As people age, the teeth can deteriorate. There can be loss of teeth due to gum disease, decay and trauma. When numerous teeth are lost or extracted, a denture may be fitted to regain chewing, for speech and for appearance. Dentures are the most cost effective alternative to replace missing teeth.
Partial dentures are used to replace a few missing teeth. They are custom made for each person. Clips or clasps attach to the remaining natural teeth so the denture can stay firmly in place. For additional retention of partial dentures, adhesives can also be used.
The partial denture can be made of conventional acrylic, flexible acrylic or metal. Metal dentures fit more securely than the acrylic and last longer.
Complete dentures or full dentures are made when all teeth are missing, either for the top or bottom jaw or both. Full dentures are made from acrylic, and as there are no teeth present, they are retained by a suctioning mechanism. Additional retention can be obtained by using denture adhesives.
Sometimes implants can also be used to help retain the full denture firmly in the mouth without movement during speech or eating.
Even though modern dentures can look good and fit well, they can never work the same as your own natural teeth.
Regular check-ups are necessary to determine whether the dentures need adjustment and whether the remaining teeth are healthy. A denture does not change but your gums and jaw bone gradually do change with age.