Often referred to as complete dentures, a denture is a customized appliance that replaces a person’s natural teeth while offering structural support for the lips and cheeks. Inserted and worn in the mouth, dentures provide a fully functional set of teeth after the natural tooth structures have been pulled or severely damaged. Modern options in dentures offer a seamless and natural look and feel, especially when compared to dental appliances of the past.
People who have experience with older and far less comfortable dentures tend to be most concerned with getting a proper fit. Dental technology however, has advanced significantly and innovative materials are currently being used in the manufacturing of these appliances that allow for vast improvements all-around.
Surprisingly, dentures can actually make people look far younger. Missing teeth tend to create a sunken appearance around the cheeks, but dentures reverse this issue by adding volume and definition to the face and filling it back out.
How Dentures Are Made
Dentures are usually made with acrylic and there are two distinct ways in which these appliances can be manufactured.
Conventional dentures are created only after all of the natural teeth have been removed and the gums or surrounding soft tissues have had an opportunity to heal.
With an immediate denture, the teeth are constructed and placed immediately into the mouth following tooth extraction. The gums are then allowed to heal beneath the appliance.
With an upper denture, there is a flesh-colored acrylic that covers the roof of the mouth or the palate.
The lower denture has a horseshoe shape so that there is ample room for the tongue. The denture teeth are comprised of porcelain, plastic, or porcelain and plastic combined. It’s possible to fabricate dentures to fit over teeth that have been endodontically treated. Complete dentures can also be attached to existing dental implants in order to create a strong and secure fit.
Routine Dental Care After Dentures
With proper care, a quality set of dentures can last for quite a few years. Regular wear and tear, however, often makes it necessary for people to have their dentures relined or replaced. These efforts ensure that the alignment of the jaw remains normal. The alignment of the jaw gradually changes over time given that the underlying gum ridges and bone often recede following tooth extraction. This makes it vital to continue scheduling routine dental visits with your provider. During these examinations, your dentist will check for signs of oral disease and any significant changes in jaw alignment.