There’s no denying that a striking smile can light up a room. But what happens when you lose some natural teeth due to gum disease, tooth decay, or injury? Here’s where dentures come in.
This informative blog post will answer various intriguing questions like, “What are dentures? What are they made of? What do they look like? How do they work?”
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are removable artificial replacements for missing teeth and the tissues surrounding them. They are essential for individuals who have lost their natural teeth due to gum disease, tooth decay, or injuries.
Different types of dentures include:
- Complete Dentures: When all of an individual’s natural teeth are missing, a set of complete dentures may be the best option. These dentures replace lost teeth and restore both function and appearance. They have an acrylic base that fits over the gums and either a porcelain or acrylic set of replacement teeth attached to the base. The upper dentures cover the roof of the mouth, while the lower ones are shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate the tongue.
- Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are used when only a few natural teeth are missing. They are constructed with replacement teeth attached to a metal or acrylic base that matches the color of the gums. These dentures are usually held in place with metal clasps or precision attachments, and they fill in gaps created by missing teeth to maintain the position of the remaining ones.
- Conventional Dentures: Conventional dentures are fabricated after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has started to heal. This type of denture is ready to be placed in the mouth about eight to twelve weeks after teeth removal.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: Implant-supported dentures are a type of overdenture supported by and attached to dental implants positioned in the jawbone. Unlike other types of dentures, implant-supported dentures are more stable, offering better support, strength, and comfort to the wearer. However, they can only be used in cases where there’s enough bone in the jaw to support the implants.
What Are Dentures Made Of?
Today’s dentures incorporate a variety of materials, each critical for different aspects of the denture’s structure and functionality. Let’s delve into these materials in more depth:
- Hard Resin: Nowadays, most denture teeth are made from hard resin, a material that outlives traditional porcelain in terms of durability. However, it’s good to remember that even hard resin isn’t as strong as natural teeth and tends to wear out over time, typically needing a replacement every five years or so.
- Acrylic: A flexible polymer called acrylic is commonly used for the part of the denture that mimics gum tissues, known as the denture base. It provides a realistic resemblance to natural gums due to its color and texture, enhancing the overall look of the dentures.
- Metal Framework: Certain dentures, for example, partial dentures, may have a metal framework incorporated into their design. This addition provides an extra level of stability and durability, ensuring the dentures last longer and perform better.
What Do Dentures Look Like?
Contrary to popular belief, modern dentures look remarkably like natural teeth. The aim of dentures—be they traditional dentures, conventional dentures, or implant-supported dentures—is to be indistinguishable from real teeth. The artificial teeth are meticulously crafted and placed into the denture bases, producing a natural-looking result.
Dentures even simulate the natural gum color, making them look even more like natural teeth, so there’s no need to feel self-conscious about wearing them.
How Do Dentures Work?
Dentures work by fitting snugly over the gums replacing absent teeth and gum tissues. Complete, also called “full” dentures, replace all teeth in the upper or lower jaw and rest on the gum that overlays the jawbone. Partial dentures replace only some teeth and are attached to remaining healthy teeth with metal clasps or precision devices.
Denture adhesives can also secure the fit, but a well-fitting denture may not need them. Most people can eat soft foods fairly quickly with time and muscle adaptation. With practice and patience, most denture wearers can master eating more challenging foods.
How Are Dentures Made?
The process involves several steps and considerations, starting with a consultation and ending with creating a customized prosthetic. There are different types of dentures, such as partial, complete, and implant-supported, each designed to cater to specific dental needs.
Step 1: Consultation and Evaluation
First, dental professionals evaluate the condition of a person’s remaining natural teeth, gum tissues, and facial muscles. They will check for tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss, or other dental health issues that must be addressed beforehand. Regular dental checkups form an important part of the process.
Step #2: Denture Design
Based on the dental care evaluation, the dental professional suggests a type of denture that suits the patient’s needs. This could range from partial dentures, designed to be supported by natural teeth, to complete dentures for those without any remaining teeth. Dental implants may also be suggested as a long-lasting alternative.
Step #3: Impression and Modeling
Dental professionals make an impression on the patient’s mouth using special materials. This impression is then used to make a precise mouth model, which serves as a blueprint for the dentures.
Step #4: Creation of Dentures
Dentures are typically made from several denture materials, including acrylic resin and, occasionally, porcelain for artificial teeth. An acrylic base, often colored to match natural gum tissue, holds the replacement teeth. Partial dentures might include a metal framework for extra support.
Step #5: Fitting and Adjustments
Fine-tuning is performed for the proper fit after the dentures are created. Ill-fitting dentures can cause discomfort and oral health problems. Achieving well-fitting dentures may need multiple visits.
Step #6: Education on Denture Care
Dental professionals educate denture wearers on proper care, cleaning, and storage of dentures. It’s advised to avoid harsh denture cleansers that can damage denture bases and to use approved denture cleaners. Denture adhesives might be recommended to improve the fit and stability of removable dentures.
Step #7: Follow-Ups
Periodic dental visits are necessary to check the fit of dentures and monitor oral health.
Smile Confidently Again With Hello Family Dental
Dentures can be an excellent treatment option for those missing some or all their natural teeth. They help restore appearances, improve speech and eating difficulties, and boost confidence. Dentures can also help maintain facial muscles that might otherwise sag due to missing teeth.
Long-lasting dentures can help you achieve a beautiful, full smile for years to come. If you’re considering this procedure as your dental care method, schedule an appointment with our team of professional dentists today. We can guide you through the entire process, making it as smooth as possible. Contact us today, and let’s get you that confident and lively smile again.