Dentures, which are also called false teeth, are a customized, removable replacement for multiple missing teeth. Dentures can be full, replacing most or all of a patient’s teeth, or partial, and replace one or more missing teeth. Both types of dentures provide support to facial structure keep them it sagging or receding.
Full dentures may be prescribed by Dr. Freeman if you have lost, or are about to lose, all of your teeth as a result of disease, decay, injury, or surgery. There are two main types of full dentures, conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are fabricated and placed in the patient’s mouth after all or most teeth have been removed, and tissues have healed. (If tooth extraction is required, several months of healing must take place before conventional dentures can be provided.) Conventional dentures can replace all or most of your teeth on your upper arch, lower arch, or both. When only some teeth are being replaced an overdenture is made to fit over one or more natural teeth or dental implants for support. Immediate dentures are inserted in the patient’s mouth as soon as any remaining teeth are removed allowing the patient to have teeth to use while his or her mouth heals. Patients often switch to conventional dentures when their gums have shrunk after the healing period.
If you and Dr. Freeman decide that dentures are the best option for your oral health, your mouth will be prepared and a mold taken so dentures can be customized for you. Oral surgery may be needed to prepare your mouth for full dentures. Sometimes teeth must be extracted, or the bony ridge of your gum must be improved for stability. Once your dentures are made, you will return to the office for a fitting. Dr. Freeman will give you instructions on how to get used to the dentures and take care of them.
Dentures and oral tissues must be checked annually. Damage to oral tissue can occur without any pain or other symptoms. Early detection and elimination of inflammation are important to minimize shrinkage of the supporting bone and tissues. Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. With proper care and good oral hygiene, full dentures can last 5-10 years. Over a period as your mouth naturally changes shape, dentures need to be relined, remade, or rebased.
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