Dentures are removable substitutions for missing teeth and tissue. Dentures are
available in complete and partial forms. Complete dentures are used in two
different ways: conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are made
after all the teeth are removed and gum tissue has already started healing.
These dentures can be placed in the mouth 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have
Immediate dentures are made before any teeth are removed and can be placed
as soon as they are. There is no healing period, unlike conventional dentures.
However, after the teeth are removed, bones and gums shrink more quickly, requiring
adjustments more often in order for them to fit properly. Immediate dentures are generally considered a temporary solution.
Partial dentures, also called bridges, are replacement teeth on a gum-colored base made of plastic connected by a metal framework which keeps the dentures in place. As long as one or more natural teeth remain, a partial denture can be placed.
Sometimes, partial dentures can be made permanent by attaching artificial teeth to crowns on the teeth of either side of the empty spaces left by missing teeth. The partial denture is then cemented into place, preventing other teeth from changing position as well. Precision partial dentures have internal attachments instead of clasps that connect to adjacent crowns, resulting in removable and more natural-looking dentures.
Dentures are usually partially or totally covered by most dental insurance providers, but denture patients should consult with their companies to get more specific information.
Eating and speaking may also be challenging at first. Over the first few weeks, you should start off by eating soft foods until the dentures feel more natural. You can then work your way back to your original diet. Eating hot, hard, or sharp-edged foods and using toothpicks should be avoided while wearing dentures.
Dentures are typically worn during the day and are removed during sleep. However, dentists may instruct users to wear them all the time for the first several days in order to identify which areas need adjustments.
Denture adhesives should only be used in situations where added stability is necessary, such as for people with dry mouth conditions or musicians. They should not be used if the dentures are loose-fitting or have not been evaluated for a long time. Dentures may need to be readjusted or replaced in such cases.