Dental FAQ's Denture FAQ's

Dentures are artificial substitutes used to replace all or some of the lost teeth and adjoining tissues to maintain function, health and esthetics of the tissues. So in simple words Dentures help replace lost teeth.

Teeth are lost due to a number of causes. The two main reasons for loss of teeth are dental decay and periodontal diseases (gum diseases). Both dental decay and gum diseases are a result of poor oral hygiene.

It is very important to replace lost natural teeth. Loss of teeth affects chewing of food and also affects the esthetics of the person by altering the lip and cheek appearance. When a lost tooth is not replaced there is a tendency for the adjacent and opposing teeth to move into the space left by the lost teeth. Thus the person occlusion or bite is altered. In addition the loss of teeth causes shrinkage of the bone at that area. To avoid all these problems it is advisable to replace lost teeth by artificial Dentures.

Dentures are broadly classified as Partial and Complete Dentures. Complete Dentures replace all the teeth while Partial Dentures replace a few teeth. Partial Dentures can be again classified as Removable Partial Dentures and Fixed Partial Dentures. Removable Partial Dentures replace a few teeth and are designed to be removed and replaced by the patient. The Fixed Partial Dentures also replace a few teeth but cannot be removed by the patient. A new type of Denture gaining popularity is the Implant retained Denture that can be used to replace some or all teeth. This type of Denture comprises of metallic implants that are embedded into the bone and give support for artificial teeth.

It is advisable to wait for at least 4 weeks after the extraction of teeth before the dentist can initiate the process of Denture construction. This gives sufficient time for the extraction wound to heal and for the underlying bone to remodel.

A Complete Denture is a dental prosthesis that replaces all the teeth and contiguous oral tissues in order to help restore the function, health and the appearance of the patient. Complete Dentures can be made for the lost upper and the lower teeth. Under certain circumstances only the upper or the lower Denture is made and this is called a single Denture. Complete Dentures fabricated before the extraction of the teeth and inserted soon after the extraction are called immediate Complete Dentures.

All Dentures are made of a Denture base and teeth. The Denture base is usually made of acrylic resin, which is usually colored pink to resemble the oral gum tissues. Sometimes the base can also be made of metals such as chromium cobalt alloy or certain titanium alloys. The teeth are made of acrylic resins, which is the most preferred, or porcelain. Teeth are available in various sizes, forms and colors to suit the needs of the patients.

Dentures are made to stay in place by their close fit to the underlying tissues. When the Dentures are manufactured so that they adapt closely to the underlying tissues, it creates a vacuum seal that retains the Denture in place. The thickness and quantity of saliva plays an important role in the retention of the Denture. Dentures can also be made to stay in place by using mechanical means such as springs, magnets, or by use of Denture adhesives.

Ideally Dentures have to be replaced every 5 years. With the passage of time there will be a change in the shape and form of the tissues that hold the Dentures. So in due course of time the Dentures loose their exact fit and can cause injury and irritation to the underlying tissues. In addition the acrylic artificial teeth also wear off in due course of time and they no longer cut and chew food as effectively as before. So it is advisable to replace the Dentures after every 5 years

Yes very often the new Dentures may cause areas of soreness in the underlying tissues. Even the most nicely made Dentures may cause some irritation when newly worn. These are usually due to a sharp spot on the Denture that irritates the tissue or may sometimes be due to a sharp bony area in the tissues. These areas of irritation should be brought to the notice of the dentist to do the necessary modifications in the Denture to relieve these areas. Visit Dentures Section for further details

Denture sore mouth is an inflammatory condition of the tissues beneath the Dentures. The tissues appear reddish and the patient may complain of a burning sensation. This condition may be due to an allergic reaction to the Denture base material and sometimes superimposed with bad oral hygiene and unclean Dentures.

Even the best of the Dentures may not perform as well as the natural teeth. It is something akin to asking if one could run as well on artificial legs. One has to learn to use the Dentures. It is best to avoid hard foods like raw carrots, nuts, etc. Soft foods cut into small pieces are ideal for Denture wearers. The food should be chewed on both sides of the mouth simultaneously.

