Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth.

They are made of an acrylic resin, and often porcelain or metal will be added for structural support. If your dentures are maintained, you will have a natural-looking smile. Your dentures will also help strengthen muscles controlling your expressions, and you not be bothered with speech problems that were caused by missing teeth.

The procedure of getting dentures differs depending on the type of dentures you are having fitted. Here is the procedure for the placement of complete dentures:

  • A "wax bite" impression is created to help the doctor find your mouth's exact measurements.
  • The color, shape and fit of the dentures will be adjusted until a good match is found.
  • Your dentures are made and then placed in your mouth.
  • The doctor will give you instructions of taking good care of your dentures.
  • Often one or more teeth will have to be extracted. Surgery is sometimes required to improve the bony ridges that stabilize your dentures.

Types of dentures

  • Complete Dentures: These replace all of your teeth in the upper and/or lower jaws.
  • Immediate Dentures: Immediate dentures are placed all at once.
  • Over Dentures: These are similar to complete dentures, but not all teeth are extracted and they use one or more natural teeth for support. They also provide more stabilization during chewing. They are, however, more expensive and usually need more preparation.
  • Partial Dentures: Partial dentures fill the gaps when only some of your teeth are missing. The dentures are anchored to your teeth with metal attachments, and they maintain tooth alignment because they prevent remaining teeth from shifting.

Advantages of dentures

  • Dentures provide a natural-looking smile.
  • They are durable.
  • They can last from five to ten years; or more.
  • They can correct problems related to speech and chewing.

Disadvantages of dentures

  • Dentures take getting used to, and you may have speech problems during the first few days.
  • Maintenance is required.
  • Poor maintenance may cause you to suffer from mouth irritation or sores.
  • The fit of dentures usually needs to be adjusted from time to time.
  • You will only be able to chew at a fraction of the efficiency compared to having natural teeth or dental implants.