What Are Dentures?

Dentures are removable dental appliances that take the place of missing teeth and their surrounding gum tissue. They are meant to be unobtrusive, and therefore they are made to appear as close as possible to your natural teeth. They can even help upgrade your smile from “blah” to beautiful!

The two main types of dentures are:

  • Complete dentures – these are used when the patient is missing all of their teeth in either the upper or lower part of the mouth. There are two varieties of complete dentures, conventional and immediate.
    • Conventional dentures – these are not made until the teeth have already been removed and the gum tissue has recovered, which typically means that the patient has a 4-6 week waiting period where they have no teeth.
    • Immediate dentures – these are created in advance of the patient’s teeth being removed so that they can be given to the patient immediately. With this option, the patient does not have to wait around with no teeth while their mouth heals. The downside of this option is that after the gum tissues shrink and heal, the patient will have to return to our office to have their dentures adjusted.
  • Partial dentures – partial dentures come into play when the patient is missing several teeth, but not all of them. These appliances fill in the gaps where the missing teeth used to be and keep the remaining natural teeth from shifting from the proper positions.

Just like the natural teeth they are meant to replace, dentures are very strong and should last for many years. Normal wear and tear do occur, however, and it is not unusual for dentures to need to be repaired, readjusted, or remade over time.

Why Do People Need Dentures?

There are many reasons why patients may need to get dentures. Here are a few:

  • Loss of all of the teeth in an arch – when a patient has lost all of their teeth either on the top or bottom of their mouth, they are in need of a complete denture.
  • Loss of many (but not all) teeth in an arch – partial dentures are used when a patient has lost several of their teeth in a given arch, but not all of them. Partial dentures make their smile whole again.
  • Correcting speech, chewing, and digestion – teeth play a very important role in a person’s life. Without teeth, speech becomes impaired because the patient is unable to make the proper sounds that the tongue normally forms in relation to the teeth. When a patient cannot communicate properly, it can be mortifying and isolating as the patient may begin avoiding social contact. Similarly, when teeth are missing it becomes increasingly difficult to chew one’s food. This can have negative effects in social situations because the patient’s companions may notice the patient struggling to chew. In addition, not being able to chew properly means that the patient’s food is not being broken down the way it should be, which can lead to digestion issues.
  • Improving smile and facial tissues – let’s face it, the human face looks better with teeth in it because humans are meant to have teeth. Dentures are hugely important to the appearance of a face that is missing several teeth because they replace what is missing, and by doing so, greatly improve the patient’s facial structure. Dentures also improve the patient’s smile, both due to the fact that the smile will have many more teeth than it did previously and also because the patient will feel confident enough to smile knowing that they will not be remembered as the person missing several teeth. In this way, the positive psychological impact of dentures cannot be overestimated.

There are many reasons to consider getting dentures, but the bottom line in this: people need teeth for several important reasons, and dentures play a critical role in a patient’s overall health and quality of life by replacing missing teeth.

What Is the Process of Getting Dentures Like?

Getting dentures is not a quick process, but that is because each set of dentures is custom-created specifically for the individual patient. It takes many appointments spread out over the course of several weeks to get this process right. The dentist will need to get many molds made of the patient’s mouth as well as take measurements so that the dentures are as accurate to the patient’s mouth dimensions as possible. In addition to the basics, the patient will also need to try out their dentures to be certain that the dentist has gotten the right shape, color, and fit. This part of the process alone can take multiple appointments, but it is well worth it to ensure that the perfect set of dentures is the result. The final step in the process involves the dentist performing precise adjustments to make sure that the dentures feel comfortable and natural in the patient’s mouth.

After going for some length of time without having some or even all of their teeth, the patient may feel sore and slobbery and may have difficulty eating and talking. This is not a cause for alarm, however; it is merely the effects of going from having missing teeth to suddenly having several new teeth. The body’s tissues and muscles are simply adjusting, and these symptoms will soon subside as the body establishes its “new normal.”

Your dentist will provide you with specific, detailed care instructions for your set of dentures. It is essential that you follow these instructions in order to prolong the life of your new dentures. With good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, and proper cleaning, you will be able to maximize the life of your new dental appliance.

Your dentist will provide you with specific, detailed care instructions for your set of dentures. It is essential that you follow these instructions in order to prolong the life of your new dentures. With good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, and proper cleaning, you will be able to maximize the life of your new dental appliance.

Questions about dentures? Ready to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient Toronto or North York locations? Call Empress Dental today at 416-250-8000 to set up your appointment! We look forward to hearing from you!

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