Dentures are more common than you think. Here, our Toothworks dentists explain what dentures are, why you might need them, and how they can improve your oral health.
What are dentures?
Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are created by a dentist or denturist and formed to your mouth to replace lost or removed natural teeth. They are custom designed to fit your mouth and matched to your existing teeth.
How do I know if I need dentures?
You might assume that dentures are for other people, but they’re more common than you think.
If you practice excellent oral hygiene and see your dentist for regular checkups, you may never need dentures, but if you have a history of tooth problems and dental issues, they may be an inevitable part of your future.
Why do I need dentures?
Replacing missing teeth is essential to your oral health. If you are missing all or some of your natural teeth, dentures are a comfortable, cost effective way to restore your smile and regain your self-confidence. And with restored bite function, they will improve oral and overall health as well.
It’s natural to worry about getting dentures — will they look fake? will they hurt? will they restrict my diet, or suddenly slip out while I'm talking? — but with the right type of dentures and the care of a skilled dentist or denturist, you have no need to worry.
What types of dentures are there?
Modern dentures look natural, and function almost like natural healthy teeth. Whether you need dentures to replace one missing tooth, a row of teeth or a whole jaw, your dentist can help you decide on the right option for you.
Partial dentures are often used when more than one or two teeth are missing, or when surrounding natural teeth aren't strong enough to support other tooth replacement options like dental bridges. The partial dentures are fitted to the gum line, and fasten to nearby natural teeth to keep from falling out of place. They are not permanently attached so that they can be easily removed for cleaning and sleeping.
Full dentures are used to replace all of your natural teeth. They are custom-fitted to your upper or lower gums, or both, and held in place by suction and/or the help of an oral adhesive. Just like partial dentures, they are easily removable for cleaning and sleep.
Implant-supported dentures are anchored by dental implants. They are made up of a dental implant, a titanium post, and a custom crown which looks and functions like a natural tooth.
It’s more common to use implant-support dentures on the lower jaw since the upper has fewer problems with fitting securely, but many patients have implants on both.
How do I care for dentures?
Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be cleaned every day. Without the proper care, plaque and tartar can build up on your dentures and cause stains, bad breath and problems with your gums. Plaque from your dentures can also spread to your natural teeth and gums, causing issues like gum disease and cavities.