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What are dental dentures, and how do they function?

29 July 2022by Shiv

The first thing to know is what are dentures? Dental dentures are the false teeth that substitute your the gaps created due to your lost teeth. You can lose teeth due to plenty of reasons such as accidents, severe decay, or as a consequence of bone loss due to ageing. Irrespective of the underlying cause, missing teeth can result in a lot of problems such as difficulty in chewing, biting, or even speaking. Sometimes, the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth become misaligned due to the lack of support and extra space. Your smile may also appear unpleasant with the void in between your dentition.

Therefore, it becomes imperative to restore this gap and dentures are the devices that can help you in doing so. Whether you have a solitary missing tooth or multiple, dentures can easily and comfortably fill these gaps.


What are the different types of dentures?

Depending on the number of missing teeth, we can broadly classify dentures into two categories:

  1. Complete dentures: As the name indicates, these are a full dentures or complete set of teeth used when all the teeth are lost. With complete dentures you can have an independent upper set, lower set or both depending on the requirement.

If extractions of teeth are necessary then you will be required to wait for about three months after dental extractions to get a permanent denture. This is so the gum can heal nicely post extraction. Your dentist will provide you with a provisional or temporary denture until your mouth becomes suitable for the permanent one.

  1. Partial dentures: These dentures consist of only a few teeth to fill the gaps. These are very useful when you have barely 2-12 missing teeth. Partial dentures are held in place with the support from adjacent natural teeth.


Another category of dentures is based on the ability to remove them:

  1. Removable dentures: These are the most common and widely used dentures. These can be either complete or partial dentures. They offer great flexibility to remove them whenever you feel the need. Given this, you have to be extra cautious while eating, sleeping or doing any other activity during which there is a risk of dentures slipping out of place.

A dental adhesive is often used to keep them in place temporarily.

  1. Permanent fixed dentures (Implant-retained dentures): These are permanently fixed in your mouth with the help of dental implants. This eliminates the risk of accidental slipping out and extra maintenance.


What are dental dentures made of?

The most common materials used for dentures manufacturing are acrylic and porcelain. However, a mixture of porcelain along with metals such as steel or chrome is also used in some dentures, especially the partial dentures. Chrome dentures or metal may not be cosmetically appealing, as it will be visible with a glint, but it can definitely add to the durability and sturdiness of the denture. Acrylic is highly durable, sturdy and affordable, therefore, extremely popular. Porcelain is also durable and offers a more cosmetic restoration by using tooth coloured false teeth which are nearly indistinguishable from the natural teeth. Another type includes the flexible dentures, commercially these are called the Valplast dentures, which are made of flexible plastic. 


How long does it take to get dentures after teeth are pulled?

You will have to wait for around 3 months after your teeth are pulled to get dentures. This time is required for proper healing and preparing your mouth for getting a denture. If you are immunocompromised or healing is delayed, the time required may be even longer.


How do the dentures work? 

Dentures work by substituting the gap in your teeth and help to restore your smile as well as the functions of your teeth. They are custom-made according to your needs and fit snugly in your mouth. Complete dentures are fitted with the help of your gums while the partial dentures are provided with the support of adjacent healthy teeth.

The initial few days may be quite uncomfortable, but as your mouth adapts to the dentures, it will become easy. Your speech will improve gradually, and you will be able to eat and chew every food item which you were unable to eat earlier. However, it would be best if you took a few precautions while eating with dentures.


How to take adequate care of your dentures?

Caring for your dentures is important to make them last longer and prevent them from damaging your teeth. Sometimes, food gets accumulated around your dentures and serves as the breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to gum diseases and decay of healthy teeth. Here are some tips you should follow:

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, regularly and properly. Use a toothbrush which is non-abrasive and has soft bristles, along with a good fluoride toothpaste.
  2. The best way of cleaning dentures is to soak it in commercial cleaning materials such as Steradent, which come as effervescent tablets. You can leave the denture soaked in it overnight and rinse it thoroughly with clean water in the morning prior to putting them back on.
  3. If any food particle is left stuck in it, remove it with the help of brush or scrub.
  4. While eating, you must take care not to bite or chew with extra force as this may lead to loosening of the denture or even cracking. For the initial days, it is preferable to eat soft food and gradually move on to other solid food items.
  5. If your dentures don’t fit properly, make sure to use dental glue to keep them in place. 


When do you need a dentist?

Sometimes, an untoward condition may arise, which can not be managed at home and needs immediate attention from a dentist. Some of these include,

  • If you are wearing dentures and experience sharp pain in your teeth, or any evidence of gum disease.
  • Sensitivity to hot, or cold food items which were not present before the use of dentures.
  • Your dentures are broken or snapped due to any reason.
  • Any of your healthy teeth start to decay
  • Make sure you have your regular dental check up and hygiene sessions to ensure your oral health is maintained.


What are the alternatives available to dentures?

Missing teeth should be restored at the earliest possible to prevent further damage. Apart from dentures, here are the other options available to replace missing teeth

  1. Dental Bridges- These are the false teeth (poetic) used to substitute the gaps and are held in place with the support from adjacent healthy (abutment) teeth. There can be different types of dental bridges such as Traditional, Cantilever, Maryland, or implant-supported dental bridges.
  2. Dental implants- These are small post-like titanium prostheses that are fitted into your jaw bone. Dental implants act as the root portion of your tooth, and a false or artificial tooth is attached to it. These are permanent and highly durable options to replace your missing teeth.


Losing teeth can be detrimental to a lot of aspects of your life, and hence you must get it replaced at the earliest. Visit the Conway House Dental practice, which houses some of the best dentists of High Wycombe. They will provide you with the best quality dentures in the UK. The friendly staff, and high-class dental services, are available for you. So book your appointment today.

We are a friendly team of dentists, hygienists and receptionists who work together to ensure that you receive the best treatment you require.

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