Commonly referred to as “false teeth”, dentures are removable dental prosthesis used to replace missing teeth in the mouth. Unlike crowns and bridges which are fixed, dentures are the removable replacements for missing teeth.
Dentures could be complete or partial.
A complete or full denture is used by patients with total loss of teeth, when all teeth in one or both jaws have been lost. A partial denture is fabricated for patients who have lost some of their teeth in either jaw. The remaining teeth are used as support for the removable prosthesis.
Since the advent of dental implants, some patients can opt for an implant supported denture, either complete or partial for added retention and better function. The implants act as anchors to give extra retention and stability for the denture being worn.
Advantage of removable denture
A removable denture replaces multiple missing teeth. It allows the patient to eat better by giving more (false)teeth to chew with. Embarrassment of missing teeth can also be avoided by wearing a denture.
Disadvantage of removable denture
A removable denture requires existing oral tissue – remaining teeth, gum or jaw bone to gain retention. When there is loss of these supporting structures, the removable denture also loses stability. A lower full denture is the least retentive prosthesis due to the constant jaw opening motion, lack of jaw bone support and tongue movement. In contrast an upper full denture gains good retention from the broad jaw bone surface on roof of the mouth.
Making of a denture
A denture is typically made of acrylic resin base. In case of partial denture, metal framework is usually required to provide the strength and retentive arms around existing teeth. Remaining supporting oral tissue must be in good condition before proceeding with making of a denture. Dentures fabrication usually takes three to four appointments since they require much laboratory work. Wearing a denture for the first time will be a new experience, as it is a foreign object attempting to function as part of your body. It may require up to a few weeks before a patient is adjusted to wearing a denture.