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Dentures are false teeth, made mostly of plastic, that replace missing or lost teeth. Dentures are a solution of last resort. Many people assume that they will need dentures as they age, but losing teeth is not a normal part of the aging process. If you care for your teeth well and guard against periodontal (gum) disease, you should be able to keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Although dentures may look like your natural teeth, they cannot work like them. Simple actions such as speaking and eating may feel different. You will have to learn how to use and adjust to your dentures. For some people, this can take up to several months.
At City Dental Hospital, we have a variety of methods for restoring a bright white smile, including porcelain veneers, composite bonding, dental implants and whitening, also known as bleaching. But, with all the advances made in general dentistry to enhance the appearance of the teeth, whitening is the easiest and effective. The whitening of teeth is safe and easy, and more affordable than ever before. Because of these reasons and more, whitening has become very popular.
Complete dentures cover your entire jaw, either upper or lower. Some people call them "plates." Complete dentures rest directly on the gum that covers the bone.
Complete dentures are custom made for you. The process involves multiple appointments, usually about five. The dentist first takes impressions of your mouth. At later visits, you and the dentist select the size, shape and color of the artificial teeth.
Learning to chew food with complete dentures takes patience and practice. You might have to cut your food into smaller pieces than you did in the past when you had your natural teeth.
On occasion, one or more natural teeth are kept when a denture is made. These teeth usually have root canal treatment and are shortened to fit under the denture. This type of denture is known as an over denture.
Removable partial dentures consist of a metal framework with plastic teeth and gum areas. The framework includes metal clasps or other attachments that hold the denture in place. However, partial dentures are removed easily for cleaning.
Fixed partial dentures, which most people call bridges, are cemented in place. They look more like natural teeth. Bridges are more expensive than removable partial dentures, however. They also have to be supported by nearby healthy teeth.
Bridges are made in several ways. Some are made entirely of porcelain. Some are made with porcelain covering a gold framework. Two types of attachments are used in partial dentures — metal clasps and precision attachments.