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Dentures are removable prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth.    Tooth loss can occur because of dental diseases, i.e. periodontal disease and tooth decay, developmental defects, trauma and drug use.  Dentures can help restore functions such as chewing, speaking, provide support for lips and cheeks, and restoring your smile. 

There are two main categories of dentures based on the number of teeth needing replacement; removable partial dentures and complete dentures.    Complete dentures are used when all the natural teeth in an arch (upper or lower) are missing.  Complete dentures are held in place when a seal forms between the denture base material and the gums, they may also be held in place with dental implants.  Partial dentures can be used to replace any number of missing teeth in a dental arch.  Removable dentures typically have a metal framework and a plastic base which supports artificial teeth.  These appliances are usually attached to adjacent teeth with metal clasps. 

Adapting to a denture can be difficult, the problems include; having something new in your mouth, sore spots, gagging and challenges speaking and eating.  Challenges such as gagging and difficulty chewing and speaking can be quickly overcome by practice and repetition.  New dentures often cause sore spots on the supporting gums and tissue.  These sore spots can be relieved by your dentist making minor adjustments to the appliance. 

Plaque and tartar can build up on dentures just like they do on natural teeth.  Brushing your denture with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleaner should occur daily.  It is also very important to continue to thoroughly clean your mouth including; gums, cheeks, tongue and roof of the mouth.   Be careful, dentures can break when dropped.  Don’t wear your dentures at night.  At night put your dentures in water to avoid the materials from getting dry.  It is important to regularly see your dentist.  Regular visits will help keep your mouth and gums healthy and ensure your dentures are comfortable. 


An Upper Complete Denture

An Upper Complete Denture