Dentures 101: Everything You Need to Know

MichaelStreileinAsk the Denturist, Dentures, Facts & Information, Partial Dentures

Practically everyone has at least heard of dentures, but not everyone understands exactly what dentures are or how they work. You might be wondering when it’s appropriate to get dentures, how dentures can help you, how to care for your dentures or any number of other things! Fortunately, you came to the right place for answers to your questions.

We’ve spent years sinking our teeth into the task of providing high-quality dentures for patients, and we’re happy to share our knowledge of these important tools with you. Read on to learn the tooth about dentures so you can make an informed decision if you ever need to get them.

What Are Dentures & What Role Do They Fill?

Dentures are a form of dental prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. Typically, dentures use the natural anatomy already present in the oral cavity for support, filling in gaps in the smile of the person wearing them.

Most people who get dentures do so for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They have lost most or all of their natural teeth. This normally occurs as the result of gum disease, an injury, or severe and widespread tooth decay.
  • To improve the appearance of their teeth or restore their smile. In some cases, patients who have a limited number of remaining teeth remaining use dentures to “fill in the gaps” and make their smiles whole again.
  • To fill out their face after experiencing tooth loss. Missing teeth can cause the muscles in the face to sag, creating a “hollowed out” look that can give the impression of being older. Dentures can make the face seem full again.
  • To improve their ability to eat or speak. Missing teeth can make it more difficult to chew food properly and can cause problems when articulating certain sounds that require contact between the teeth and tongue or lips. Dentures can restore a patient’s ability to speak clearly and chew food without trouble.

Different Types of Dentures & Their Uses

Not all dentures are the same. When most people think of dentures, they imagine “false teeth” like the kind you might see in old cartoons—but dentures can actually take several different forms. Here are a few of the most common kinds:

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are full sets of replacement teeth. 

A proper set of complete dentures should make the patient’s smile appear natural, fit comfortably inside the mouth, and facilitate clear speech and easy chewing. They should also help restore the fullness of the patient’s face if their facial muscles have been sagging due to a lack of natural teeth.

Patients who get complete dentures can get either conventional dentures or immediate dentures. The difference between them is as follows:

Immediate dentures: These dentures are produced and inserted as soon as the patient’s natural remaining teeth have been removed by a dentist or oral surgeon. Immediate dentures allow the patient to have dentures the same day, or immediately after, extractions and accommodate for any swelling. After the majority of healing has occurred, immediate dentures can be “relined” to conventional dentures and are used for many years before a new set is required.

Conventional dentures: these dentures are made and inserted into the mouth of patients who have already been through the extraction process years prior and are looking to replace the current set that they have. There is no healing process involved in conventional dentures. . 

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are made to replace a limited number of missing teeth. They are removable and have a metal framework that braces and holds onto some or all of the remaining natural teeth while filling in the empty tooth spaces with artificial denture teeth..

Denturist Working on Dentures

Via Unsplash.

Implant Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures are actually a type of overdenture since they rest on dental implants inserted into the patient’s jawbone by a dentist or oral surgeon. Implant-supported dentures can provide more stability and retention solution than complete dentures since they are “attached” to the implants in the patient’s mouth. Implant-supported dentures are also more expensive in most cases and not everyone is a suitable candidate for them.

Caring & Cleaning For Your Dentures

If you are planning to get dentures, there are a few steps you should follow to keep them in excellent condition for as long as possible:

  • Brush your dentures every day to keep plaque, bacteria, and pieces of food from collecting on them. 
  • Store any removable dentures in a cleansing solution or cool and clean water whenever you aren’t wearing them so that any missed plaque or food debris doesn’t harden and become even harder to remove later.
  • Be careful with your dentures, especially when you are not wearing them. Dropping your dentures or bumping them against hard objects can break them or compromise the way they fit in your mouth.
  • Keep the tissues around your dentures clean by brushing and flossing diligently. Bacteria that collects elsewhere in the mouth can eventually affect the tissues that help your dentures stay in place, compromising their fit and causing other problems.

How Dentures Are Evolving

Most dentures today use acrylic resin to make the teeth, which are set into an acrylic base with the same colour as the patient’s natural gums. For partial dentures, the framework of the dentures is typically made from metal—either titanium or an alloy of chrome and cobalt.

For further questions about when to get dentures or what kind might be best for you, please contact our practice and speak with a member of our team. We’ll be happy to provide more detail so you can make the choice that serves you and your smile best.