Dentures replace all or some of your natural teeth and help with chewing, speaking and swallowing. Dentures are artificial teeth fabricated from plastic resin or porcelain and bonded to a base. A full set of upper and lower dentures will replace all of your natural teeth. Partial dentures are used to replace multiple teeth and are anchored to healthy natural teeth. A prosthodontist deals with restoring and replacing missing teeth and mouth tissues.
Dental Framework and Adhesives
Dentures are supported by a nylon, acrylic, ceramic or metal alloy base. Full dentures adhere to the gums with special denture cream, power or dental strips. Dental strips provide for a strong hold and are less messy than cream or powders. Do not use regular toothpaste on dentures, as this may scratch the surface and facilitate germ growth. Use a soft toothbrush to help remove plaque and food. Soak dentures in a denture cleaner or soap and water and a disinfectant.
Full Plastic or Acrylic Dentures
Your dentist has these made at a dental laboratory. He takes a dental mould of your mouth using silicone impression material to provide a custom fit for your dentures, or he can use the dimensions of your existing dentures. Your dentist selects a resin colour that best represents the colour of your natural teeth. Indianapolis dentist Dr. Matt Church of Washington Street Dentistry encourages his patients to consider a partial denture first when contemplating teeth replacement. "I try to keep my patients from going to a complete set of dentures if I can," he says. "A partial denture allows for a tighter fit and allows for more natural mouth function, such as eating and chewing, than a full denture."
Partial Dentures with Metal Base
Partial dentures replace missing teeth and consist of one or several resin or porcelain teeth attached to a rigid metal alloy base. The partial denture is moulded to fit the patient's mouth and the teeth replicate the natural tooth colour. Partial dentures are attached with a C-shaped clasp or hook, which grips adjacent teeth and holds it in place. Church prescribes an acrylic base for patients with nickel allergies or those who do not like the metal feel. "The acrylic clips may not grip the teeth as tightly as the metal," he notes.
Maintenance and Longevity
Dentures should be relined every two to three years. Relines fit the surface of the denture to mouth tissues to accommodate gum shrinkage. Replace acrylic-based dentures every five to seven years to compensate for age-based changes in your mouth structure. Metal-based dentures may need replacement less frequently, since they are attached to natural teeth and the metal alloy provides a lot of strength.