DENTURESDentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth; they are supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavityI. CAUSES OF TOOTH LOSSPatients can become entirely edentulous (without teeth) for many reasons:* Periodontal disease and tooth decay.* Tooth developmental defects caused by severe malnutrition.* Genetic defects such as dentinogenesis imperfecta, trauma, or drug use.II. ADVANTAGESDentures can help patients through:1. Mastication, as chewing ability is improved by replacing edentulous areas with denture teeth.2. Aesthetics, because the presence of teeth gives a natural appearance to the face.3. Pronunciation, because replacing missing teeth, especially the anteriors, enables patients to speak better.4. Self-esteem, because improved looks and speech boost confidence in the ability to interact socially.III. TYPESA. Removable Partial DenturesRemovable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments. Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than metal clasps and they are nearly invisible. Crowns on your natural teeth may improve the fit of a removable partial denture and they are usually required with attachments. Dentures with precision attachments generally cost more than those with metal clasps. Consult with the dentist to find out which type is right for you.B. Complete DenturesComplete dentures are worn by patients who are missing all of the teeth in a single arch (Maxillary – upper orMandibular – lower arch).ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO DENTURES?Yes, dental implants can be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost is usually greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Consult your dentist for advice.HOW ARE DENTURES MADE?The denture development process takes about three to six weeks and several appointments. Once your dentist or prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in the restoration and replacement of teeth) determines what type of appliance is best for you, the general steps are to:1. Make a series of impressions of your jaw and take measurements of how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them.2. Create models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made. You will “try in” this model several times and the denture will be assessed for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is cast.3. Cast a final denture.4. Adjustments will be made as necessary. WHAT DO NEW DENTURES FEEL LIKE?New dentures may feel a little odd or loose for a few weeks until the muscles of the cheeks and tongue learn to keep them in place and you get comfortable inserting and removing them.WILL EATING WITH NEW DENTURES BE DIFFICULT?Eating with new dentures will take a little practice and may be uncomfortable for some wearers for a few weeks. To get used to the new denture, start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to new dentures, add other foods until you return to a normal diet. WILL DENTURES CHANGE HOW I SPEAK?After getting dentures, you may have difficulty pronouncing certain words. If so, practice by saying the difficult words out loud. With practice and with time you will become accustomed to speaking properly with dentures. ARE DENTURES WORN 24 HOURS A DAY?Your dentist or prosthodontist will instruct you as to how long to wear dentures and when to remove them. During the first several days after receiving your denture, you may be asked to wear it all the time, including while you sleep. Although this may be temporarily uncomfortable, it is the quickest way to identify the areas on the denture that may need adjustment. Once adjustments are made, you should remove dentures before going to bed. This allows gum tissues to rest and allows normal stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva. The denture can be put back in the mouth in the morning.CAREDaily cleaning of dentures is recommended. Plaque and tartar can build up on false teeth, just as they do on natural teeth. Cleaning can be done using chemical or mechanical denture cleaners.