If you have missing teeth that cannot be repaired or replaced through other means, dentures may be an excellent option for you. There are two types of dentures: partial and complete dentures. When all the teeth are missing, complete dentures are used. If only a few of the natural teeth are missing, partial dentures are the best option.
Partial dentures or a bridge are often used when one or more of the original teeth remain in the lower or upper jaw. A partial denture or bridge includes a gum colored plastic base with teeth attached to it. The denture is held together with a metal framework. A fixed bridge works by replacing teeth by using crowns on either side of the gap and attaching artificial teeth to the surrounding natural teeth.
Complete dentures can be placed in the mouth about 3-4 months after the teeth have been removed. There are immediate and conventional complete dentures. Immediate dentures can be placed right after the teeth are removed. The advantage in this scenario is that the patient doesn’t have to go three months without teeth. Immediate dentures need to be adjusted often during the gum healing process. For this reason they should be considered a temporary solution until the conventional dentures can be placed.
Implants can be placed to support cemented bridges. The cost of implants is typically more than dentures, but they are more similar to the natural look and feel of real teeth. Not everyone is a good candidate for implants.
Preparing for Denture Placement
After your dentures are placed, it is common for them to feel strange or a little loose in your mouth for a few weeks after. The muscles in the tongue and cheeks need time to get comfortable with keeping the dentures in place. When you first begin to wear your dentures, you may experience temporary increased saliva and minor soreness.