A Denture is a Prosthodontic device which replaces missing teeth in the oral cavity. There is no need for you to get a denture if you take good care of your teeth and prevent subsequent tooth loss. The Dentures are custom made for the patients who have partial or completely missing teeth and classifying them on that basis, they are of two types: Complete and Partial Dentures.

There have been admirable advances in the field of Prosthodontics enabling production of dentures that feel, function and appear nothing but natural. They have appealing aesthetics too and you can avoid any possible embarrassment with the help of these modern dentures.

This however does not imply that there are no issues with modern dentures. Although dentures replace teeth, there never has been a just replacement for natural teeth. It will take time for your mouth (and brain) to acclimatize to the new foreign substance in the mouth. Everyday actions such as talking and eating will require practice and can take some time to get the hang of. For some people it might become extremely difficult for the brain to accept the denture and they constantly get gag reflex. Such people might have to consider implant supported palateless denture or hypnosis therapy.

The two types of Dentures are:

Complete Dentures

These are dentures made to cover the entire arch and employed in patients who have lost all their teeth either in the maxillary arch or mandibular arch or even both. Complete Dentures in lower jaw are difficult to manage than the upper jaw as they tend to get displaced easily due to the absence of suction.

An over-denture is a slight modification of complete denture in which a few teeth remain which are shortened and the denture fits Over it (and hence the name Over-denture). An Over-denture has a few advantages like:

1. The remaining natural teeth preserve the bone.

2. The natural teeth also share some of the bite force during biting.

3. The stability of the denture is improved.

But an Over-denture is expensive and demands regular maintenance to prevent decay and gum disease.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures cover a few missing teeth but not the entire jaw. They are of two types: Fixed and Removable.

Removable Partial Denture:

As the name suggests, these are the partial dentures which can be removed and snapped back as and when desired. They consist of metal framework along with artificial teeth and metal clasps which hold the denture in position.

Fixed Partial Denture

Fixed Partial dentures often referred as “Bridges” are cemented in the appropriate position. Bridges are preferred over removal partial dentures as they are comfortable and better resemble natural teeth but they require healthy teeth for their support and are expensive.

Other special types of removable dentures are the Flipper denture and Nesbit Denture.

Alternatives to Partial Dentures

Dental Implants are fast becoming a preference over the conventional bridges. These are single artificial teeth which are fixed in to the jaw. They mimic the natural teeth very well but they cost more than the bridges.

Steps in Denture Processing

A finished denture might appear a simple device but requires a lot of work for its processing. The Denture manufacturing process consists of multiple steps extending over a period of 3 weeks to 2 months involving several visits to the dentist.

The manufacturing process of the denture is specific to the kind of denture that is being made but the general steps are

1.Taking an impression of your mouth.

2.Creating temporary models in the form of wax or plastic which resemble the measurements of the final denture. This is tried on your mouth and necessary adjustments are      made depending on how it fits in to your mouth

3.After all the required trials, a final denture will be cast.

4.The final denture will be placed in your mouth and any required changes will be made.

5.You will be required to give a visit to your dentist after a day or two just to check the response of your mouth to the denture.

  Adjusting to a Denture

Although, modern dentistry has enabled us to create efficient and tooth resembling replicas which we can fit in our mouths, there is no comparing them to natural teeth. Hence, we should always strive to maintain our Dental health. Adjusting to Dentures can be tricky and here are some of the common problems you will face with your new denture.

Denture Fit

Initially, the denture might feel loose and this occurs mainly to mandibular dentures due to absence of suction which the maxillary dentures enjoy. Your mouth will learn to retain them over a period of time. There might be areas that need to be worked on which only your dentist can do. You might also experience denture sores initially due to tight fitting of the denture.

Eating with a Denture

Eating with a denture requires practice and it’s just not the same as natural teeth. Don’t exert too much pressure on the denture and it might be seen that some of the patients can chew almost any thing with a denture while others may have some limitations. It is also suggested to use a side wise grinding motion while chewing with a denture rather than the natural up-down motion you used when you had natural teeth.

Speaking with a Denture

You might find pronouncing some words or even trying to talk difficult. This again requires practice on your part and you should try to pronounce the “trouble” words aloud.

Removable Denture Care

1.Take out your denture before sleeping as this effectively lets your mucosa and gums to take some rest as well.

2.Remove the denture and rinse your mouth with a mouth wash once daily to keep infections at bay

3.Do clean your denture frequently with your denture toothpaste.

4.Visit your dentist when you develop sores or experience sudden difficulty in speaking or eating.

5.Make sure you get your denture reevaluated at every 6 months interval by your dentist.