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Two seniors with denturesA denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, a type of thermoplastic, and sometimes with a combination of various metals. Overall, dentures improve chewing ability and speech as well as provide support for facial muscles.

Types of Dentures

There are a variety of different dentures out there to meet individuals’ specific dental needs. The most common types include:

  • Complete dentures: Replaces all of the natural teeth (replacement teeth).
    • Includes a full denture on your upper and lower jar if necessary
    • Suitable for those who have lost most or all of their teeth
  • Partial dentures: Fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from changing position.
    • Can be permanent dentures or removable partial dentures
    • Suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining
  • Immediate dentures: Complete dentures that are inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth
  • Conventional dentures: Complete dentures that are made and inserted after the remaining teeth are removed and the tissue has healed
  • Overdenture: A removable denture that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth or implants

How Are Dentures Made?

The process takes about one month and five appointments:

  • The initial diagnosis is made
  • An impression and a wax bite are made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position
  • A "try-in" is placed to assure proper color, shape, and fit
  • The patient`s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments

First, an impression of your jaw is made using special materials and your specific measurements. The dental laboratory then makes a mold of your jaw, places it in a wax base, and carves the wax to the exact form wanted in the finished denture. Lastly, the denture is polished and is then ready to wear.

Getting Used to Your Dentures

For the first few weeks, a new denture may feel awkward or bulky. However, your mouth will eventually become accustomed to wearing it. Start out by eating soft foods that are cut into small pieces and chew on both sides of the mouth to keep even pressure. If your denture is still uncomfortable, it can always be adjusted to fit more comfortably.

Taking Care of Your Dentures

Keeping your dentures clean is extremely important for your overall oral health.

  • Brush your denture (preferably with a denture brush) daily to remove food deposits and plaque, and to prevent staining.
  • Look for denture cleaners with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to clean dentures is also acceptable. 
  • Pay special attention to cleaning teeth that fit under the denture’s metal clasps. Plaque that becomes trapped under the clasps will increase the risk of tooth decay.

A denture could lose its proper shape if it is not kept moist. At night, the appliance should be placed in a soaking solution or water. However, metal attachments can tarnish if placed in a soaking solution.

Even with full dentures, you still need to take good care of your mouth. Every morning, brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled brush before you put in your dentures. This removes plaque and stimulates circulation in the mouth. Selecting a balanced diet for proper nutrition is also important for maintaining a healthy mouth.


Over time, adjusting your denture may be necessary. As you age, your mouth naturally changes, which can affect the fit of your denture. If your denture no longer fits properly, breaks, cracks, or chips, or if one of the teeth becomes loose, see your dentist immediately. In many cases, dentists can make necessary adjustments or denture repairs on the same day. Complicated repairs may require that the appliance be sent to a special dental laboratory.

Common Concerns

  • Eating will take a little practice. Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Be cautious with hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet.
  • Some people worry about how dentures will affect their speech. Pronouncing certain words may require practice. Reading out loud and repeating troublesome words will help. 
  • If your dentures "click" while you`re talking, speak more slowly. You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. Reposition the dentures by gently biting down and swallowing. If a speaking problem persists, consult your dentist.

Ames Family Dental is here to help you find the right teeth replacement for you! Whether you have questions regarding affordable dentures and implants, denture cost, or denture repair, we’ve got you covered.

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