A denture is an artificial set of removable teeth made of acrylic resin, sometimes combined with metal. Dentures replace missing teeth and adjacent tissues. Dentures can be either partial or complete. A partial denture serves to fills in the spaces made by missing teeth and prevents the remaining teeth from shifting position in the jaw. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth. There are two types of complete dentures: immediate or conventional. An immediate denture is fitted onto the gums as soon as the teeth are surgically removed. One disadvantage of an immediate denture is that adjustments may be necessary after the gums have completely healed. A conventional denture is fitted onto the gums after the gums have had a period of time to heal after surgery.
Dentures can take approximately five dental visits. First, the dentist takes an impression of the gums and a wax bite – these are necessary to determine the vertical dimensions and proper jaw position. The dentist may make a trial denture or “try-in” to make sure of the right shape and color as well as proper fit. Minor adjustments are usually needed when the denture is placed.