If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth,
whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury,
complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your
smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance
and your health. Without support from the denture, facial
muscles sag, making a person look older. You’ll be able to
eat and speak—things that people often take for granted
until their natural teeth are lost.
There are various types of complete
dentures. A conventional full denture is made and placed in
the patient’s mouth after the remaining teeth are removed
and tissues have healed which may take several months. An
immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the
remaining teeth are removed. The dentist takes measurements
and makes models of the patient’s jaws during a preliminary
visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not
have to be without teeth during the healing period.
Even if you wear full dentures, you still
must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue
and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before
you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your
tissues and help remove plaque.
Complete dentures are called
"conventional" or "immediate" according to when they are
made and when they are inserted into the mouth.
Immediate dentures are inserted
immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. To
make this possible, the dentist takes measurements and makes
the models of the patient's jaws during a preliminary visit.
An advantage of immediate dentures is
that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the
healing period. However, bones and gums can shrink over
time, especially during the period of healing in the first
six months after the removal of teeth. When gums shrink,
immediate dentures may require rebasing or relining to fit
properly. A conventional denture can then be made once the
tissues have healed. Healing may take at least 6-8 weeks.
Dentures can be made to closely resemble
your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will
be noticeable. Dentures may even improve the look of your
smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and
Over time, dentures will need to be
relined, rebased, or remade due to normal wear. To reline or
rebase a denture, the dentist uses the existing denture
teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture
base. Dentures may need to be replaced if they become loose
and the teeth show signs of significant wear. Dentures
become loose because a mouth naturally changes with age.
Bone and gum ridges can recede or shrink, causing jaws to
align differently. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to
fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems,
including sores and infections. A loose denture also makes
chewing more difficult and may change your facial features.
It's important to replace worn or poorly-fitting dentures
before they cause problems.