How Do Dentures Work?

Dentures are one of the many tooth replacement options available today for someone looking to replace a missing tooth. Dentures are synthetic prosthetics that can serve as either a temporary or a permanent solution. This is because dentures are not permanently fixed in the mouth. While they may require getting used to, dentures are a great solution for many. Here is more information about how dentures work and the different types of dentures that are available today.

What Are Dentures?

While there are many different types, dentures generally fall into two groups: full or partial. Full dentures work by completely covering the gums and teeth. Full dentures are a good solution when more than one tooth is missing. Partial dentures are designed to replace one or a few missing teeth. Generally, both full and partial dentures are custom made in a dental laboratory based on measurements taken by a dentist. Because of this, custom-made dentures fit securely and comfortably.

Common Types of Dentures

It surprises people to hear there are many types of dentures available. Deciding what type of denture is best for you depends on your personal oral health needs.

  • Conventional Full Denture: In most cases, full dentures are designed to custom fit the gums after all remaining teeth are removed. Usually, your dentist will wait 8-12 weeks after the teeth have been extracted to ensure all of the tissues have healed before fitting the full dentures to the gums. During the fitting process, the dentist will take several measurements and impressions to make sure to get the best possible fit.
  • Immediate Full Denture: Same day dentures, or immediate dentures, are a replacement option designed to be worn immediately after teeth have been extracted. If they decide same day dentures are in your treatment plan, your dentist will take measurements and impressions in the visits leading up to the extraction procedure. Immediate dentures eliminate the waiting time after extraction when individuals usually have to go without teeth and also help expedite the healing process by protecting the gums and tissues.
  • Partial Denture: For individuals who have just lost one tooth or a few teeth, a partial denture may be the best replacement option. Partial dentures are constructed from a combination of metal and acrylic materials and are designed to attach to the natural teeth. Partial dentures differ from a dental bridge replacement option because they are removable.

How Long Do Dentures Last?

For many, dentures are a perfect temporary tooth replacement option. If teeth are missing, over time the other teeth in the mouth shift and the jaw shape changes. Dentures may not help maintain the shape of the mouth the way alternative replacement options do. Over time, dentures may no longer fit and may need to be remade. Further, to help maintain dentures and the health of the mouth it is important to clean dentures and the mouth daily. Dentures should be brushed thoroughly and placed in a cleanser soaking solution or in plain water.

How Much Do Denture Cost?

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