Tooth loss happens for various reasons, the most common of which is tooth decay. When a tooth falls off, the person can go to the dentist to get fitted for dentures. These refer to the removable replacement for missing teeth.
Dentures come in two types: partial and complete.
Complete dentures are for those whose complete set of teeth are missing while partial dentures are for those who still have some natural teeth left.
Complete Dentures are further broken down into subtypes: conventional and immediate.
- The conventional complete denture is made after the teeth have been removed but it takes about eight to 12 weeks to finish.
- The immediate dentures, on the other hand, are made in advance before the teeth are removed. This way, they can be positioned onto the gums right away. Many people prefer the immediate dentures because they wouldn't have to go through the phase of not having any teeth. The only problem with this is that the bones and gums shrink after some time. Because of this, immediate dentures need to be refitted and adjusted during the entire duration of healing. Dentists recommend this only as a temporary solution until the conventional dentures are ready.
Partial Dentures refer to the replacement teeth connected to a gum-colored plastic base to hold the denture in place. This is used when only one or a few of the natural teeth are to be replaced. A permanent bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns and attaching artificial tooth or teeth to it. This bridge is cemented into place. This type of denture doesn't only fill the empty gap but also prevents the other teeth from shifting.
There is a type of partial denture called precision partial denture that has an internal attachments. This looks more natural than the traditional partial denture.
How Are Dentures Created?
The development process of dentures can take anywhere from three weeks to one and a half months.
First, the dentist or the prosthodontist (a dentist whose specialization is in the restoration and replacement of teeth) analyzes your situation and determines the most suitable type of dentures for you.
After that, he/she will make a series of impressions of the jaw. He/she will also measure the jaw and the space in between them. With these, he/she will create a model often in wax or plastic material to form the exact shape and position of the denture. You will be asked to try the model several times until it is well-adjusted to fit your teeth and jaws.
For the first time that you'll wear the dentures, it will feel odd, loose or awkward. But you will eventually get used to it and be more comfortable.
If problems persist with the dentures such as if you have difficulty chewing or speaking even after some time, you should go back to your dentist and let him/her know about your concern. It's possible that the denture was not fitted correctly.