A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
- An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
- A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination thereof. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over and can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.
Bone Preservation with Dental Implant Supported Dentures
Now that dental Implants have a proven track record with years of studies and successful results, it has been shown that the resorption of bone that is common after years of wearing Dentures can be alleviated and stopped by Dental Implant placement. There is a physiological response that is lost with the loss of a tooth. Teeth have a function that is associated with active deep stimulation of surrounding jaw bone that is associated with chewing and talking forces. It is now clear that this response is reactivated by the replacement of teeth with Dental Implants.