Dentures are prosthetic devices that are fabricated to replace missing teeth. They are artificial teeth designed to replace all or some of the missing teeth. The dentures can come with a full set of teeth or a partial set meant to fill the gaps between any remaining teeth. They are made of a plastic base that is molded and colored to resemble the gums. The artificial teeth secured to this base are most often made from plastic acrylics. The gum base and teeth are customized to match the shades of the natural teeth.
There are two main kinds of dentures, depending on where they are required in your mouth. Some dentures are suitable to be fixed on the top or bottom of your mouth to best suit your dental requirement. The dentures on the top are secured in place by suction between the palate and the denture. As there is no palate on the lower jaw, the bottom dentures are not as secure and may need extra time getting used to it.
Types of Dentures:
- Complete or Full Dentures: They are designed to replace the full set of teeth in your mouth. Full dentures are attached to your gums through suction between the top of your mouth and the denture. It consists of a plastic gum-colored base to which the artificial teeth are mounted. They are removable and hence easy to maintain. The full dentures can be removed at night before going to sleep. The basic function of the natural teeth, that of eating and chewing foods, is restored.
- Partial Dentures:They help replace some of the missing teeth. The partial dentures are held in your mouth by anchoring onto your existing teeth. In this denture type, the base structure is made of plastic, and the clips will be made of metal. It is known as cast partial and is more durable and thinner. Some patients may not find the metal clips aesthetically pleasing and hence can opt for clips made of plastic. These plastic clips are not visible when the patient smiles.
How are the dentures fitted?
The procedure for the denture fitting may require a couple of appointments with your dentist. First, your dentist scans or takes a mold of the remaining teeth. With the help of this mold or scans, a model of your mouth is created so that the denture fits the contour of your jawbone and gums. These molds are sent to a dental lab to get the dentures fabricated. Once the dentures are ready, the dentist will try the dentures and ensure that they fit comfortably and securely. If necessary, the required adjustments are made until everything is right.
How should you take care of the dentures?
The upkeep of the dentures is fundamental. It is similar to taking care of your natural teeth. As both the full and partial dentures are removable, they can be taken off before bedtime to give your gums some rest and allow your saliva to lubricate your gums and the rest of the mouth.
The dentures should be cleaned using special denture toothpaste and brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. They should be soaked overnight in a denture solution to keep them moist to prevent brittleness.