A denture is an appliance that replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.
Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.
- A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
- An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
- An upper denture has acrylic, is usually flesh colored, and covers the roof of the mouth.
- A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain, or a combination of both.
In many cases dentures can be fabricated to attach to dental implants in order to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance and provide significantly improved retention.
Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to maintain jaw alignment.