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Dentures are removable replacement teeth. If you have no healthy teeth, a complete denture gives you a brand new replacement set, while a partial denture replaces just some missing teeth. There are different types of dentures for different situations. Dr. Westmoreland can explain which may be the best for your circumstances.

What are dentures?

Dentures, also called “false teeth”, are removable replacement teeth, made primarily from acrylic resin. If you have no healthy teeth, a complete denture gives you a brand new replacement set, while a partial denture replaces just some missing teeth.

Why might I need dentures?

If you have lost some or all of your original teeth, or if they are beyond saving, your appearance and health could be at risk. Mouths that are missing teeth can be very unhealthy and can make a face sag or develop a sunken look. This can make a person appear older than they really are. Replacing your teeth with dentures can also help you chew the foods you love, strengthen the muscles in your face, and help you pronounce words better – all the things that your original healthy teeth were designed to do.

What options do I have to dentures?

Dr. Westmoreland here at Westmoreland Family Dentistry can best explain your options, but for some, they might include bridges or dental implants.

What are the different kinds of dentures?

Dentures are distinguished by where they are placed, how many teeth they are replacing, and how they are held in place.

What are complete dentures?

Complete or “Full” dentures are replacement teeth for all the teeth in your mouth. This complete set of “false teeth” is appropriate when one has lost all of their teeth, or when one’s remaining teeth are unhealthy and need to be removed.

What are partial dentures?

Partial dentures are used when only some teeth need to be replaced. The healthy teeth remain in the mouth where they can act as anchors. The partial denture firmly connects to these anchoring healthy teeth with metal attachments. Filling the gaps between the healthy teeth is important because it helps keep your teeth in alignment and can reduce decay and gum disease.

What are upper dentures?

As the name suggests, upper dentures are removable replacement teeth for the upper teeth only. Some people find these easier to adjust to than lower complete dentures.

What are overdentures?

Overdentures are conventional dentures used with one or more of your natural teeth as anchors. The remaining teeth are prepared to provide support for the appliance, and the denture is designed to fit right over them. Overdentures require more preparation and can be more expensive than conventional dentures, but provide stabilization that makes eating easier and more comfortable.

What are conventional dentures?

Conventional full dentures are removable teeth replacements that are made and placed after the remaining teeth have been removed, and the tissue has healed. This healing process may take six weeks to several months, during which the patient will be without teeth, or can use a temporary or immediate denture.

What are immediate dentures?

Immediate dentures are placed immediately after Dr. Westmoreland has removed your remaining teeth. This saves the patient from going six weeks to several months without teeth as the tissues heal and the bone stabilizes. They can, however, require more overall visits and raise the costs of the denture procedure. Once in place, the immediate dentures actually help reduce the initial swelling from the teeth removal. After the healing process is complete, the immediate dentures will be relined to adjust their fit or may be completely replaced by the permanent conventional dentures.

What can I expect from the denture procedure?

Most procedures begin with the removal of existing teeth. Oral surgery is sometimes, but not always necessary to prepare the mouth for dentures. Anesthetics will be used to make sure that you remain comfortable during any of these procedures. Dr. Westmoreland will make a wax bite impression to serve as a model for the new denture. If an immediate denture is being placed, he will make the necessary measurements before the final teeth are removed. Once the dentures are fabricated, there will often be a number of appointments to fine-tune things like color, fit, and shape.

What can I expect after I am fitted with dentures?

Dr. Westmoreland will advise you on how to keep your new dentures clean. Cleaning your dentures and keeping them in good working order is important to helping them last for many years.

Things will certainly feel different, especially in the beginning, as you adjust to your new set of teeth. At first, the dentures may feel bulky and seem awkward while chewing. At this early stage, increased saliva and minimal discomfort is common but should diminish over time. Denture wearers need to get used to speaking and eating with their new teeth, and this takes some time. If discomfort or fit problems persist, adjustments or new dentures may be necessary.