A partial or a complete denture is an appliance that is built to replace natural teeth and provide support for the cheeks and lips.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.
- A conventional denture is made after all indicated teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal beneath the denture.
- An upper denture has an acrylic base, which matches the gum’s colour and covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
- A lower denture’s base is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination of both. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.
Dentures will wear over time and need to be replaced, relined or rebased in order to keep the jaw alignment normal for normal function. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of teeth or long-term use. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.