A denture (either complete or partial), is a removable appliance that is inserted into the mouth, replacing the missing natural teeth and providing support for the cheeks and lips. An upper denture has acrylic, usually pink tissue colored, that covers the roof of the mouth, whereas a lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
Most dentures are made of acrylic-like material and can be fabricated in a few ways.
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues heal and are protected underneath the denture.
- An overdenture is fabricated over existing root canal treated teeth and secured in.
- An implant retained denture is fabricated over existing implants and is secured in the mouth.
Dentures will wear down over the normal course of time and need to be replaced or relined for proper fit. The bone and gums recede/shrink over time due to natural causes, because of the missing/extracted teeth. Regular dental checkups are important for denture wearers to monitor the oral tissues.