Dentures are also known as ‘false teeth’ or a ‘plate’, and are one of several ways that missing teeth can be replaced. They are a great way to replace missing teeth, as long as you don’t mind wearing a dental appliance.
There are several types of dentures available:
- Full Dentures – these replace all the teeth in the dental arch: upper and/or lower. They are generally made entirely from a dental plastic called acrylic resin.
- Partial Dentures – these replace one or more missing teeth in a dental arch.
- Acrylic partial dentures – these are made of dental plastic and are usually held in place by metal clasps (clips)
- Chrome partial dentures – these have a thinner metal base and clasps, with dental plastic (acrylic) teeth and ‘gums.’
The Advantages of Dentures
An advantage of dentures is that they are removable from the mouth; this means that the remaining teeth and gums are easy to reach for cleaning. In fact, we recommend that the appliances are removed at night to be cleaned, and not returned to the mouth until morning. We explain why later on this page.
It is possible for dentures to crack or break, especially if they are dropped. Fortunately, they can often be repaired quickly. However, if the base of a chrome partial is distorted, it may need to be remade.
Dentures can also be a good option to wear as a temporary measure while you are considering other options for replacing your missing teeth. Some patients will wear them while they are budgeting for more complex options like dental implants.
The Challenges of Dentures
Some people do not like having an appliance in their mouth. For many, there is a bit of a learning curve, especially when it comes to eating and speaking. It may take some time to become comfortable and confident, so practice, patience and perseverance are the keys.
Over time, the shape of our mouths change; you may find that the denture may not fit as well as it did when it was new. It may be relined from time to time so that its undersurface fits the gums snugly once again. Sometimes, the amount of wear and tear on a denture means that it is no longer worthwhile being repaired, relined or remodelled, and a new denture needs to be made.
Why Should I Keep My Dentures Out At Night?
The mouth was never designed to have an appliance in it 24 hours a day. Wearing dentures at night can lead to irritation of the gums and an increased incidence of decay of the remaining teeth.
By leaving your dentures out at night, you allow the remaining teeth and gums to recover (‘breathe’) from a day of being covered up by plastic or metal. Saliva can flow naturally around the mouth, bathing the teeth in calcium-rich saliva fluid, which can help reduce the incidence of dental decay.
Dentures can also last longer if they are removed at night because they are not subjected to wear and tear from night-time teeth grinding.
When you remove your dentures at night, be sure to clean them thoroughly. If you use glasses for reading, you will need to wear them while cleaning your dentures. Then store the dentures moist in the denture containers provided.