Dentures are dental appliances that replace missing teeth and can be taken in and out of the mouth. Depending on the number of teeth missing, either partial dentures or complete dentures can be fabricated. There are also options for attaching dentures to implants to provide further stability.
When multiple teeth are missing in an arch, one option for the replacement of those teeth is a partial denture. An impression is taken of the teeth so that the denture can be custom-made by a dental laboratory to fit around the remaining teeth. We will match the shade of the denture teeth so they look as natural as possible. There are all plastic or cast metal/acrylic combinations.
- These partial dentures are made completely of acrylic plastic, which is coloured pink to blend with the gums and has the denture teeth bonded on. You may have heard these referred to as flippers. They are a more temporary version of a partial denture as they don’t have a strong metal sub-structure.
- Cast Metal
- These partial dentures have a metal framework that is custom-fit to the arch and has clasps that fit around the existing teeth to provide retention. The pink acrylic is attached to the metal framework with denture teeth in the edentulous (missing teeth) area(s). This is a stronger partial denture that will last longer than acrylic. It is often more comfortable as well because the metal structure is strong and therefore can be thinner than if that area were made out of the weaker acrylic.
These partial dentures are made completely of acrylic plastic, which is coloured pink to blend with the gums and has the denture teeth bonded on. You may have heard these referred to as flippers. They are a more temporary version of a partial denture as they don’t have a strong metal sub-structure.
When all teeth are missing in one arch of the mouth, a complete denture is an option to restore function and aesthetics. A set of impressions is taken to custom-make the denture out of acrylic material. There are often a few visits involved to ensure that the bite is correct, the patient can still speak properly and aesthetics are optimal. New dentures can cause sore areas to develop and therefore take time to get accustomed to. There are often appointments needed for adjustment after the denture is delivered.
- Conventional Dentures
- The impression and fabrication of this complete denture are done when the gums and bone have healed completely (at least 6 months after the teeth have been removed).
- Immediate Dentures
- The denture is made before the teeth are removed and then inserted in the patient’s mouth immediately after the teeth are extracted. During the 6 month healing period, the jaw bone and gums will shrink as a result of the teeth being removed. During this time, temporary or soft relines can be done to keep the denture tight and comfortable. We mix up and add a lining material to the inside of the denture which will mould to the jaw. A hard or permanent reline (which basically remakes the pink part of the denture) is needed after the 6-month mark as the healing is complete by this time.