Artificial substitutes for missing natural teeth can be either a complete denture or an over denture or partial plate.
Replacing missing teeth with a denture not only restores chewing ability and ease of speech, it also keeps the facial muscles from sagging. Over the past 25 to 30 years, though, the dental profession has made a concerted effort to help patients save their teeth by doing more gum disease. The decreasing numbers of extractions that have been performed in this more recent era make it possible for many who might have formerly had to wear dentures to now keep their natural teeth.
After teeth are removed, several months healing time is required before dentists can make models for permanent dentures. During the interim, temporary dentures are available so patients have teeth for cosmetic purposes. Temporaries are quite fragile, however, and eating soft foods is recommended.
New dentures take some getting used to, and it’s not unusual to experience some soreness or irritation initially. Eating will also take practice, and it may be necessary to relearn some speech patterns for difficult to pronounce words.
Dentures are very delicate and thus care to avoid dropping them is important. Expect to have dentures relined periodically to keep them fitting adequately. And if possible get a spare denture made for emergencies. If dentures do break and patients cannot get to a dentist and have no spare denture, Krazy Glue can be used as a temporary measure. Patients can also consider going directly to a dental lab for repair if a dentist is not available.
It is necessary to maintain regular dental checkups even when wearing full dentures in to monitor periodontal health.
Last updated: 16-Jun-05