can take upto 6-8 visits.
TYPES OF DENTURES:
Various types of dentures are available. A few are discussed briefly below.
Partial dentures are used when more than one or two teeth are missing. This can be done for patients who are having poor oral health and cannot have fixed bridges.
Full dentures, or complete dentures, are dentures that replace all of your natural teeth. This can be either upper or lower or both jaws.
Immediate dentures: these dentures are created with pre tooth removal models and fabricated dentures are to be used immediately after tooth extraction and during the healing process. However, these dentures often change shape quickly and hence require multiple visits.
Implant supported dentures: these are dentures which are anchored by dental implants. A dental implant is a permanent titanium based fixture that is embedded into jawbone and can be used to replace any number of teeth.
Flexible dentures provide a solution for patients who can't or don't want to use regular dentures. The most obvious advantage is that they aren't soft and bend on pressure, so they're less likely to break if they're dropped. They also fit to the gums like second skin and don't require denture adhesive or metal clasps to hold them in place.
What to expect for a first time denture user?
New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for weeks and some instances months. A bulky or loose feeling is not uncommon, and this will take a while to adjust. Excessive saliva in mouth leading to drooling, minor irritation or soreness or even a feeling that the tongue does not have adequate room is also not unusual. During this time, keep in touch with your dentist and update them so as to ensure minor corrections if any can be made.
It helps during this time it may help to encourage the new denture wearer to practice the denture wear by reading newspapers, books aloud and practice the same in front of a mirror.
Here are tips for caring for your dentures:
- Dentures are delicate and may break if dropped. Take care and hold dentures carefully while removing and wearing them
- In case of not using dentures, place dentures in plain water when you're not wearing them.
- Brush your gums, tongue with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures. Brushing your dentures daily will help remove dirt and deposits of food, and also aid in avoiding stains. Use a denture cleanser/denture paste while cleaning dentures.
- See your dentist if your dentures become loose, break of even have minor adjustments. Don't be tempted to adjust them yourself as this will do more harm than good.