Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, full or partial dentures may be appropriate. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are missing from one or both arches (upper and lower jaws) There are two types of full dentures: Conventional Dentures and Immediate Dentures.
Conventional Dentures are typically used to replace a worn or broken set of dentures. They can also be used after the teeth are first removed and the gum tissue is given time to heal before the dentures are placed. It could take a few weeks for the gum tissue to heal adequately after extractions. During this time you will be without teeth. The resulting dentures will fit the gums better after this healing period and require fewer adjustments and relines.
Immediate Full Dentures - Prior to having your teeth removed, your dentist takes impressions and measurements. A dental laboratory then makes dentures to fit your mouth. After removing the teeth, the dentures are immediately placed in your mouth. The benefit is that you do not have to spend any time without teeth. You will, however, need to have a follow up visit to reline your dentures because the jaw bone will change shape as your mouth heals and your dentures will become loose. The reline procedure makes the dentures fit your mouth again.
Partial dentures are an option when not all of your teeth need to be removed. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth. A removeable partial denture will have gum colored or metal clasps that fit around your remaining teeth and hold the partial in place. The base of the partial can be a flexible material called Valplast or cast metal. Metal is stronger and lasts a long time. Valplast can be made to look more natural.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care of them like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles . After they have been cleaned, you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don't drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose. Always take your dentures out at night. This helps to maintain healthy gums and supporting bone. If you have a partial denture, taking it out at night will help to preserve your remaining teeth.