A denture is a removable appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces some or all of the natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips. A partial denture can often be used when the remaining natural teeth are healthy and in reasonable alignment. A full denture may be used when a person has lost all of the upper or all of the lower teeth.
A typical partial denture is attached to the anchor teeth by means of metal or resin clasps, and is supported by a combination of its precise fit over the gum tissue and the attachment to the anchor teeth. Precision attachments are a means of attaching a partial denture without the use of a visible clasp and also provide enhanced retention.
A full denture sits completely on the underlying gum tissue and is retained by the intimacy of its fit and by the facial muscles and the tongue. Dentures can also be adapted to work with dental implants to enhance their stability, retention and functionality. With the right combination of implants and dentures, lost function can be regained, facial support can be restored, and patients previously unable to eat any but the softest foods can resume a normal diet and lifestyle. Some of Dr Hunting’s happiest patients are those that he has helped to regain lost function with this combination of implants and dentures.
Over a normal course of time, dentures will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.