A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. If you’ve lost some or all of
your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, decay, or an injury, dentures restore your smile,
chewing function, speech, and facial structure support.
Our skilled team can design custom-fitted dentures to replace your missing teeth and give you
back your confident smile!
Reasons You Might Need Dentures
If you currently have dentures and they are in need of replacement, or if you are currently without teeth (AKA edentulous) you likely need dentures. If you and your dentist have decided upon a treatment plan to remove your remaining teeth you might also be considering dentures.
Dentures come in two types: full and partial. The right type for you will depend on how many teeth you’re missing or are getting removed.
Full dentures are used when all teeth are missing on the top and/or bottom of your mouth. They are made of an acrylic base that is colored in order to replicate gum tissue and support a full set of acrylic or porcelain teeth. The traditional full denture is held in the mouth by forming a seal with the gums. We carefully design your dentures to look as similar to real teeth as possible, so most people won’t even notice they’re dentures!
Partial dentures fill a gap created by several missing teeth when there are other teeth remaining. Partial dentures can either be made with an acrylic base or a metal framework that supports the number of teeth that need to be replaced. They are held in the mouth by using clasps and rests that are carefully adapted around the natural teeth. The partial denture that uses a metal framework is the traditional design, due to the rigidity and strength of the metal. Acrylic partial dentures have normally been used as emergency or temporary replacements of missing teeth, allowing the gums and bone to heal before a definitive restorative solution is
There are a few things to consider when deciding if dentures are right for you. Your MCDC dentist will discuss your options and figure out what best meets your needs. Factors that affect your decision include:
- Your gum tissue and bone health
- Your overall health
- Your ability to accept a prosthetic device aiding your chewing function
After teeth are removed or lost, the sockets fill in with bone and the gum tissue shrinks as it heals, changing shape. The healing usually takes 8-12 weeks, after which the denture making process can begin.
The process starts by taking a series of impressions or molds of the oral tissues that will support the denture. A dental lab will use these impressions to make models of your mouth. Each model is used to ensure we establish a proper bite, and that the appearance and esthetics of the denture are desirable.
Dentures often require several appointments and generally take 8-10 weeks to complete. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how they are made so you can know what to expect.
- Initial Impression: At your first appointment, preliminary or initial impressions will be taken and sent to our dental laboratory.
- Final impression: Accurate final impressions will be taken with a custom set of impression trays and sent to our dental laboratory. This will start the process of fabricating your dentures.
- Fitting: Your dentist will work with a wax rim to set your comfortable resting position, smile line, and tooth size. You will also get to select the shade of your teeth with the help of a shade guide.
- Try-in: The lab will create your dentures out of wax. At this appointment, you and your dentist will decide if the wax denture offers the best fit and function.
- Delivery: At your final denture appointment, you’ll get your dentures and your MCDC dentist will make any adjustments to improve the fit and function. You will receive home care instructions and schedule checkups.
It may take some time to get used to wearing your new dentures. Additional saliva, some soreness, speech and chewing challenges are common. But if you feel like your bite is off or you have sore spots, please contact your MCDC office to schedule an adjustment. You may also need to schedule adjustments as your bone structure can change over time, which impacts how your dentures fit.
Dentures can range in price, depending on the type of denture that you and your dentist decide is best for you. Dental insurance plans also vary. Our dental team is here to help you evaluate your coverage details and determine costs. We also have two options that make dental care more affordable: MyDental Plan and Care Credit, which we are happy to discuss with you.
It’s important to clean your dentures every day to avoid gum infections and other oral health issues, as bacteria can collect on dentures throughout the day just like normal teeth. We recommend soaking your dentures every night in a professional-grade denture solution to sanitize and disinfect them. You can also gently brush them with a toothbrush for a quick clean.
Take good care of your dentures and they’ll provide you with years of reliable use. In most cases, dentures will last 5 to 10 years.
Since your mouth is constantly changing, adjustments may need to be made to your dentures every year or so. We recommend making a dentist appointment every 6 months, so we can examine your dentures to ensure they still fit properly and are in tip-top shape.
Click here for our Dentures Brochure.