Complete dentures are replacements for missing teeth in one or both jaws. Replacing these missing teeth will benefit your appearance as well as your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles can sag, making a person look older. Dentures will also help your ability to eat and speak.
A base is made of gum colored acrylic and plastic or porcelain teeth replace the chewing surfaces. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (roof of your mouth) while the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe. They are supported by the gum and underlying bone.
There are several types of complete dentures. A conventional denture is placed when all of the teeth have been previously removed. An immediate denture is made before the teeth are extracted and is placed the day of surgery. The patient is never without teeth during the healing period. A second denture may be necessary after appropriate healing. A complete denture may also be supported by implants. These can help stabilize the denture and maintain bone levels.
Dentures will eventually need to be relined (refitted) as a result of gum tissue or bone shrinkage. This occurs naturally with age. This may not always be an option depending on the amount of loss and a new denture may be recommended. It is important to reline/replace worn or poorly fitting dentures as they can do more damage to the remaining bone.
The preparation of your mouth before the placement of a prosthesis is referred to as pre-prosthetic surgery.
In order to ensure the maximum level of comfort, some patients require minor oral surgical procedures before receiving a partial or complete denture, A denture sits on the bone ridge, so it is very important that the bone be the proper shape and size. If a tooth needs to be extracted, the underlying bone might be left sharp and uneven. For the best fit of a denture, the bone might need to be smoothed out or reshaped. Occasionally, excess bone would need to be removed prior to denture insertion.
One or more of the following procedures might need to be performed in order to prepare your mouth for a denture:
- Bone smoothing and reshaping.
- Removal of excess bone.
- Bone ridge reduction.
- Removal of excess gum tissue.
- Exposure of impacted teeth.
We will review your particular needs with you during your appointment.