Dentures are removable replacements for the surrounding tissues and missing teeth. Dentures can be installed as an option for tooth loss resulting from injury, tooth decay, or gum disease. They make it easier to speak and eat better if you do are missing some teeth. Losing your teeth can make your facial muscles sag and make you look older than you actually are. Dentures can be designed to look just like your natural teeth so that there is little to no change in your appearance. There are three kinds of dentures as explained below.
Removable Complete Dentures
These dentures sit atop of the gums where there were missing teeth. Initially, it may be uncomfortable and it can affect how you taste food causing sore gums. They can also click and shift in your mouth whenever you cough, yawn, smile, eat, or speak. The initial costs can be low and they can last for about 7 to 15 years with significant long-term replacement costs. These dentures are usually made and put in the mouth once the remaining teeth have been removed and the tissues are completely healed. This can take a few months.
Removable Partial Dentures
These dentures are usually designed for the replacement of missing teeth from the same arch. They are also ideal for replacing teeth, which might or might not be next to each other. Partial dentures are made from an acrylic base that can be strengthened using a cobalt chrome metal framework in some cases. These dentures often have metal clasps designed to fit over your remaining teeth to hold the denture in place firmly but still allowing easy removal. Some of them are made using a flexible nylon material while the clasps are made using gum-colored nylon to ensure they are less visible when in the mouth. Removable partial dentures can be taken out of the mouth easily for cleaning purposes. Your dentist can also recommend caps or crowns on your natural teeth to improve the partial dentures fit while in your mouth. Partial dentures are meant to be taken out at bedtime and put back in once you wake up. As you get older, your mouth will change,mostly due to the bone losing more of its structures/thicknesss, meaning your removable partial dentures might not be able to fit any more. They can also chip or crack and one of the teeth may become loose. If this happens, you may have to contact your dentist for options such as repair, reline, or remake of the partial dentures.
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Overdentures or All-on-four Implant Supported Dentures
At times, you can save some of your teeth to preserve the jawbone and offer support and stability for this type of denture. Overdentures are usually prepared by a dentist to fit over your natural teeth if there are very few remaining. You can reinforce a full-arch lower denture with only four implants but an upper denture might require at least six implants to offer support. Treatment using Overdentures involves inserting two implants at the front of the dental arch where your missing teeth used to be. The two remaining implants are placed at a 45-degree angle on either side tilting to the back of your mouth. The overdenture will then clip onto the installed dental implants with special attachments on the fitting surface.
New dentures will feel odd in your mouth for a few weeks until you get used to them. Dentures may also feel slightly loose until your tongue and your cheek muscles learn to keep them stationary. Your saliva flow will also increase temporarily, you may experience slight soreness, and irritation but once your mouth get used to the dentures, these issues will go away.