When you have missing teeth, dentures can be used to replace them. There are two types of dentures: partial and full. Partial dentures replace one or two missing teeth where as full dentures replaces an entire mouth of missing teeth.
Complete dentures are either conventional or immediate. Conventional dentures are made after the teeth are removed and are ready for placement between 8 to 12 weeks after the removal is done. Immediate dentures are made before teeth removal and can be put in place as soon as the teeth are removed. Immediate dentures allow the wearer to not be without teeth during the healing process. The disadvantage to immediate dentures is that the tissue, bones and gums shrink during the healing process which affects their fit. For this reason, they require fit adjustments.
A partial denture, or bridge, is removable and is made of teeth attached to a pink or gum colored base. Sometimes metal framework holds the denture in place. Partial dentures are used when there are still natural teeth in the mouth. A fixed bridge is used to replace one or more teeth by placing a crown on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth and is cemented into place. A partial denture fills the space created by the missing teeth. Because partial dentures have clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns, partial dentures are removable.
The Denture Process
At your first denture appointment, your dentist will analyze your jaw by making an impression and taking measurements to see how much space is between your jaws.
Next, your dentist creates molds, wax forms and plastic patterns in the exact position the dentures will be placed. You will have to try on the denture multiple times before the final one is casted.
Adjusting to New Dentures
It can take some time to adjust to new dentures and it’s not uncommon for mild irritation to occur when you are adjusting to them. Dentures may improve your appearance by filling out your facial features and because they look natural, no one will know they aren’t you’re real teeth. It is not difficult to eat with dentures, but it can take some getting used to. Start by eating smaller pieces and avoid sticky or hard foods.
Wearing your Dentures
Your dentist will instruct you on how to wear your dentures when you first get them. It is not unusual for your dentist to ask you to wear them all the time while you’re getting used to them. They may be uncomfortable at first, but you will slowly get used to wearing them.
Alternates to Dentures
If you don’t want dentures, you do have alternatives such as dental implants. However, the cost of dental implants is much higher than getting dentures. Likewise, the process of getting a dental implant is much more involved.