What are Dentures?
For one reason or another, there may be missing teeth in your mouth. Replacements for these teeth are needed either for function (the ability to chew), or cosmetics to avoid having the unsightly appearance of teeth missing. Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. Dentures are custom made in a dental laboratory from impressions (mold) taken in your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth, we will try to make them as comfortable as they can be. We will also try to make them look and feel as natural as possible.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. A full denture is needed when all your teeth are missing.
With full dentures, an acrylic base like the color of your gums fit over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.
When there are some teeth remaining in your mouth, a partial denture can be made to fill in the missing teeth. The remaining teeth (if strong enough) can be used as support for a framework that holds the replacement teeth. The recommended framework is usually metal, but there are other alternatives that can be discussed. The remaining teeth serves as anchors for the partial denture. There may be some shaving of your teeth to allow the framework of the partial denture to fit. Sometimes, crowns must be placed over your teeth to make them strong enough to hold the partial denture in your mouth.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
Yes, some people may find the need to take the dentures in and out of your mouth a great inconvenience. Bridges and implants can be used as alternatives to dentures. Bridges and implants cost more, but they more closely resemble the feel of your natural teeth and are permanently placed in your mouth; avoiding the need to take them in and out like dentures.
Please see Implants and Bridge Section for more information