Dentures are removable prosthetics to replace missing teeth and surrounding soft tissues. They can be used to replace a few teeth in the mouth (known as a partial denture) or can replace all of the teeth on a jaw (a complete denture).
Who needs dentures?
Dentures are a treatment option for patients who have lost all of their natural teeth or have some consecutive missing teeth. Missing teeth can cause teeth to shift out of place and can affect a patient’s bite and the overall look of their smile. Especially for patients missing all of their natural teeth, bone loss, inability to chew, social difficulties, and difficulties speaking are reasons to get dentures.
What kinds of dentures exist?
There are 2 different kinds of dentures. Partial dentures are resin-based teeth set into a gum-colored resin, sometimes supported by metal clasps that attach to the remaining natural teeth. An alternative to partial dentures are bridges, which are non-removable prosthetics that more accurately mimic natural teeth.
Complete dentures are made of similar gum and tooth-like resins, just like the partial denture, but are used for patients who have no natural teeth remaining. They restore chewing and speaking and are made after all of the natural teeth are removed and the gums are healed. Complete dentures also prevent the underlying bone from deteriorating. The process of creating a complete denture requires multiple appointments to achieve a comfortable and optimal fit.
What alternatives for dentures exist?
Two alternative treatments for missing teeth are implants and bridges; however, Dr. Shah will make recommendations for which treatment is right for you based on your individual case.