Dentures are a removable set of false teeth that can be used for missing teeth. They can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient and their mouth, they may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth. There are two types of full dentures:
Conventional Full Dentures – This is when all the teeth are removed and the gum tissues are given time to heal before the dentures are placed. It could take a few months for the tissue to completely heal, and during this time you will be toothless.
Immediate Full Dentures – Prior to having your teeth removed, your dentist will take measurements and have dentures fitted for your mouth. After removing your teeth, the dentures are immediately fitted and set in your mouth. The major benefit of this option is that you do not have to spend any time without teeth. You will, however, need to have follow up visits to refit your dentures as your jawbone will slightly change shape during the healing process. The dentures will need to be tightened after the jawbone has fully healed.
Partial dentures are another option when all of your teeth do not need to be removed. This option is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Your dentures may take some time to adjust to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your actual gums. Some patients say that they feel bulky and that there is not enough room for their tongue. Other times, patients complain that the dentures feel loose. These things can affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth gets used to eating and speaking with your dentures and slowly they will begin to feel more an like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it is much better than the alternative of having gaps in your smile.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them as if they are. They need to be brushed to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures from your mouth. As soon as they have been removed from your mouth, they should be placed into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water, as it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are very delicate, so be very careful when handling them so they do not break. Also, be sure to never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose.