A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic and sometimes porcelain and metal materials. A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth. Partial dentures fill in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from shifting position. Many dental patients elect dentures for tooth replacement if they are not candidates for dental implants or are otherwise looking for a tooth replacement option.
Did you know?
Dentures are not just for elderly patients. Patients of any age may lose some or all of their teeth and may require a denture of some sort.
If you are missing one or more teeth and thinking of getting dentures, you will first need a professional consultation with your dentist. During this time, you can explore your tooth prosthetic options, ask questions, and make a decision as to whether dentures are right for you.
Your gums must first be prepared before you can begin wearing dentures. If you need one or more teeth removed, the process could take several months while you wait for your gums to heal from the extractions. An impression will then be taken of your gums and the supporting bones beneath the gum, which will be used to fabricate a complete or partial denture in a dental lab.
Once your dentures are ready, you can begin wearing them on a daily basis. Expect the first few weeks to be an adjustment period, during which time you will adapt to the feel of your new dentures, as well as learn how to manipulate your tongue and cheek muscles to keep them in place. Your dentures are custom designed to fit your smile, but must be properly cared for so that they do not become distorted. Most removable dentures must maintain moisture to retain their shape. They must be washed after eating, gently cleaned once daily, and allowed to soak overnight in a denture soaking solution. This will keep your dentures clean and free of stains, which ultimately helps your smile look its best.