What Are Dentures?

Dentures are artificial substitutes used to replace all or some of the lost teeth and adjoining tissues to maintain function, health and aesthetics of the tissues.

So in simple words, dentures help replace lost teeth.

Why Are Teeth Lost?

Teeth are lost due to a number of causes. The two main reasons for loss of teeth are dental decay and periodontal diseases (gum diseases). Both dental decay and gum diseases are a result of poor oral hygiene.

Is It Necessary to Replace Lost Teeth?

It is essential to replace lost natural teeth. Loss of teeth affects chewing of food and also affects the aesthetics of the person by altering the lip and cheek appearance.

When a lost tooth is not replaced, there is a tendency for the adjacent and opposing teeth to move into the space left by the lost teeth.

Thus the person’s occlusion or bite is altered. Also, the loss of teeth causes shrinkage of the bone in that area.

To avoid all these problems, it is advisable to replace lost teeth by artificial dentures

What Are the Different Types of Dentures?

Dentures are broadly classified as partial and complete dentures.

Complete dentures replace all the teeth while partial dentures replace a few teeth.

Partial dentures can be again classified as removable partial dentures and fixed partial dentures.

Removable partial dentures replace a few teeth and are designed to be removed and replaced by the patient.

The fixed partial dentures also replace a few teeth but cannot be removed by the patient.

A new type of denture gaining popularity is the Implant retained denture that can be used to replace some or all teeth.

This type of denture comprises of metallic implants that are embedded into the bone and give support for artificial teeth.

How Long Do I Need to Wait After Extraction of Teeth to Get My Dentures?

It is advisable to wait for at least four weeks after the extraction of teeth before the dentist can initiate the process of denture construction.

This gives sufficient time for the extraction wound to heal and for the underlying bone to remodel.

1. Implant-supported Dentures

2. Complete Dentures

What is a complete denture?

A complete denture is a dental prosthesis that replaces all the teeth and contiguous oral tissues in order to help restore the function, health and the appearance of the patient.

Complete dentures can be made for the lost upper and the lower teeth. Under certain circumstances only the upper or the lower denture is made and this is called a single denture.

Complete dentures fabricated before the extraction of the teeth and inserted soon after the extraction are called immediate complete dentures.

What are dentures made of?

All dentures are made of a denture base and teeth. The denture base is usually made of acrylic resin, which is usually coloured pink to resemble the oral gum tissues.

Sometimes the base can also be made of metals such as chromium cobalt alloy or certain titanium alloys. The teeth are made of acrylic resins, which is the most preferred, or porcelain.

Teeth are available in various sizes, forms and colours to suit the needs of the patients.

How do complete dentures stay in place?

Dentures are made to stay in place by their close fit to the underlying tissues. When the dentures are manufactured so that they adapt carefully to the underlying tissues, it creates a vacuum seal that retains the denture in place. The thickness and quantity of saliva play an essential role in the retention of the denture. Dentures can also be made to stay in place by using mechanical means such as springs, magnets, or by use of denture adhesives.

Do you need to replace dentures after a few years?

Ideally, dentures have to be replaced every five years. With time there will be a change in the shape and form of the tissues that hold the dentures. So in due course of time, the dentures lose their exact fit and can cause injury and irritation to the underlying tissues. Also, the acrylic artificial teeth wear off in due course of time, and they no longer cut and chew food as effectively as before. So it is advisable to replace the dentures every five years.

Do new dentures cause sores?

Yes, very often the new dentures may cause areas of soreness in the underlying tissues. Even the most nicely made dentures may cause some irritation when newly worn. These are usually due to a sharp spot on the denture that irritates the tissue or may sometimes be due to a severe bony area in the muscles. These areas of irritation should be brought to the notice of the dentist to do the necessary modifications in the denture to relieve these areas.

What is denture sore mouth?

Denture sore mouth is an inflammatory condition of the tissues beneath the dentures. The tissues appear reddish, and the patient may complain of a burning sensation. This condition may be due to an allergic reaction to the denture base material and sometimes superimposed with bad oral hygiene and unclean dentures.

