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What are dentures?

Dentures replace missing teeth and their adjacent tissues with a removable dental appliance made of acrylic resin and, in some cases, a combination of metals.

What are the different types of dentures?

There are two primary types of dentures:

  • Complete. This type of denture replaces all of the teeth and their adjacent tissues.

  • Partial. Partial dentures act as dental bridges as they "bridge" the gap between a missing tooth or teeth.

The complete or partial dentures can be placed either after the teeth are removed and gums have healed (conventional) or immediately after the teeth are removed: 

  • Conventional. Conventional dentures allow a recovery time (usually four to eight weeks) after all of the teeth are extracted before the dentures are placed in the mouth.

  • Immediate. This type of denture does not allow a healing period after all of the teeth are removed. The denture is immediately fit into the mouth after all teeth are removed. Additional adjustments in the fitting of this type of denture procedure may be necessary as healing occurs.

Occasionally, select roots are retained and the complete or partial denture is made to fit over these roots. The appliance is called an overdenture. Saving some key roots can help retain the bone in the jaw that supports the denture. 

Oral health care and dentures

  • Daily remove and brush the denture carefully with a brush and toothpaste, both specifically designed for denture cleaning.

  • Avoid the use of harsh abrasive cleaners on your denture.

  • Avoid cleaning and/or sterilizing your denture in hot or boiling water. This can damage the denture.

  • If a partial denture is in place, remove it before brushing your natural teeth.

  • Once removed, keep the denture in a safe place, out of the reach of children and pets.

  • Once removed, soak the denture in a proper cleansing solution or water. Do not use bleach solutions. They will attack the metal and bleach the color out of the resin.

  • Do not wear your dentures at night while you are sleeping. This will irritate the tissues and promote growth of fungus.

  • Have your teeth cleaned every six months by an oral health professional.

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