Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth. They can be partial dentures, which replace a limited number of teeth, or full dentures, which replace all of the teeth. Unlike your natural teeth, dentures are removed from the mouth for cleaning and to allow you to clean your gums and tongue. However, when fitted and worn properly, they look just like your natural teeth and can be used just as you would your natural teeth.
Full dentures are used to replace all of your teeth, both in your upper and lower jaws. Any remaining teeth will be removed and, after you heal from extraction, you will be fitted for your dentures. The healing process usually takes between two and three months. Waiting for the gums to heal will help ensure that the dentures fit properly and work properly when you eat and speak. Once the dentures have been fitted properly, you should have no pain when using them, and they should function like your natural teeth.>
Partial dentures may be used when you still have healthy teeth remaining. The partial denture is created similarly to complete dentures, but only the missing teeth are replaced. Partial dentures are removable for cleaning, as well. Like full dentures, any extractions will need to heal before the partial dentures can be fitted to your gums. As with full dentures, properly-fitted partial dentures should be comfortable and work like your natural teeth.
Alternatives to dentures
If you have missing teeth or need replacement teeth, dentures are not your only option. Dental implants may be used to affix replacement teeth permanently to your jaw. These are similar to dentures, but they are not removed for cleaning. Dental implants may also be used to convert dentures to a permanent solution to replace your teeth. Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. Our team can help you decide if this is a good option for your needs.
Another alternative to dentures is a bridge. This is used in place of partial dentures, because the bridge will need to be affixed to existing teeth. A bridge uses a metal framework to hold the replacement teeth in place. This can also be done by affixing crowns to the surrounding teeth and attaching the replacement teeth to the crowns to hold them in place. One benefit of a bridge is that affixing the replacement teeth to natural teeth will help keep the natural teeth from shifting to “fill the gap” being filled by the replacement teeth.
Dentures, whether full or partial, can help you regain the function and aesthetic of your teeth. At Mount Zion Dental, we will work closely with you every step of the way to ensure you get the treatment you want for the smile you deserve. If you are considering dentures to replace your missing teeth, call (786) 671-4582 today to schedule your appointment.