Do I have any restriction on the food I eat?

Even the best of the dentures may not perform as well as the natural teeth. It is something asking if one could run as well on artificial legs. One has to learn to use the dentures. It is best to avoid hard foods like raw carrots, nuts, etc. Soft foods cut into small pieces are ideal for denture wearers. The food should be chewed on both sides of the mouth simultaneously.

Will I experience problems with speaking?

Speaking well with the new dentures will also take some time. Fortunately, most patients learn to talk to their dentures by adapting to them quickly. Speaking problems may persist if the dentures are not made well. Some of the causes include improper tooth positioning, loose dentures, excessive denture thickness, etc. The dentist will advise new denture wearers to read aloud from a book or newspaper to help in adapting to the denture.

Do I need to give rest to my dentures?

Wearing and using dentures puts a lot of strain on the tissues beneath it, and therefore, they must be given adequate rest to recover. This is best done at night or at any time the denture user sleeps. When out of the mouth, the denture should be placed in a bowl of water as drying of the denture would cause misfit of the denture.

How do I take care of the dentures?

Like any appliance, dentures to need to be used correctly. When not in the mouth they should be kept in water. Also, the denture must be kept clean with the help of special denture brushes. Specialised cleaning solutions are also available for this purpose. A denture can break if it falls off. So care must be taken not to drop the denture.

How many appointments does it take to make a denture?

Denture making is a complicated process for both the patient and the dentist. The number of appointments depends upon the technique used, the patient cooperation, the condition of the oral tissues etc. Considering that everything is favourable, it may take 5 to 7 appointments for the fabrication and insertion of the dentures. More appointments may be needed if the oral tissues are in a state of bad health.
Steps in making a denture

The first appointment is usually spent examining the patient and the oral tissues and explaining the treatment plan to the patient. One or two subsequent appointments are for obtaining an accurate impression of the oral tissues. In the next appointment, the approximate position and height at which the teeth are to be placed are determined using wax rims. The next appointment is called the trial when the dentist tries out the dentures with the teeth still embedded in wax. During this trial, the dentist may fine-tune the appearance of the front teeth to make them look esthetic. The final denture is delivered at the next appointment. One or two more appointments may be required to check for any post- insertion problems and to correct them.

Does it take time to get used to the new denture?

Wearing a new denture is like wearing a new shoe. It takes time and patience to learn how to use it. Initial pressure points may produce some denture sores on the oral tissues, which have to be identified and corrected by the dentist. These are usually done during one or two appointments after the final insertion of the dentures. Getting used to a denture is a gradual process. Some patients can do this quickly and better than others. It must be remembered that the dentures are artificial substitutes for natural teeth and that they have their limitations.

3. Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture replaces multiple missing teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

This replacement of missing teeth is necessary in order to restore your mouth to its original functioning condition and maintain normal facial contour.

If a condition of missing teeth is left untreated, the remaining teeth may drift.

Drifting teeth can lead to a bad occlusion (bite), additional decay and possible gum and bone problems.

Each partial denture is precisely made to fit an individual’s unique situation.

It is designed to be removable. The partial denture is held with clasps that are comfortably fit around a select few of your remaining teeth.

A partial denture is cosmetically designed to hide all-metal whenever possible.

The artificial teeth and guns are coloured to match an individual’s natural teeth and gums.

Partial Dentures can be made by a variety of techniques and with a variety of denture materials, which will affect the wearing characteristics and the cost of denture care.

4. Valplast Flexible Denture

Flexible partial dentures are the comfortable, beautiful, and affordable choice.

It was long thought that removable partial dentures had to be rigid to be effective. The innovation of the Valplast Flexible Partial allows the restoration to adapt to the constant mo vement and flexibility in your mouth.

This is the underlying thinking behind Valplast’s innovative flexible, removable partial denture. The flexibility, combined with strength and light weight, provides total comfort and great looks!