Understanding Dentures

Simply put, dentures replace damaged or missing teeth. A molded appliance inserted into your mouth, dentures provide support for cheeks and lips, and perform like natural teeth.

Most dentures can be fabricated two different ways.

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissue (gums) has healed.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissue is allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.

Dentures are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination of both. They can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth, and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit.

Dentures over a normal course of time will wear, eventually needing a replacement or adjusted in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth.

As with your natural teeth, regular dental examinations are important.  Dr. Chen and your hygienist will carefully evaluate your oral tissue, checking for any changes to the tissue or bone structure, and for the unlikely possibility of disease.

If dentures are a possibility for you, Dr. Chen is happy to discuss the details with you and talk to you about your options.