A denture is a type of prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. They are designed to restore function - both chewing and speaking, while maintaining a normal or natural appearance.
Is a denture right for me?
The dentist will assess a number of factors when considering if a denture is right for you. These include, but are not limited to:
- Number of teeth lost: Generally, the more teeth lost, the more convenient it is to have a denture that can replace numerous teeth. That’s not to say that single tooth dentures aren’t also used.
- Patient health: Patients in poor health with certain medical conditions may not tolerate alternatives such as implants.
- Patient hygiene: An inability to clean under a bridge, or having poorly controlled periodontal disease can mean alternatives such as implants and bridges may not last. Removing the dentures can make cleaning easier.
- Patient anatomy: Bone levels will dictate stability of all replacement options including dentures, implants and bridges. Your friendly Northbridge Dentists team will assess these factors and let you know if a denture is right for you.
- Patient preference: Some patients cannot handle the thought of wearing dentures, or feel that they might “gag.” Some think it makes them feel older. Some patients like that it is minimally invasive (less drilling etc) and often looks great. It’s up to you!
Types of dentures and materials?
There are two main types of dentures:
Full Denture: Replaces all teeth in either the top or bottom jaw. Full dentures are made of acrylic.
Partial Denture: Replaces one or more missing teeth in either the top or bottom jaws, and is secured via clasps that latch onto the remaining teeth. In most cases partial dentures are made of a combination of acrylic and metal.
Over time we may find that dentures don’t fit as well as they used to. Sometimes through accidents, or simply wear-and-tear, dentures can break, become worn or simply not fit. Other reasons for dentures not fitting include changes to teeth (e.g fillings, crowns or extractions) or other injuries. Treatment can vary from case to case.
Sometimes a simple adjustment such as tightening a clasp or adjusting a sore spot is all that’s required.
When the acrylic fitting surface of a denture does not sit flush against the gums, sometimes the use of denture adhesives can help. However if the discrepancy is too great, re-lining the fitting surface with new acrylic can help it sit more comfortably again. If you organize this in advance with your friendly Northbridge Dentists team, this can often be done on the same day with two appointments (one in the morning and one in the afternoon).
The nature of the repair will depend on the damage and the type of denture. Most denture repairs will require two main appointments = the first for the impression to be sent to the lab, and the second for the issue and any remaining adjustment. Some common repairs:
- Clasp breakage: Sometimes the retentive clasp that attaches to the tooth is broken. Acrylic dentures are usually straightforward and a new clasp can be added. For chrome dentures, complex metal work and re-casting may be required.
- Broken teeth: Chipped or broken teeth are usually straightforward to replace or repair. Be warned that depending on where the denture was made and/or how old the denture is, the lab may not have the exact type of tooth in stock. However they are usually able to match the tooth fairly closely. The pink acrylic they use to anchor the tooth in place may also vary.
- Broken Denture base: More common for acrylic dentures. Depending on how many pieces the denture has broken into, the denture may or may not be able to be put together. The acrylic used to repair the denture may differ in colour.
FAQs - Dentures
I need to have a tooth removed and I don’t want to left with a gap at all. Is there a way to have a denture put in immediately?
Yes. This is called an immediate denture. This requires advanced planning and allows a denture to be issued on the same day that teeth are extracted. Impressions and a colour-match of your teeth will be required. A denture will then be constructed and then fitted immediately following tooth extraction.
Is it possible to have a combination of denture and implants?
This is called an implant-retained over-denture: The implants (usually minimum of four in an arch) attach to the denture to hold it in place.
How long will it take me to get used to a denture?
Just like a person who has a prosthetic leg will not get up and run a marathon the first day, dentures take time to get used to. Eventually they become comfortable and most people don’t even notice they are there. Some difficulties in speech, chewing and even some rubbing may be experienced initially.
How much do dentures cost?
Dentures are a labour-intensive process designed and customised to each individual. Costs will vary depending on material used, number of retainers required and number of teeth replaced. Simple dentures will start from around $800 and range right up to complex special constructed chrome dentures at $2400 (and everything in between). Ask for a quote from your friendly Northbridge Dentists team at your consultation appointment.
FAQs - Denture Repairs
My acrylic denture broke clean in two. Can’t I just glue it back together?
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GLUE IT TOGETHER YOURSELF - it can distort the denture, affect the fit and will often become plaque retentive and irritable. It needs new acrylic to fill in the crack and allow it to fit together again.
I need a tooth out and I already have a denture. What can I do?
If a tooth adjacent to a partial denture requires extraction, you may be able to have the tooth added to your existing denture. This will depend on the denture and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If the tooth is important for the retention of the denture (i.e. a clasp sits around it) then a clasp may need to be added to latch around another tooth as well. In some cases a tooth addition cannot be achieved and a new denture may be required.
How much do denture repairs cost?
Denture repairs are a labour-intensive process and often require the use of a lab technician. Each repair is customised to the needs of your particular denture, and costs will vary. Your friendly Northbridge Dentists team is happy to provide a quote