Dentures are probably the most common way world wide to replace missing teeth especially when a patient is missing many teeth. They are an affordable removable prothetic device that dentist make for patients and can be worn relatively easily by the patient and are most affordable especially when compared with other alternatives, such as dental fixed bridgework or implant supported restorations
Dentures are made of acrylic and can sometimes have frameworks made from metal. They can be used for patients who are only missing some of the teeth in their jaw (Partial denture or Nesbit denture) or can be used to replace all the teeth in a patient’s jaw (Full Denture). They can even be made prior to extraction of teeth so that a patient can have an immediate replacement on the day of extraction.
Dentures have some major drawbacks when compared with natural teeth. Food tends to collect around dentures when a patient has a meal and since dentures often rest on a patients gums, sometimes patients can comfortably exert as much chewing pressure on denture teeth. Also patients wearing dentures can develop sore spots and may need adjustments. Dentures should be removed every night and cleaned.
Before the advent of implant dentistry, dentures, either full or partial were the only options available for some patients who didn’t have teeth suitable for fabrication of fixed bridgework. Even today, if a patient’s bone support or medical condition does not allow implant placement dentures are a suitable and often used option.
Sometimes immediately after extractions, dentures are fabricated as a transitional measure, while a patient is waiting to have implants placed and they continue to be utilized by the patient even after implant placement, until the implant is ready to be restored.
Dentures can be a perfectly acceptable way to permanently replace teeth and I have fabricated many dentures that patients have worn and have been satisfied with for many years. If a patients health or finances don’t allow implant restorations, dentures can be a good option.