Dentures are removable false teeth made of acrylic (plastic), nylon or metal. They fit snugly over the gums to replace missing teeth and eliminate potential problems caused by gaps.
What are Dentures?
Gaps left by missing teeth can cause problems with eating and speech, and teeth either side of the gap may grow into the space at an angle. Sometimes all the teeth need to be removed and replaced.
You may therefore need either:
- complete dentures (a full set) – which replace all your upper or lower teeth
- partial dentures – which replace just 1 tooth or a few missing teeth
Dentures may help prevent problems with eating and speech. If you need complete dentures, they may also improve the appearance of your smile and give you confidence.
It’s also possible that dentures might not give you the result you hope for. Discuss plans openly with your dentist before you agree to go ahead.
Looking After Your Dentures
Dentures may feel a bit strange to begin with, but you’ll soon get used to wearing them. At first, you may need to wear your dentures all the time, including while sleeping. Your dentist or clinical dental technician will advise you on whether you should remove your dentures before you go to sleep.
It isn’t always necessary to remove your dentures at night, but doing so can allow your gums to rest as you sleep. If you remove your dentures, they should be kept moist – for example, in water or a polythene bag with some dampened cotton wool in it, or in a suitable overnight denture-cleaning solution. This will stop the denture material drying out and changing shape.