A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
- An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
- A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain, or a combination thereof. A complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance. We call this type of appliance an overdenture. The advantage of an overdenture is that this overdenture will stay securely in the mouth and generally only come out when you want it to.
The best type of overdenture we can make for you is when we retain 2-4 teeth, do root canals on these remaining teeth, and restore the teeth with a modified precision cast crown-post crown that has a precision attachment on it. By using your own tooth as an implant, we eliminate the surgery of putting in an implant, and eliminate the possibility of your body rejecting an implant. Also, by making the overdenture tooth supported, the jaw ridge is maintained over a long period of time, i.e., the bone and gum ridges shrink minimally.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.