Dentures are the most common dental prosthesis, to the point of making frequent appearances in popular culture. However, with that popularity comes a great many misunderstandings about what dentures are and what roles they might play for patients who have them. As always at Hampstead Dental we want you to understand the procedures and services we offer, so let’s take a look at dentures and how they work.

Dentures are in essence replacement teeth. Due to age, accident, or another medical condition, a patient may lose a tooth or teeth. This affects their ability to smile, talk, eat, and may have an impact on their self-confidence. Dentures offer a solution. Dentures are a removable dental prosthesis, which replaces missing teeth and are supported by the remaining teeth and gums in the oral cavity.

So how do they work? Dentures come in two types: full and partial. As the name suggests, full dentures are used when all or most of your teeth have been replaced. They make use of an acrylic base that fits over your gums and which supports artificial teeth that perform all the functions of your natural teeth. Partial dentures replace only a few teeth and are most commonly attached to a wireframe that holds that artificial teeth in place between or next to your remaining natural teeth. Both kinds of dentures are designed to be removed for daily cleaning, and your dentist will instruct you as to how best to do that.

New dentures can feel uncomfortable, awkward, or strange for a while. It takes time to adjust, and during the adjustment period, you may feel some discomfort eating or talking. Excess saliva flow is also common until the mouth adjusts to the dentures. It’s worth it, however—when properly adjusted and cared for, dentures can help you live your life to the fullest.