What is a denture?
A denture is used to replace the gaps left by lost or missing natural teeth. Patients wear dentures so they can enjoy a balanced diet and smile and speak with confidence. The replacement teeth are placed on an acrylic (plastic) or metal base that can be taken out for cleaning.
A complete (full) denture replaces all the natural teeth in the upper and lower jaw
A partial denture is one which replaces the gaps left by missing teeth in between your remaining natural teeth. A partial denture can sometimes be held in by metal clasps or attachments to your natural teeth.
Why do I need dentures?
Complete dentures will fit snugly over your gums. They will help you to eat comfortably and speak clearly, and will improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Partial dentures replace teeth that are missing and can sometimes be supported by the teeth you have left. If you have gaps between your teeth, then your other teeth may move to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth. This could affect the way you bite and could damage your other teeth. A partial denture can also replace missing front teeth to restore your smile.
How are dentures made?
Your dentist will take measurements and impressions (moulds) of your mouth and order your dentures from a dental technician to specifically fit your mouth.
How long will my dentures last?
New dentures should last several years if they are treated well and cleaned properly. However your dentures may need to be re-made or re lined due to normal wear and changes to your mouth. Your jaw and gums can sometimes shrink over time, causing your dentures to meet differently, making them loose. It is important to replace badly worn or poorly fitting dentures before they cause problems such as sores and infections.
Are dentures the only option?
No, there are other ways to replace missing teeth such as implants and bridgework. Ask your dentist for more information on these options.