What are dentures?
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. There are two main types of dentures, full and partial. Both are custom made for the individual in a lab after impressions are taken by your dentist.

Conventional full dentures are used when there are no remaining teeth in the mouth. An impression is taken of the upper and lower arch and sent to the laboratory. At the next step a wax inset is tried into the patient’s mouth to re-created the biting surface and confirm the seal of the base around the gums. This is customized for the patient and sent back to the laboratory for the placement of teeth. At the next appointment the insert with teeth instead of wax is tried in the patient’s mouth to ensure proper shape, aesthetics and chewing surface. Once it is confirmed that the proper tooth setup has been achieved the laboratory completes the denture with a flesh coloured acrylic base that fits over the gums and the teeth anchored firmly to the acrylic base.

Immediate full dentures are used when the remaining teeth in a patient’s mouth need to be extracted. This offers the patient the comfort of knowing they never have to be left without teeth. Similar to the procedure discussed above, an impression is initially taken that includes the recreation of the teeth existing in the patient’s mouth. The laboratory begins fabricating the same try-in steps as discussed above leaving space in the insert for the existing teeth. Once all the same steps are completed and fit is confirmed, the laboratory removes the teeth on the models provided from the initial impressions and creates a complete denture. At the insertion appointment the remaining teeth in the patient’s mouth are removed and the dentures immediately placed in the mouth. While providing the benefit of never being left without teeth, immediate dentures may have to be relined after a few months due to the reshaping of the supporting bone as it heals from the extractions that might cause the dentures to become loose.

Partial dentures have a metal framework that attaches to remaining natural teeth and offer a removable alternative to bridge work.

How long do dentures last?

As we age the bone in our mouth naturally changes causing complete dentures to loosen. Thus, complete dentures need to be re-lined, re-made or re-based due to natural wear and tear at different rates for everybody. The longevity of partial denture depends on the health of the teeth that it clasps on to. The best way to ensure a long lasting partial denture is through the practice of good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.