What are dentures?
Dentures are removable replacements for your teeth that look and work just like your normal teeth. If all the teeth are missing then a complete denture can be used, whereas partial dentures can replace areas that have lost a few teeth only (although in these cases bridges or implants may be more suitable).
How can dentures be held in place?
Dentures should hold in place by their own natural suction, but often a fixative may need to also be used. Even then dentures can work loose, especially when eating hard foods such as apples. This can be both embarrassing and a nuisance. Implants, though, can be used to fix dentures securely and avoid these problems - they are relatively expensive, but more and more people are opting for them as they have such an effect on quality of life.
How are dentures made?
Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to check suitability for dentures; any decay or gum disease will need to be treated first and some existing teeth may even need to be removed if they are unhealthy. An impression is made by using special dental putty, and the mould then sent to a lab to make the new dentures. In the meantime a temporary denture may be used until the gums have fully healed from any treatment.
How long will the dentures last?
The gums can shrink over time, which will lead to the dentures becoming loose. This can sometimes be solved with a simple adjustment to the dentures, but sometimes a new set is needed. Dentures will also tend to suffer wear and tear over time, but their lifespan can be increased by looking after them and keeping good oral hygiene.
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The information provided is as a guide only and you should discuss matters fully with your specialist before deciding which procedure is right for you. Please also read our disclaimer