Acrylic denture

 

What is it?

A denture is a removable appliance used to replace missing teeth, and may be partial (if some of your own teeth remain) or complete (if none of your own teeth remain). The acrylic denture is made of plastic.


What is it for?

Acrylic dentures can be used to replace any number of missing teeth. However, they can be cumbersome and make oral hygiene more challenging, so we try to avoid dentures unless several teeth need to be replaced. If very few of your natural teeth remain, or your teeth are in poor condition, acrylic dentures are usually the treatment of choice. As a general rule, patients tend to find upper dentures more comfortable and tolerable than lower dentures.


What does the procedure involve?

There will be a series of usually 4 appointments, over which accurate impressions of your gums (and teeth if present) are taken, a record of your bite is made, and a colour for the teeth is selected to match your natural or desired colour. A model of the denture will be tried in to check the final appearance and fit before the final denture is processed.


What are the alternative treatments?

For few missing teeth:

For many missing teeth:


How long will it last?

This varies widely, but generally dentures would be remade every 5-10 years. However, during this time, dentures sometimes crack or break and need to be repaired. Where teeth are missing, your gums and jawbone will gradually shrink away over time, causing the denture to lose its fit. In this case, the denture can sometimes be altered to improve the fit, or may need to be replaced.


Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Simple treatment Not fixed in place
Usually good aesethetics Makes oral hygiene more challenging, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease of remaining teeth
Easy to add any natural teeth that may need to be extracted Can be loose – often require fixative to hold in place
Can be cumbersome and awkward to wear