Dentures are used to replace lost or missing teeth. They are made of either acrylic (plastic) or of a metal base with acrylic around where the teeth are positioned. A denture is described as ‘complete’ if it replaces all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, or ‘partial’ if it only replaces some of them. All dentures are made to fit snugly over the gum, but if there are natural teeth present these may be used to help hold the denture in by using clasps around them, or even to give support to the denture by using rests on the top of them. Dentures are a very good way of replacing many missing teeth and they help with giving support to cheeks and lips, with chewing food, and improved appearance. This is beneficial to your confidence and self-esteem.
Usually dentures can be fitted as soon as your teeth are removed so that you are not left with a gap. This is particularly important when the teeth are at the front. These are called ‘immediate’ dentures. The gums usually shrink underneath the denture especially over the first 6 months. If this happens your immediate denture may need adjusting, re-lining or in some cases replacing. Your dentist will be able to talk to you about this. The process of making your denture involves taking impressions and measurements of your mouth. These are then sent to a dental technician who will then make the denture particular to your prescription. Your dentist will check the fit, and if required will make any adjustments so that the denture is comfortable.