A denture is a set of artificial teeth which look and act in the same way as natural teeth. The one difference here is that they can be taken out and cleaned which you can’t do with natural teeth.

They have been a popular replacement for missing teeth and are easy to use although there can be a few problems with them. These include ‘loose’ dentures and gum irritation.

If you have lost all of your teeth and are classed as ‘edentulous’ then dentures can help. If, however, you have only lost a few teeth then your dentist will recommend an overdenture instead.

An overdenture or ‘partial denture’ is a type of denture which rests on a metal framework and fastens to your natural teeth. Your dentist may place a few crowns (artificial teeth) over your natural teeth to act as an anchor for the overdenture.

A denture is a flesh coloured base (made of acrylic) which fits in your mouth, over your gums. The upper part of the denture fits over the roof of your mouth; the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe and is designed to accommodate your tongue. The teeth are fastened to these acrylic bases.

Every denture is custom made to your individual requirements. This involves the taking of an impression (from wax) which acts as a mould. This mould is then used to cast the dentures.

There are three types of dentures from which to choose:

  • Full denture: this is as the name says: it consists of two parts (acrylic bases) and is fitted after any remaining teeth have been removed. The tissues of the mouth are given time to heal, although this can take a few months to do so.

    You will have to wait until these tissues have fully healed before having the dentures. This means having to put up with no teeth during that time.

  • Immediate full denture: this is the same as the conventional full denture, the only difference being that this denture is fitted right away instead of a later date.

    On the plus side this means not having to manage without any teeth; the downside is that the denture can become loose as the bone reshapes whilst healing. ?

    Your dentist will take an x-ray and make a cast of your jaw prior to surgery. Any remaining teeth are removed before the insertion of the denture.

  • Partial denture: also known as an ‘overdenture’: any remaining teeth are left in place as this denture is attached to them via a metal framework. Crowns may be placed over your remaining teeth which act as a support for the denture in general.

There are numerous types of implants to choose from but whichever you choose you will find that they fall into one of the three following categories:

  • Endosteal
  • Plate Form
  • Subperiosteal (blade form)

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