Dentures are removable substitutes for missing teeth. They are usually made from an acrylic (plastic) or metal base, which is fitted with porcelain or acrylic artificial teeth. Having missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious about smiling and make eating and speaking difficult. It can also have a negative impact on oral health. Dentures today can look very natural and give your smile a strong, healthy appearance. Teeth give the face structure and losing them can make the face look loose and saggy. Dentures improve the shape of the face, giving a more youthful appearance, they also give the confidence to eat, speak and smile normally again.
Both types of denture need careful aftercare and should be removed at night to help maintain the health and longevity of the supporting gum tissues and any remaining teeth. Proprietary cleansers and stain removers are available but can be quite harsh to the denture material “bleaching” the pink acrylic and making it more brittle. We can make recommendations.
Inevitably dentures will sometimes break, they are tooth substitutes and not as strong as the original! We can often carry out simple repairs overnight but many Patients also feel more comfortable with a “spare”. No part of our body is the same as it was five years ago and our mouth is no different! This is why dentures gradually loosen, allow food underneath and patients seek replacements but the timescales vary hugely from case to case. Dentures also tend to look less natural with time, wear and tear.
To make, dentures can take as little as two appointments or as many as six or more depending on their complexity. Appointments are usually 7-10 days apart. The clinical work is sent away to a specialist Dental Technician between appointments who works in partnership with the Dentist to produce the final denture. This “team” approach is vital to produce the best results.
Acrylic (plastic) dentures tend to be the simplest to make and the least costly. They are usually preferred when a larger number of teeth are missing and are held in place with “suction”. In upper dentures a large amount of the palate is often covered. They can usually be added to easily if other teeth are lost.
Chrome cobalt (metal) based dentures are more complicated to make but they usually fit more tightly. The metal is very thin, light, strong, unobtrusive and used only where it can’t easily be seen. The rest of the denture base and teeth is the same as an acrylic denture. Metal based dentures tend to be preferred when smaller numbers of teeth are missing and are held in place by small clasps. In upper dentures a large part of the palate can often be left uncovered helping taste, speech and general tolerance. They can be added to if more natural teeth are lost but not as easily as acrylic dentures.
- Not fixed in place and may move during function
- Recommended that they are removed during sleep
- Can alter taste sensation
- Can fracture
- Some people cope better than others
- Can provide a great smile with a very natural appearance
- Durable materials can last well when taken care of
- Allow Patients to chew more effectively
- Usually the least expensive way to replace missing teeth