Speaking well with the new Dentures will also take some time. Fortunately most patients learn to speak with their Dentures by adapting to them quickly. Speaking problems may persist if the Dentures are not made well. Some of the causes include improper tooth positioning, loose Dentures, excessive Denture thickness, etc. The dentist will advise new Denture wearers to read aloud from a book or newspaper to help in adapting to the Denture.

Wearing and using Dentures puts a lot of strain on the tissues beneath it and therefore it is essential that they be given adequate rest to recover. This is best done at night or at any time the Denture user sleeps. When out of the mouth, the Denture should be placed in a bowl of water as drying of the Denture would cause misfit of the Denture.

Like any appliance, Dentures too need to be used correctly. When not in the mouth they should be kept in water. In addition the Denture must be kept clean with the help of special Denture brushes. Special cleansing solutions are also available for this purpose. A Denture can break if it falls off. So care must be taken not to drop the Denture.

Broken Dentures can be repaired. However after the repair, the Denture must be rechecked in the patients mouth by the dentist to evaluate the accuracy of the repair and to see if the Dentures fit well.

Rebasing and relining are techniques that are used to reestablish good fit in an old Denture that has lost its fit. Rebasing refers to a procedure where the entire base of the Denture is replaced by a new one retaining only the old teeth. Relining on the other hand is done when there is a slight loosening of the Denture. Here a thin layer of material is added to the existing base to improve its fit.

Yes, Old Dentures may be made to fit well by the relining and rebasing techniques mentioned above. However badly worn out Dentures or badly broken Dentures may require to be remade.

Denture making is a laborious process for both the patient and the dentist. The number of appointments depends upon the technique used, the patient cooperation, the condition of the oral tissues etc. Considering that everything is favorable it may take 5 to 7 appointments for the fabrication and insertion of the Dentures. More appointments may be needed if the oral tissues are in a state of bad health.

The first appointment is usually spent examining the patient and the oral tissues and explaining the treatment plan to the patient. One or two subsequent appointments are for obtaining an accurate impression of the oral tissues. In the next appointment, the approximate position and height at which the teeth are to be placed is determined using wax rims. The next appointment is called the trial when the dentist tries out the Dentures with the teeth still embedded in wax. During this trial the dentist may fine-tune the appearance of the front teeth to make them look esthetic. The final Denture is delivered at the next appointment. One or two more appointments may be required to check for any post- insertion problems and to correct them.

Wearing a new Denture is like wearing a new shoe. It takes time and patience to learn how to use it. Initial pressure points may produce some Denture sores on the oral tissues, which have to be identified and corrected by the dentist. These are usually done during one or two appointments after the final insertion of the Dentures. Getting used to a Denture is a gradual process. Some patients are able to do this quickly and better than others. It must be remembered that the Dentures are artificial substitutes for natural teeth and that they have their own limitations.

An Immediate Denture is a specialized Denture, which is designed to be inserted immediately after all the natural teeth are extracted. The patient does not have to go through the embarrassing period of being without teeth. The Dentures are made on models which are made prior to extraction of the teeth and the Denture is delivered soon after all the teeth are extracted. The healing of the oral tissues goes on below the Dentures. Immediate Dentures are more complex to make and maintain and are therefore more expensive.

The Denture takes its support from the hard bony residual ridge, which is covered by firm resistant tissues. This is called the Denture foundation. The Denture is only as good as its foundation. In order to improve the quality of the Denture, one has to improve and strengthen the foundation. This can be achieved through simple massaging and rest for the tissues by avoiding use of ill-fitting Dentures. In some patients however, surgical procedures such as adding bone, trimming some sharp areas of bone or removal of excessively mobile tissues may be required to improve the Denture foundation.

