Dentures

Replacing your lost or missing teeth offers substantial benefits to your health and appearance. A complete or full set of dentures replaces your natural teeth with a removable appliance.

What are Dentures?

A denture is an appliance which is worn to replace lost or missing teeth and gums, enabling you to smile with confidence. If you are left with little to no teeth, your dentist or prosthodontist may suggest dentures to replace your missing teeth. When the fit and quality of a denture is correct, these artificial teeth feel comfortable while helping you look good.

Dentures provide support for your cheeks and lips too. Without this support, sagging facial muscles can make a person appear older and reduce their ability to eat and speak. Depending on your needs, our dentists can recommend the type of dentures suitable for you.

Types of Dental Dentures

As with many dental treatments, there are options available depending on your oral health needs. The different types of dentures we offer include:

Partial Dentures

A partial denture can be used to replace spaces created by one or more missing teeth. Your dentist can tailor the design of dentures using varied material combinations (Acrylic, Flexi-dentures or Metal) and features depending on the reliability and health of your remaining adjacent teeth. Partial dentures can benefit from features that allow them to be adjusted or added to in the future, and can brace and support remaining teeth. It is important that the remaining teeth in your mouth are in a stable, healthy conditions prior to constructing your dentures. This will help denture impressions to be as accurate as possible and so there is less likely to be changes in the near future with your remaining teeth that would affect the function of the dentures. Therefore your dentist may recommend other general dentistry care needed to reach a stable dental health condition. If you are considering any cosmetic or toothwhitening dental treatment please discuss this with your dentist, as this may need to be completed before designing and making the denture.

Complete Dentures

Complete, or full dentures, are what people tend to think of when they imagine dentures. These are used when all of a patient’s natural teeth are missing in the upper and/or lower jaw. Complete dentures rely more on a good seal and suction to the gums and roof of the mouth. It will take time for your body’s gums and muscles to adapt to the new dentures especially if you have never had a denture before or have had a previous denture for a long time. Therefore there is a period of adjustment when patients first get complete dentures where the denture feels strange and new, and the mouth can feel tender until it normalises. It is important to always take out any denture type when cleaning any remaining teeth and for sleeping.

Immediate Dentures

Immediate dentures are a subtype of complete dentures. These dentures are made before a patient’s natural teeth are extracted. The dentist takes measurements and models of the jaw to create the denture ready for the stage when extractions will be performed. The advantage of immediate dentures is that you’re not left without teeth following extractions/surgery. One thing to be aware of, is that the bones and gums adjust as they heal from the extractions. These areas of the mouth change shape and may require you to have your dentures adjusted or replaced for a proper fit once healing is complete.

Overdentures

Healthy remaining teeth can be preserved to maintain jawbone strength and when it is recommended to avoid extractions for medical reasons. Also some patients may have struggled to achieve tight fitting dentures due to having already lost a significant amount of jawbone structure. In these cases removable dentures can be designed to fit over remaining healthy natural teeth or implants. Natural teeth will need to be reshaped to fit the overdenture, which rests on top of the teeth. In the case of implant-supported overdentures, the dentures attach to the implant.

Denture Materials and Customised Dentures

There are two main components to dentures:
  • The base of a denture, called the plate, can be made of either acrylic (plastic) or metal.
  • The false teeth are normally made of acrylic and can be matched to your natural teeth. Colour-matching the acrylic to your teeth is especially important with partial dentures as the teeth surrounding the denture are real.
Your dentist makes a model of your teeth by taking impressions of your mouth. We use these moulds to make custom dentures that fit inside your mouth and stay secure throughout the day.

The Difference Between Dentures and Dental Implants

Though dentures and dental implants both involve false teeth, they are vastly different. The big difference comes down to how they’re placed in the mouth.

Dentures do not require surgery, these bespoke appliances sit on top of your gums and can be removed by the patient at any time.

Dental implants are surgically placed within your jaw. They can replace a single missing tooth or support a dental bridge for several missing teeth. The implants are surgically placed in the jaw, and therefore cannot be removed.

When discussing options for replacing missing teeth, your dentist will go over both implants and dentures and whether they will work for you.

Denture Home Care

  • Like natural teeth, dentures need to be cleaned every day to prevent plaque, calculus or staining build-up.
  • Improperly cared for dentures may stain, cause bad breath, result in gum problems and cause issues for the remaining natural teeth and gums.
  • Cleaning dentures is simple. Remove them from your mouth and rinse them under running water. Wet your denture brush and gently scrub all the surfaces of your dentures. While your dentures are out, clean and massage your gums with an extra-soft brush before re-inserting your dentures.
  • Leave your dentures out overnight to give your mouth a chance to rest. Soak your dentures in warm water to prevent them from drying out and once or twice a week use a denture cleaning tablet as directed to keep them in good condition.
  • As always, keep up to date on your regular checkups. Your mouth is gradually changing and your dentures may need to be readjusted, relined or replaced over time. Dentures need to fit properly, otherwise they may cause irritation, dental sores or issues with adjacent teeth.

Dentures are Fragile Appliances

Dentures are breakable appliances, and should be treated with care. They can break if they are dropped or handled too roughly, warp if they are placed in hot water or get scraped up by abrasive cleaners. If your dentures crack, book an appointment and bring them back to our practice for repair or replacement.

Are Dentures Right for You?

If the time has come for you to invest in artificial teeth, come see us at our Brentwood dental practice for a consultation. We’ll review all of your options, pros and cons of each treatment and the pricing structure to find a solution that works best for you.