Filling the gaps
Dentures are prosthetics or false teeth that are used to replace your original teeth.
They're needed when you lose your teeth due to natural causes, injury or diseases of the teeth and gums.
Being edentulous, or without teeth, has many disadvantages. The biggest one involves an inability to chew and eat many solid foods, which can lead to extreme weight loss and health problems that could have devastating affects for the short and long term.
Tooth loss also presents a major cosmetic issue and can greatly affect your self esteem, impairing your ability to smile or show off your face with confidence.
Aside from helping you chew properly, your teeth play a major role in your speech. Missing teeth can make it challenging or impossible to enunciate certain words. Infections of the gums and jaw caused by tooth decay can alter the shape of your bones.
Severe infections also may affect your cardiovascular health and place you at an increased risk for heart disease. Dentures that are molded to fit your mouth and gums will restore almost all of your oral health, having you looking and feeling your best immediately.
Making and fitting your dentures
Once your dentist ships your mold to denture labs, the lab technician starts forming your new dentures. They may be either partial or complete dentures.
Partials are created if you still have several teeth that are healthy and not at risk of infection or loss. They must provide strong support and be a good match for your current teeth. Sometimes referred to as crowns or bridges, partials come in a set of anywhere between one to four false teeth. Some types are fixed and cannot be removed, whereas others need to be removed and cleaned daily.
A dental lab can also make complete set of dentures that replace all of your teeth, both on the top and bottom. You'll need to take these out daily and clean and repair as needed.
Inside the dental lab, a technician combines acrylic powders until they match the closest shade of your natural tooth color. If you are getting a partial, the veneer needs to match your current enamel color as closely as possible to avoid the appearance of discoloration. Dentures are often very light, giving off the appearance of white, straight, natural-looking teeth.
The dental impression creates models and replicas to the exact measurements and shape of your mouth and gums. This ensures a perfect fit and reduces the risk of your dentures slipping or falling out during eating.
A regular dentist can address many of your routine oral health needs. But if you need to replace several teeth or major restorative work, your dentist may refer you to a prosthodontist.
To learn more about what the profession, read more in the Angie’s List Guide to prosthodontics/dentures.
Adjustments to false teeth
See the dental lab if you need your dentures adjusted or repaired. You might want to purchase two pairs of dentures so that if one set breaks or needs repair, you won't be without teeth and support. If your insurance plan doesn't cover dentures, be sure to ask your dentist about short- and long-term warranties with denture coverage.
Expect a few days or weeks of adjustment as your body acclimates to your new dentures. If you experience sore spots, signs of infection or bleeding that does not heal, be sure to talk to your dentist immediately. Alert your dentist to problems with suction or improper alignments, and he or she will send them to the dental lab right away to make changes or adjustments so that you can begin to enjoy your new teeth.