Before a Denture is finally processed the patient is given an opportunity to view the teeth. During this time the patient can check the tooth size, shape, color, position and other factors like comfort and speech with them. If the patient is unhappy or has a doubt on any aspect of the Denture, he/she can bring it to the attention of the dentist during this appointment. At this stage it is still possible to make minor alterations in the Denture. In case both the patient and the dentist are satisfied with the Denture, it can be sent for the final processing after which there is little scope for any alteration.

Teeth click whenever the upper and lower teeth meet prematurely. This usually means that the teeth have been positioned too high. Clicking of teeth is considered a normal feature if porcelain teeth are used for the Dentures.

Complete Dentures depend on the surface area of the gums on which they are seated for staying in place. The larger the surface available, the better would be the retention. Even under the best circumstances the lower Dentures are more difficult to retain than the upper. After the loss of natural teeth, the gums and the underlying bony ridge on which the Dentures are seated start shrinking over the years. So in due course of time the tissues shrink to such an extent, that it would be difficult to seat the Dentures in place. Visit Dentures Section for further details

Denture teeth are available in various sizes, forms and color. The dentist chooses the teeth that are best suited for the patient based on his experience. The patient can view the teeth during the trial appointment. Any changes that the patient may desire can be brought to the notice of the dentist during this appointment. Selection of teeth is considered an important aspect in the success of a Denture. Patients may get confused with the wide choice of teeth available, so it is better that the dentist selects the teeth based on his experience and judgment.

The patient can help the dentist in selection of teeth by bringing old photographs showing their teeth, or their extracted teeth or any old Denture records that they may have.

Natural teeth are not always evenly arranged or brilliant white in color. Therefore to create a natural look in the Dentures these irregularities and deviations of color such as stains have to be reproduced in the Dentures. Similarly the form of teeth is different in males and females. Males are usually given angular forms of teeth while the curved tooth form is recommended for females.

When only a few teeth are missing, a Partial Denture is advised for the patient. The first choice of course would be a Fixed Partial Denture (FPD). Unfortunately an FPD can replace only limited number of teeth. Replacing too many lost teeth with an FPD would place tremendous strain on the remaining teeth. So in these cases, a Removable Partial Denture (RPD) would be the ideal choice. The Removable Partial Denture can be placed and removed by the patient and can be made to replace many missing teeth.

A Removable Partial Denture can be made of acrylic (plastic like material) or a combination of acrylic with metallic framework. The metallic framework is usually made of Cast metal. The metal used may be gold based or chrome cobalt alloy. These metallic Dentures or Cast Partial Dentures are much superior to the regular acrylic Dentures.

Valplast is a type of flexible Denture material that can be used to fabricate Partial Dentures. These materials unlike traditional plastic Dentures are flexible and therefore makes the Denture flexible. The advantages these Dentures have over the hard plastic Dentures include flexibility, lighter in weight and can be fabricated smaller in size.

Partial Dentures use a variety of mechanisms to stay in place. Close physical contact of the Denture with the underlying soft tissue along with the intervening saliva provides one means of retention. In addition the Cast Partial Dentures have metallic clasps, which hold on to the remaining teeth that help in keeping the Denture in place.

As the name suggests, Fixed Partial Dentures or FPD are tooth replacements that are Fixed permanently in the mouth and cannot be removed for routine cleaning by the patient. These Dentures are made to take support from adjacent natural teeth. Unfortunately these Dentures can replace only a few missing teeth. When a large number of teeth are missing one has to go in for a Removable Partial Denture or RPD.

Fixed Partial Dentures are of various types. They can be made of porcelain or metallic alloys. The metallic FPD are made of either gold alloys or chrome cobalt alloys.

