Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth and gums. A complete denture replaces all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in gaps created by some missing teeth. Plastic denture teeth are made of acrylic resin. The base however may be plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic (Cobalt chrome denture). The chrome dentures have clips and clasps, which help keep the denture in place. Dentures must be removed for cleaning purposes and they are also usually left out at night-time.
- What is the difference between a plastic partial denture and one that contains metal?
Plastic dentures are less expensive to make than chrome dentures. Plastic dentures must be designed carefully otherwise they can cause damage to the teeth they fit against. Metal partial dentures are usually made from an alloy of cobalt and chromium and they are much stronger. Although the base is metal, they have natural coloured gum and teeth.
- How are dentures fitted?
Full dentures are made to fit your gums and natural gum suction keep them in place. Partial dentures are held in place with clasps, which grip the remaining teeth.
Some people prefer their dentures to be fitted to implants, which result in a much tighter fit, giving greater control when speaking and eating.
- Is it painful to have dentures?
Dentures can give discomfort if they are not fitted properly by irritating the gums and teeth. Some people have difficulty wearing dentures especially if they have not worn dentures before. Dentures are custom made to fit your mouth and the majority of patients are happy with their false teeth.
- How do I get used to wearing dentures?
When teeth are lost or extracted, it can feel unusual at first. After dentures are fitted, the mind needs to get used to the sensations of having substitute teeth in place. This adjustment for the mouth can take several weeks to months. Some patients report a feeling of bulkiness or excess saliva. Dentures will also affect speech and taste sensations. Over time, you will naturally become accustomed these altered sensations and resume greater control over your new teeth.
- How do I clean my dentures?
It is generally recommended to remove your dentures at night before going to sleep. Your denture teeth should be brushed to remove any food debris and then left in a bowl of water to soak overnight. The use of an effervescent denture cleaner will assist in removing stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher (always follow the manufacturers instructions).
Remember that dentures, just like your natural teeth and gums, need to be checked on a regular basis.
- How long do dentures last?
The duration of dentures is variable depending on wear and tear, changes in your gum contours or bone shape and even alteration in your bite. The strength of plastic acrylic teeth is much less than porcelain crowns and bridges.