A full denture can be fitted if all your upper or lower teeth need to be removed or you are having an old complete denture replaced. The denture is usually fitted as soon as your teeth are removed to fit snugly over your gums and jawbone.
A denture can be thought of simply as a moveable, replaceable false tooth or false teeth. These hardened plastic tooth-bearing devices are specially made for your dental needs.
Why Do I Need a Denture?
When you lose a tooth – though trauma or decay – a space is created. This space and be most unwelcome – both in sight and function. Missing teeth mean that the remaining teeth have to work harder to provide the same bite/function as before. A denture can provide the necessary support and solution to this challenge.
The traditional denture is made from a toughened plastic called MMA. This resilient material is held in place by closely adhering to the gum over the underlying jaw bone. The acrylic teeth are placed in situ by close cooperation between your dentist and their laboratory technician.
Metal dentures, usually made from chrome cobalt, are thinner and less bulky. They more closely adhere to the supporting teeth and feature a “guide plane” or “path of insertion” which allows the patient to comfortably and securely place/remove the denture.
There are usually 3 to 5 steps necessary to create a denture – from initial impression, through rim stage and onto try-in and then final fit. At each carefully monitored visit, the denture will begin to take shape. There are many component parts to creating a successful denture – from ease of insertion to accurate shade selection for the acrylic teeth. The shape, size and colour of the teeth should closely match existing teeth or, in the absence of any remaining teeth – should mimic the lost natural teeth. Your input at each step is critical to the successful delivery of a natural smile!
As we grow older, the shape of your face will change. The profile, density and consistency of your jaw bone alters as you get older. This constant remodelling of the underlying jaw, coupled with wear from dentures will affect the fit, look and function. Routine dental examinations with you dentist will ensure that your denture is providing optimum support and function at all times. The general rule of thumb is to have your denture changed approximately every 7 years. In some cases, dentures will need to be changed more often. Your natural saliva helps to provide a seal and adhesive to keep a full plastic denture in place. Salivary rates tend to decline as we get older. This can be also be complicated by various systemic medications – your dentist can best advise you on this.