A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways:
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed, usually over a three month period. THREE MONTHS!! Initial healing actually only takes a couple weeks, but the bone that once anchored your teeth will continue to shrink since it has no function, much as a muscle would shrink if it were not used. This process takes about three months, but the advantage of waiting is achieving the best possible fit for your denture without the expense of a denture reline shortly after placement. Better fit, less expense.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and then inserted IN THE SAME APPOINTMENT when the teeth are extracted. The advantage of the immediate denture is not having to be without teeth for a single day, an option many patients prefer. The tissues are then allowed to heal under the denture. The boney ridge that once anchored your teeth will still shrink over the next several months, and the denture will of course not shrink with it, eventually resulting in a looser fit and likely need for a denture reline.
- Overdentures Do you struggle with loose dentures? Overdentures are special dentures fabricated to fit over dental implants. They clip on and tightly attach to the implant, providing the most secure fit possible for a denture. You can eat anything!
- Partial dentures are a great option when some healthy natural teeth remain. They fit very securely and preserve the natural feeling of chewing and speech because some natural teeth are still present. I have seen many patients over the years who keep their partial dentures in a drawer, never using them because they fit so uncomfortably. They then discover that our partial dentures fit wonderfully. This is because we take four appointments and no short cuts as we work with our high quality prosthetics laboratory in producing excellent fitting partial dentures. We take great pride in satisfying our patients.