A denture, also known as false teeth, is a prosthesis made to replace missing teeth, it can be worn in the upper or lower jaw or both, and may replace some teeth (a partial denture) or all the teeth (full dentures). They are supported on the soft and hard tissues in the mouth.
This type of denture replaces some of the teeth; they are generally made of acrylic resin on models constructed from impressions taken of the patientâ€™s mouth. If the patient has an unstable dentition (more tooth loss is likely) the denture will be made entirely of acrylic because it can easily be altered if further tooth loss occurs. This type of denture has the advantage that it is easy to alter but sometimes its retention in the mouth can be compromised because it relies on suction alone to hold it in.
Some patients have lost teeth through trauma or dental infection but have a stable dentition (no current dental disease) in these cases an acrylic denture is often made supported on a metal framework which clips to the teeth. This style of denture is considerably firmer than an all acrylic denture and retains using suction and positive clasp pressure so it is always a firmer fit, and because it has a metal framework thinner and stronger than an all acrylic denture. It is technically demanding to construct and very difficult to alter should any further tooth loss occurs so is only made in patients who have a healthy disease free mouth.
These replace all the teeth and are now quite rare; they are made of acrylic resin and rely on suction to retain them. Your dentist will discuss the appearance carefully with you if they are made because generally there is a compromise to be made between the prominence of the teeth and how well they will function.
Dentures are an NHS Band 2 treatment and, when constructed well, are a simple and easy way to replace missing teeth and are well tolerated by many patients.