A denture is a replacement for missing teeth and the connected tissues to those teeth. The denture is removable and is made up of acrylic plastic and sometimes metal materials and porcelain. The replaced teeth have a close resemblance to natural teeth and gum tissue.

One goes for ‘complete denture’ to replace all the teeth, while partial dentures fill in the missing teeth spaces and also stop other teeth from changing their positions. There are two kinds of complete dentures, the “immediate” and the “conventional” types. In the case of immediate denture, the replaced teeth are done on the same day, soon after the removal of the natural teeth. This kind of denture acts to protect the tissues while lowering the chances of bleeding after tooth extraction. With the conventional kind, a time period of 8 to 12 weeks is passed for the gum healing process to take place before a denture is placed in the gap. The time for replacement may be more and depends on the dentist’s recommendations.

People with some natural teeth can go for partial denture. It must however be remembered that replaced teeth are meant for people of any age as one may lose teeth and there may be a need to go for denture.

The process of denture takes about a month and requires few appointments. These include the initial diagnosis, an impression of jaws positions, a prototype to determine the correct color, shape and other details, a final placement of denture before making any little adjustments.

How to care a denture?

Sometimes dentists recommend denture adhesives, mainly for the first time wearers. This adhesive improves the stability and retention of replaced teeth and helps to restore the confidence of the wearer.

The following guidelines if followed improve the denture life.

· Take out the replaced teeth and brush it daily using a denture cleanser.

· Do not use boiling water to sterilize the replaced teeth as the denture material may change its shape.

· In the case of partial denture, the replaced teeth should be removed before going to brush the natural teeth.

· When not in use, the replaced teeth should be soaked in water or a denture cleanser.

· Always keep the denture in the same place after its removal to avoid its misplacement.

Is it okay to wear your denture at night?

During your sleep it is better to remove the denture and soak it in a cleansing solution. You can also soak it during the day as it is found that soaking for at least eight hours helps the gum tissue to rest and helps in normal stimulation and cleansing by the saliva and tongue. This has a long-term benefit to the gums.

Continue with your dental visit

It is recommended to go for regular dental checkups so that the dentist can examine the presence of any disease or cancer. With the growing age, there may be a need for dental adjustment or remake of the denture. Neither you should try to adjust the replaced teeth yourself nor should you make use of denture adhesives for a long time as there are possibilities of denture loss.

Alternatives to dentures

A new alternative to denture is dental implants. These implants are artificial teeth roots that are fixed in the jaw surgically so that a replacement or bridge is held in place. Although expensive, these implants and bridges appear as more “real” teeth. However, it is better to consult your dentist about the kind of replacement you should go for to replace your missing teeth – dentures or implants.