A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Generally, there are two types of dentures available - full and partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, whilst partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
A conventional denture is used to replace an existing old, worn or broken full denture.
An immediate denture on the other hand is made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, you don't have to be without teeth during the healing period, as bone & soft tissue remodel over time. As bones and gums shrink during the healing period, a disadvantage of immediate dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during this process. We recommend that the denture will need to be realigned 3 to 6 months after the initial placement of the denture, enabling the denture to fit accurately after allowing time for healing.
A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base. This is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place, and are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the jaw. A fixed bridge, which is cemented into place, replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. A partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, and also prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable, and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns, creating a more natural-looking appliance.
Dental implants can be used to support cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. Although the cost is usually greater, the implants and bridges more closely resemble and feel like real teeth. Dental implants are more widely becoming the alternative to dentures, but not everyone is a candidate for implants.
How Are Dentures Made?
The denture development process takes a several weeks and appointments, and once we determine the most appropriate appliance for you, the general steps are to:
1. Make a series of impressions of your jaw and measure how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them.
2. Create models, plastic patterns, and/or wax forms in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made, which you will "try in" several times. The denture will be assessed for shape, colour, and fit before the final denture is cast.
3. Cast a final denture, and make adjustments as required.