Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth and partial dentures replace some of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Dentures help support the muscles of the face and lips for a better appearance as well as improve chewing function. However you can never achieve the biting forces of natural teeth, fixed bridges or implant-supported replacements.
Dentures tend to be bulky and will move some during chewing and speaking. They require adjustments, relines and repairs. Making a denture involves several steps. First an impression is made of the jaw or remaining teeth. The next appointment a bite is made, tooth-color and shape are selected. At the third appointment, the teeth that have been set in wax are tried in the mouth. The appearance and bite is checked. The last appointment the final denture is placed in the mouth and adjusted. Initially, there will be an adjustment period from days to weeks. Speech will be temporary affected and chewing will require some learning. Sore spots usually occur in the mouth and require some adjustment. Alternatives to complete dentures involve implants and alternatives to partial dentures involve fixed bridges or implants.