Dentures, or false teeth as they are called by most people, are one method to help those who have lost their teeth cope. A set of dentures is made from molds taken of a patient’s mouth and are therefore a perfect solution to the problem. Modern dentures look so real that most people will never even know someone is wearing dentures unless the fact is confessed. Dentures are necessary not only for the practical matter of chewing food, but also cosmetically because the teeth give support to the lips and cheeks and without that support a person’s face looks drawn and much older than its actual age.
Dentures come in two main types, partial and complete, and which style a person needs will be determined by the condition of the remaining teeth, if any. Partial dentures usually cannot cover large gaps and are normally used when there are only a few teeth missing. Partial dentures can be removable which is preferable in the majority of situations or fixed such as in the case where there are only one or two teeth missing and the partial is glued into place using the adjoining teeth as anchors. Removable partial dentures use metal clips to attach temporarily to other teeth when they are being worn but can be taken out at will and are treated and maintained as would a complete set of dentures. Because they are made from a material softer than real teeth it is recommended that dentures, whether partial or full, be cleaned using a soaking method rather than a brushing method which may cause scratches that can harbor bacteria.
Complete dentures are used when the entire set of teeth on either or both of the upper and lower jaw have been removed. An entire set of teeth are molded to fill the space and they can be made of either porcelain or plastic. Porcelain dentures are becoming very rare with the technological advances that have been made in the production of plastic dentures which have resulted in a much more durable denture that is still quite affordable.
Dentures are an excellent choice as long as the underlying gums and tissues are healthy and able to provide a good structural support. A good set of dentures can be expected to last a long time but will not last forever. Other factors also change the way that the dentures fit such as the wearing away of the bone that is supporting the dentures so getting a new set of dentures may be desirable before the old set has worn out. If a patient waits too long to have a new set of dentures made it may not be possible for the dentist to make a new set that fit as well as the originals did because of the changes that occur in the mouth over time in reaction to the dentures. It is a good idea to prevent this from occurring by getting a new set of dentures made on a regular schedule. Most experts recommend a new set of dentures approximately every seven years.