Metallic FPDs are Fixed Partial Dentures that are made of metal alloys such as gold alloy or chrome cobalt alloy. The metallic FPD are used mostly in the back teeth, as they are not esthetic in appearance. In case esthetics is important the metal Crowns can be given an acrylic or porcelain facing over the areas that are visible to the exterior so as to make them esthetically acceptable. Visit Dentures Section for further details


Dentures have been around for a very long time. Many people have heard the stories about George Washington Dentures. Today, Dentures are of better quality and are more comfortable than ever before. Replacing missing teeth is important for maintaining good health and appearance. A full Denture is a prosthetic appliance that replaces all the natural teeth. People who have no teeth usually show the effects of age more then people who have healthy natural teeth. A Denture also has benefits with the way a person can eat and speak. A full Denture supports the facial muscles and gives a natural appearance and smile. A Partial Denture is a Removable appliance that fills the spaces that happen when teeth are lost. A full Denture can be immediate. The Denture is constructed before the teeth are removed, the teeth are removed and the Denture is immediately placed in the mouth. The advantage is that a person is never without teeth during the healing period. An immediate Denture will always require a reline because the tissues of the mouth will change as healing occurs. An Overdenture uses roots if they have adequate bone, or implants that hold the Denture in place in the mouth with the help of special attachments. This holds the Denture firmly in place. A good and exam and x-rays are essential when constructing a Denture. There are many steps and try ins that are necessary for a Denture to fit and function correctly and have a natural appearance. It is essential to record proper jaw relationships and make accurate copies of the mouth. A properly fitting and well maintained Denture will benefit people whose teeth can longer be saved or maintained. 

New Dentures are seldom without problems.
There is an adjustment period to learn how to chew and use them correctly.
New Dentures will usually develop sore spots and the dentist will need to adjust the Denture until if is comfortable.
Like with anything new Dentures will require a learning period. You will need to learn how to use the muscles of your mouth and tongue to hold the lower Denture in place.
It is best not to leave the dental office and plan on a steak dinner. Start slowly with softer foods that are easier to chew.
It may also take some time to learn how to speak correctly.
Because a Denture is made out of plastic it can break if dropped.
Your Denture should be cleaned on a daily basis.
 In the case of a Partial Denture, It should be removed before brushing your teeth and cleaned before placing it back into your mouth. When the Denture is not in your mouth it should be soaked so that it will not dry out and warp.
It is recommended removing a Denture at night to let the tissues of the mouth rest and breath. Many of the patients sleep with their teeth for "social" reason which is wrong.
Like anything else, a Denture will wear out over time. Rebasing and relining a Denture can extend its life. Eventually depending on various factors the teeth will wear out and the entire Denture will need to be replaced.
You no longer have any problems with your teeth, because they were all removed many years ago. Your teeth are gone and you no longer feel a need to see a dentist. Your situation does not eliminate the need for regular dental check ups. The mouth is constantly changing and poor fitting Dentures can cause lose of the bone of the dental ridges.
Regular appointments with the dentist are still important if you wear Dentures. Dentures that fit well function best. There are many health problems including, vitamin deficiencies, chronic long term illness, the effects of medications, diabetes and even high blood pressure can change the way Dentures fit.
Poor fitting Dentures can accelerate bone loss and seriously damage your mouth, causing sore spots, and rapid destruction of the bone that supports your Dentures. Chronic irritation can contribute to the formation of tumors.
It is still important to have a Denture checkup at least once a year to insure that your Dentures are properly adjusted and that your mouth is in good health. Most people require a Denture reline every 3 to 5 years.

1. “Dentures last forever!” Dentures are long lasting but like anything man made does wear out. They are made from plastic and dropping them can cause them to break. Depending on the individual the teeth wear out and the mouth changes.

2. “Once you have Dentures, you don not need to see a dentist anymore!” The mouth changes constantly. Dentures that become loose and do not fit as well as they should, will require a reline. People with Dentures can still develop oral cancer and should be examined regularly by a dentist. If your Dentures become loose you may need to see the dentist for a reline.

3. "Everyone can tell when you are wearing Dentures." Well fitting Dentures made with meticulous care & attention to proper detail is difficult to be recognized as Dentures. They should provide a natural appearance and function well. You should be able to eat and speak normally. Dentures that fit well should not require adhesives to hold them in place.

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