Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth and can be removed from your mouth when you sleep, and for cleaning after you eat. Depending on a patient’s individual needs, partial or full dentures may be used. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Full dentures are used when there are no natural teeth remaining.

There are two types of full dentures.

Conventional full dentures: This is a procedure where all the natural teeth are removed and the mouth and gum tissue is given time to heal before the dentures are placed. This process can sometimes take months, and the patient will be without teeth during the entire period.

Immediate full dentures: Prior to the removal of the natural teeth, measurements will be taken and the dentures will be fabricated in advance. When the natural teeth are removed, the dentures are immediately placed in the mouth. The obvious benefit of this procedure is that the patient is not without teeth for an extended period. The patient will need a follow-up visit so the dentist can re-fit the denture if the jawbone has slightly changed shape as the mouth healed. Dentures usually need to be tightened as the jaw heals.

Partial dentures are an option when some of the natural teeth will remain. A partial denture is similar to a bridge, but is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.

It may take some time to get accustomed to the denture. The flesh-colored base of the denture is placed over your gum. Patients complain the denture is bulky and there isn’t any room for the tongue. Patients also say the denture always feels loose. Over time, the mouth gets used to the denture and it becomes a natural part of the mouth.|

A denture is not natural teeth, but it should be cared for like natural teeth. A denture should be brushed to remove plaque and food particles before being removed from the mouth. Once the denture is removed, it should be placed in room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution.

Never use hot water because it can warp the denture. A denture is delicate and should be handled with care. Never try to adjust a denture. Any adjustments should be done by a dentist.