Dentures are the most common, oldest, and cost-efficient prosthetics used to replace missing teeth. While historically made with human and animal teeth, technology has transcended the composition to an acrylic base with porcelain or resin teeth.
Traditional complete dentures are removeable prosthesis which replace an entire arch of teeth in the mouth whether it be the uppers, lowers, or both. Complete dentures commonly follow after all the teeth have been extracted and the tissue has fully healed about 8-12 weeks after the surgery.
Because of the lengthy healing time, many patients struggle with the idea of missing teeth for so long. As a result, immediate dentures are also available which are fabricated a few weeks prior, and ready to wear right after the surgery.
While complete dentures cater to fully extracted arches, there are also partial dentures available to replace specific individual teeth. These partial dentures may contain a metal framework that attaches to the neighboring teeth and tissues for anchorage.
It is important to note that the shape and bone density of the arch used to support the dentures will change overtime as we age. As a result, many people will find that the dentures have loosened and will not adhere sufficiently. Because of this, it is important to meet with your dentist and readjust/ relign your dentures every few years.
Alternative methods for teeth replacement are also available such as crowned bridges, or ideally, implants.