Understanding Dentures

If your dentist has recently mentioned that you may eventually need a denture, you may know little about what to expect from your appliance. Here is a bit of information about dentures to help you better understand them.

What Is a Denture?

A denture is a customized appliance that is used to replace lost teeth. The device is non-invasive and rests over the gums. The denture is developed using an impression of the patient's oral cavity to obtain a precise fit. The device, which is usually made from resin and metal components, consists of false teeth that are attached to a base. 

Should I Use Full Dentures or Partial Dentures?

A full denture is used to replace an entire palate of teeth. A partial denture, on the other hand, can be used when some teeth are missing but others still remain in the palate.

How Is a Denture Held in Place?

A traditional top denture is held in place by the suction produced as the appliance rests against the soft tissues of the roof of the mouth. For further stability, the denture patient can apply denture adhesive, or the dentist can place dental implants strategically along the gum line to hold the denture in position. The patient can attach and detach an implant-supported denture from the implants whenever they choose. To allow the connection, the denture is fitted with an attachment mechanism on its underside. This mechanism connects with the abutment of a dental implant. Dental implants used as denture supports must be inserted through the gums into the jawbone and permitted to heal into place before they can offer proper stabilization for other appliances.

A bottom denture typically requires additional support, since the tongue occupies the floor of the mouth and leaves little surface space to make direct contact with the base of the denture. The denture is stabilized by connections to implants or existing teeth.

Should Special Precautions Be Taken With a Denture?

Certain precautions should be taken with a denture to help keep the device in optimal condition. The denture should not be exposed to hot liquids during cleaning or rinsing to avoid warping the plastic components. Additionally, the denture should be stored in water or a suitable solution to prevent the dehydration of the device, which could cause the denture to become brittle. Also, due to its abrasive texture, toothpaste should not be used to clean the false teeth.

For more information about dentures, schedule a consultation with a dentist's office (such as Cape Dental Care) in your local area.