Dentures are a great option for you if you have lost, or are about to lose, all of your teeth due to injury, decay, disease, or surgery. A denture, or false teeth, is a custom-made removable replacement for those who have multiple teeth missing. When properly cared for they can last from 5-10 years before your mouth begins to naturally change and the dentures need to be adjusted.
Types of Dentures
There are two types of dentures: a full denture is used when all (or the majority) of your teeth need replacing and a partial denture is used to replace just one or more missing teeth. If full dentures are right for you, you’ll also have to choose between conventional and immediate dentures.
- Conventional dentures require your mouth and gums to be completely healed from the extraction of any teeth prior to fabricating and placing your new dentures. This could leave you without teeth for several months while you heal completely.
- Immediate dentures can be put into your mouth immediately after the damaged teeth have been removed, ensuring you have teeth while you heal. After you’ve healed completely, you can switch to conventional dentures for extended wear.
Dentures can replace all of the teeth on both your upper and lower arch if you’ve lost every tooth. If you still have a few healthy teeth, an over denture is used as it fits over your healthy teeth to fill in the gaps from the missing teeth.
First, the Dentist performs an exam on your gums, teeth, and bone structure to ensure dentures are the right fit for you. Once you and your Dentist agree that dentures are the best option for you, usually oral surgery is scheduled in order to prepare your mouth. Teeth may need to be extracted or the bony ridge of your gum may need to be worked on to improve stability prior to proceeding.
Next, after your mouth and gums have healed, your Dentist will use a putty-like material to make a mold of your arches. This mold is used to make your custom dentures.
Lastly, once your dentures are finished you’ll be able to pick them up and start wearing them. Just be sure to get your dentures and oral tissues checked annually to ensure everything is going smoothly.