Dentures (or false teeth) are made from plastic or metal and are custom designed to fit well on the gums. They are easily removable replacements for teeth which are missing. Full dentures are used when all teeth are lost, but partial dentures are used when some natural, stable teeth remain. A good set of dentures can provide many benefits to those patients who have lost confidence due to lack of teeth, or to improve a patients smile.

cta-dentalfinancePartial dentures

A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth connected to a gum-coloured plastic base, which attaches by a metal or plastic framework which keeps the denture in place inside the mouth. These sorts of dentures are used when one or more sound teeth are left in the upper or lower jaw. The partial denture also prevents other teeth from moving or tilting into the space, as well as filling in the gaps where the missing teeth used to be.

Full / complete dentures

Full dentures can be either ‘Immediate’ or ‘Conventional’.

Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be placed once the teeth have been removed; meaning that the patient doesn’t have to have a gap during the healing process. But bones and gums shrink over time, especially once having a tooth removed. Therefore, the disadvantage of immediate dentures compared to conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit well during the healing period and should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures have been made.

mature-womanMetal dentures

Metal dentures are very strong and remain in place without the use of denture adhesive gel; the use of a metal denture could provide a number of benefits to the lives of people who wear dentures who may have experienced a lack of confidence due to a loose plastic denture or an unattractive smile. These kinds of dentures are manufactured with a medical-grade alloy which is hypoallergenic to ensure wearers do not suffer from an allergic reaction from the material used. Another benefit of wearing a metal denture is that they are custom-made to fit very accurately the shape of the mouth. Due to the materials high strength they can be made very tin and are less bulky than plastic dentures.

Advantages of having a metal denture

The main advantage of metal dentures is that they are smaller than plastic dentures and they don’t fill the entire roof of the mouth patients then have an improvement in taste sensation and can enjoy eating. The metal dentures are also more durable due to the nature of the metal they are unlikely to break or bend which contrasts to a plastic denture, which leaves the patient with the risk of it getting damaged, or breaking. The close fit of the metal appliance once placed into the mouth means that it is very comfy to wear, once the metal dentures are in a patients mouth they can feel secure and tend to move round less than the plastic dentures. Even though metal dentures may cost a bit more than alternatives, they have a very long-lasting nature which could make the little extra cost worthwhile.

How do I get a denture?

Firstly, the patient’s teeth need assessing to ensure that the correct denture is made for you. If it is then impressions need to be taken of your teeth and gums and then the dental laboratory need to be asked to create your custom made denture. If the  denture is small and only replacing 1-3 teeth the lab can make the denture without furthermore information, whereas if the denture was covering more teeth, an impression of the patients ‘bite’ could be required by the laboratory. For a denture to be constructed it usually takes anything from a few days to a few weeks dependant on the size of the denture, and the complexity of the work required. It may take anything from 2 to 6 visits to develop the denture.

Acrylic dentures

Pink plastic dentures are supported mainly by the gums and are made out of a material called acrylic. Whilst the plastic components surround the existing, stable teeth they do not gain any stability from them at all. Some acrylic partial fittings contain metal clips or clasps, but rather than adding greater support, these fixtures simply help to keep the dentures in the proper position. As with any other form of denture, acrylic prosthetics offer several other benefits to wearers, the teeth that are present helps to provide a more natural appearance on the face and can help to increase people’s self-confidence. The fittings themselves can create support for the lips and cheeks that can often take on a ‘collapsed’ look in patients with missing teeth. The ability to eat foods properly suffers if there are teeth missing and by wearing the acrylic dentures can improve the ability of chewing correctly. This in turn means that food can be digested easily, helping patients obtain the most possible nutritional benefit from the foods in which they consume. If teeth are missing people can often find being able to speak clearly a bit tricky. Those who want/need acrylic dentures should therefore find that their speech and pronunciation improves.

Taking care of your denture

Dentures require cleaning daily just like teeth, to avoid bacteria building up on the surface of the denture. Toothpaste and normal toothbrushes can be used, or specially made denture cleaning agents could be used for the cleansing of the dentures. Plastic dentures should ideally be kept out of the mouth at night, so the soft tissue isn’t covered at all times. However, if you do keep your denture in at night time you must ensure that the denture and soft tissue is cleaned ever day to make sure good oral hygiene is maintained.