Full and partial dentures
A denture is designed to serve as a replacement for missing teeth as well as the surrounding tissues. There are two major types of dentures. Partial dentures are available for people who miss only some of their natural teeth. Complete dentures are available for people who have all their natural teeth missing.
Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed. They may not be available for weeks after the patients teeth have been removed. This is because the gums and supporting tissues in the mouth shrink following an operation that removes all the teeth. Thus, the denture would be loose fitting after a few weeks. Conventional dentures are custom made after taking the shrinkage into account.
Partial dentures are removable. They basically consist of replacements for the missing portions of the teeth attached to a plastic base. The plastic base is usually colored like a gum to give the denture a natural appearance. The partial denture is designed to fill the space left by the missing teeth while preventing other teeth from moving in their positions. There is also a partial denture that has a metal base with metal wires. Your dentist will discuss which option is best for you.
The denture development process
If you are getting a denture, you would need more than one appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will have to:
- Take impressions of your jaw to ensure the denture would be a perfect fit
- Create models of the denture for you to try out before the real one is made
- Cast the final denture
- Make adjustments if and when necessary
What’s the recovery process like?
It could take you a few weeks to get used to your dentures. The dentures would feel odd during this period as your cheeks and tongue try to welcome the new guest. Your dentist would give you self-care tips and should also tell you the kind of foods that are suitable for you at this stage. Generally, you should opt for soft foods as you may find chewing difficult in the first few weeks. As you get used to your dentures, chewing becomes easier and you can go back to eating most of the foods you love.