What is a denture?

There are generally two types of dentures available; complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth along the upper and/or lower arch are missing, while partial dentures are used when there are some natural teeth or existing implants in play.

Complete dentures

Complete dentures are a removable oral device that replaces a whole arch of teeth which have been removed and/or have fallen out. There are two types of removable dentures; conventional or immediate.

Conventional dentures

Conventional dentures can only be placed eight to twelve months after the teeth have been removed and placed only when the gum tissue has begun to heal.

Immediate dentures

Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures, as their name suggests can be placed immediately as they are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. This means the patient does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, the bones and gums shrink over time and especially during the healing period post tooth removal. Therefore immediate dentures require further adjustments compared to that of conventional dentures. In some instances, patients receive immediate dentures for just the healing process and are then fitted with conventional dentures.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures are used when one or more natural healthy teeth exist on the upper or lower arch. A removable partial denture (or bridge) usually consists of replacement (or false) teeth that are attached to a pink / gum coloured plastic base. This contains a metal framework or clasps that hold the denture in place in your mouth. These clasps are attached to existing teeth (or implants) and depending where these clasps are, they may show when you smile or open your mouth.

How do I look after my dentures?

The general rule to follow is to brush, soak and brush again. Always clean your dentures over a clean surface, in case you drop it. Use an effervescent (fizzy) denture cleaner, as this will help to remove stubborn stains and will leave your dentures feeling clean, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

When brushing, it is advised you use a small amount of toothpaste on a small to medium sized toothbrush. Ensure you clean all the surfaces on the dentures, including the surface that fits against your gums, this is very important if you choose to use a denture fixative. If you notice a build-up of plaque or slight discolouration, please bring your dentures in for a professional clean by your dental team.

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