Tooth loss is a dental health issue that affects millions of people each year. It may be caused by advanced gum disease, untreated tooth decay or other causes. Dentures are an alternative to replace few or several missing teeth, restore the function and appearance of your natural teeth.
When your teeth are missing, your facial contours are affected and the muscles in your face become relaxed and lose their natural shape. Wearing a full set of dentures can help restore these muscles.
There are many different types of dentures, classed according to:
- How many teeth they are replacing (full or partial)
- Whether they are fixed in place or removable
- Whether they are supported by the gum or by implants inserted into the jaw bone
- The materials they are made from (acrylic or metal)
- Full and Partial Denture
A full denture acts as a replacement for a complete set of teeth missing (upper, lower or both). Dentures are designed to fit snugly over your gums, or on the roof of your mouth if is an upper denture.
If you still have several healthy teeth a partial denture can help to restore the gaps where teeth are missing. Partial dentures are carefully shaped to fit around and clip onto the remaining teeth. Both the artificial gum and teeth are made to match and blend with your natural teeth.
Most prothesis are made of a durable gum-coloured acrylic but the inner part can made from metal. The denture artificial gum extends far enough from the teeth that the edge is not visible when you smile.
Implant Supported Denture
Traditional dentures are designed to be removable. The fact that they are removable they may slip out of place.
Implant supported dentures offers a more stable denture, these can be fixed or removable. This may be a suitable option for you if have enough bone to support dental implants.
An implant-supported denture uses the strength of dental implants to support and secure a full set of false teeth. They may be permanently fixed in place, and any pressure from eating is transferred to the implants rather than the gums.
Immediate Temporary Dentures
If you have an unhealthy tooth or teeth that needs to be extracted but you do not want to walk around with a gappy smile until your denture is made, it is possible have a set of immediate dentures made to be fitted on the same day of the extraction.
After a tooth is extracted the gums and bone change shape, therefore eventually the immediate dentures will become uncomfortable and need replacement.
How do I look after my dentures?
Dentures must be looked after as if they were your natural teeth. Plaque can develop on dentures in much the same way as it can on natural teeth, which can put you at risk of gum disease.
With removable dentures, I recommend you take them out and clean them thoroughly with a soft brush. They should then be rinsed and soaked overnight in a denture cleaner.
Remember to keep your mouth clean too, by gently brushing your gums and tongue with a soft brush and rising with a mouthwash.
Book your consultation to find out more about how dentures could work for you.