What are dentures?
Removable dentures are one of the most commons ways of replacing missing teeth if bridges or implants are not an option. Dentures which replace a few teeth are called “Partial Dentures”, dentures that replace all the teeth are called “Full Dentures”.
If you have lost some teeth, dentures can improve the way you look, bite, chew and speak. The teeth that are left are protected from wear and tear. Without dentures, the natural teeth may move or tilt, stopping your teeth biting together properly. Dentures can be fitted immediately after teeth have been taken out so that nobody will even notice you have had a tooth out. These are called “immediate dentures”.
Dentures can be made from 2 types of materials, Acrylic or Cobalt Chrome:
- Acrylic is the most popular option; it works really well for immediate dentures and for full dentures as the acrylic is formed in a way to create suction within the oral tissues.
- Cobalt Chrome is a light metal material which can be used well for replacing a few teeth or for a patient who is a well experienced denture wearer who is not anticipating further additions. The advantages of a chrome denture are it can be lighter, less bulky, and the patients have more taste sensation, but it can be more expensive.
How are dentures made?
To make sure that the dentures fit your mouth properly, a series of appointments will be needed:
- Appointment 1: An impression will be taken of your mouth using a putty-like material.
- Appointment 2: A secondary impression is needed in a special tray, wax bite blocks measured in your mouth.
- Appointment 3: The laboratory have made a mock up of what your dentures will look and feel like in wax, at this point changes can be made.
- Appointment 4: Your dentures are normally now ready for you to take home, remember that they won’t be like a comfy pair of slippers and will need wearing in.
Sometimes your personal treatment plan may need more than 4 appointments.
How to care for your dentures?
If possible you should always take your denture(s) out at night to reduce the risk of inflamation or sores (Denture Stomatitis).
It is a good idea to clean your dentures using a soft brush and some denture crème. Toothpaste can sometimes be too abrasive for dentures. You can also put your dentures in a bathing solution such as “sterident”.
As with any dental restorations, situations may arise where your denture may need some adjustment. If it is rubbing for example, this can be done at the surgery. Some alterations though may require your denture to go off to the laboratory.
As your mouth changes over time, you may find that your dentures become unstable and need “sticking in”. If this happens, it can sometimes be worth considering relining dentures, getting a new set, or changing to implant retained dentures.