What is a denture?
Denture (also know as `plates` or `false teeth`) is a removable appliance that replaces your teeth. Periodontal disease, injury, extensive decay are reasons for losing natural teeth. A complete denture replaces all of your natural teeth and Partial denture replaces some of your natural teeth.
Types of complete dentures
Before extracting your natural teeth, impressions of your jaw and teeth will be taken. Then there might be several steps prior to your dentist extracting your natural teeth and immediate denture will be inserted. This is a good option for patients who do not want to be without teeth after removal of their natural teeth.
Immediate denture should be relined or replaced six months after extractions because these dentures will not fit properly and will be loose causing ulcers and soreness in the mouth. This should not be confused with soreness and ulcers that happen immediately after the denture is placed. If soreness and ulcers happen after the denture is given to the patient, you will need to see your dentist for adjustments. The average post-op visits after delivery of dentures is three visits.
Conventional dentures are full coverage dental prosthesis. It is indicated for patients with old complete dentures or for patients with immediate complete denture after six or more months of delivery. Conventional dentures are recommended when there are no natural teeth in the mouth and all healing of gums and bone have taken place. Impressions are taken of the jaw. There will be several steps in between impressions and delivery of dentures which include jaw relations, teeth selection and a wax try-in of the denture teeth. Once dentures are delivered, you will need to see your dentist for post-op visits to adjust dentures where they are causing ulcers and soreness (“digging in the gums”).
Overdentures, as the name implies, are dentures that sit over something. This could either be existing tooth/teeth or implants. There are two kinds of overdentures: Tooth supported overdentures or implant supported overdentures.
Tooth supported overdentures:
When there are a few firm and stable teeth in the mouth they can be used as abutments to retain the denture. Keeping teeth or root stumps helps with the preservation of bone. This is important for the retention and stabilization of the denture. It also gives the patient satisfaction that they have existing natural teeth in their mouth. Tooth supported overdentures are a cost effective alternative to implant supported overdentures.
Implant supported overdentures: This is where dental implants are integrated into the jaw bone. The denture is supported by the implants, bone, and gum. Implant supported overdentures are recommended for patients who are suffering from denture instability and have enough bone to support implants. A minimum of two implants for the lower jaw (mandible) and four implants for the upper jaw (maxilla) are recommended. However, you will need to consult your dentist and your surgeon to see how many implants are right for you.
All the dentures noted above should be removed by the patient at night. Dentures must be cleaned with a denture brush and must be placed in a denture container with water when not in use.
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If there are no teeth present in the upper and lower jaw, you will need to see your dentist on a yearly basis for examination of your gums, see how the dentures are fitting and to see whether or not there are ulcers in the mouth. Yearly oral cancer screening is a must. However, if there is even one tooth present in the mouth, you will need to see your dentist every six months for a check up and oral cancer screening.