What are dentures?
Also known as false teeth or plates, dentures are custom-made, temporary replacements for missing teeth and gum tissue which can be inserted and removed for your mouth.
Dentures may not feel just like your natural teeth, it may also take some time to get used to them, but they’re solid, temporary replacements for missing teeth and offer several dental benefits.
Why would your dentist recommend a dental bridge?
Having one or more missing teeth can make it difficult to talk and/or chew. Missing teeth can also lead to jaw bone loss and can cause your remaining teeth to shift due to the vacant space.
In addition to being cosmetic and covering the gap left by missing teeth, dental bridges also prevent the harmful side effects caused by missing teeth.
Your dentist may also recommend a dental bridge as a replacement for removable partial dentures.
What are the benefits of using dentures?
Using dentures to replace missing teeth will help you:
- Talk and chew more effectively and comfortably
- Keep your jaw bones strong which will prevent facial sagging
- Improve your smile, appearance and self-confidence
What materials are used to fabricate dentures?
The three different materials used to make dentures are acrylic, metal and/or flexible plastic. The types of material(s) used depends on the type of denture being created.
What types of dentures are there?
There are four different types of dentures: full dentures, partial dentures, flexible partial dentures and implant-supported dentures.
With full dentures, the upper denture covers the palate and the lower denture makes space for your tongue and covers your lower gum and teeth.
Full dentures are usually required when a person has lost all of their teeth or has had them removed.
Partial dentures are used to replace several missing teeth in a row; they temporarily attach to your natural teeth. Partial dentures are similar to dental bridges, they are removable and are a great alternative if most of your teeth and gums are in healthy condition.
Flexible partial dentures utilize a special, flexible plastic that is more natural looking than regular acrylic ones. Flexible partial dentures are virtually unnoticeable.
Implant-supported dentures, while removable by your dentist, cannot be removed by yourself as they are attached to dental implants embedded in the jaw bone
Your dentist will determine which type of denture is best for you, based on your individual needs.
How long does it usually take to get used to wearing dentures?
Dentures may feel foreign or uncomfortable at first, but after a month of wear, your mouth and jaw will adapt to them.
How long do dentures last?
Over time, dentures deteriorate and experience normal wear, just like natural teeth.
In addition, your jaw and mouth change as you get older, which means your dentures will require adjustments and tune-ups.
What are some tips for caring for dentures?
- Wash them in water after eating
- Never let your dentures get dry: keep them in a special solution, or water, if they’re not in your mouth
- Brush inside your mouth, including your gums, tongue and palate, before putting your dentures in
- Brush your dentures regularly
Consult with your dentist if your dentures become loose, chipped, or cracked. Trying to adjust dentures yourself can lead to further damage.
Dentures don’t decay like natural teeth, but they can still accumulate tartar, discolour and take on an unpleasant smell if they aren’t cared for and cleaned properly.
Avoiding sticky or hard candies, foods and ice is also recommended for denture wearers.