Dentures are an artificial replacement of one or more teeth that act as a natural-looking alternative to real teeth. When inserted properly into the mouth, they can also provide support for the lips and cheeks.
Most types of dentures are created from an acrylic material. They are commonly fabricated in several ways:
- Conventional dentures
are recommended to patients who have had all of their teeth extracted. The gum tissues should be healed before using dentures.
- Immediate dentures
are fabricated and then inserted into the mouth immediately after the teeth have been extracted. Gum tissue then heals over time under the dentures.
- Upper dentures
typically contain flesh-colored acrylic which lies on the palate or roof of the mouth.
- Lower dentures
are generally created in the shape of a horseshoe. This allows plenty of space for the tongue for maximum comfort.
Dentures can be made of porcelain, plastic or a combination of materials. They can also be fabricated to fit tightly over endodontic-treated teeth. These can also be attached to dental implants which allows for a better fit
Over time, dentures will begin to wear down. When this happens, they will need to either be replaced or relined to ensure that the jaw maintains normal alignment. Due to the extraction of teeth, the jaw alignment will gradually change as the gum ridges and bone shrinks and recedes. It’s important for patients to have regular dentist examinations to ensure that the oral tissues are free from unhealthy changes or disease.