A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. Full denture implants are dentures inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be relined several months after being inserted. The reason is that the bone supporting the teeth reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.
Apart from full denture implants, a partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.
How Long do Dentures Last?
Dentures last for a very long time, as much as 30 years or more! Their longevity depends on everyday use and, how well they are cared for. They do start to show signs of wear and tear over time which is why dentists recommend that you have them checked on a regular basis. Your gums shrink as a result of ageing which will cause your dentures to loosen and move around. If this happens then you will need your dentures adjusting or relined to deal with this.
Worn or poorly fitted dentures can cause sores and infections so it is important that you have them checked on a regular basis.
Eating with dentures for the first time will require practice and patience but with time you will be able to bite and chew more naturally. In the beginning, avoid hard foods in favour of a diet of soft foods. Try taking smaller bites and chewing gently to prevent dentures from becoming loose. Gradually introduce more solid foods to your diet and with time you will be able to enjoy most foods.