dental professionals

patient information

dentures explained

What are dentures?

Dentures are appliances that replace lost teeth and which can be removed from the mouth (appliances that are permanently fixed are referred to as bridges). Dentures are made by a skilled team, led by your clinician. It is important that your dentures are well made and crafted to fit your own personal needs. Not only should they fit well and be comfortable, they should look like natural teeth.

Dentures are called "partial" if some of your own teeth are remaining and "full" if none remain. If you have already lost some teeth and have a partial denture, take great care of those that are left. When some teeth have already been lost there is more strain put on those remaining. Sometimes, miniature magnetic attachments can be used to reduce the stress on the remaining teeth and so help you keep them for longer.

Partial dentures are normally best made on a metal base to make them stronger and thinner and to enable small metal retaining clasps to be used. These also help to keep the denture away from the margin of teeth and gums. This is a sensitive area where further tooth loss frequently starts.

The denture is made using manufactured teeth in a range of shades and shapes that your clinician will help you choose. These are then skilfully processed into an acrylic base that is made to fit the anatomy of your own mouth.

Full upper dentures are mainly kept in position by suction, whereas the lower denture is kept in place by your gums and muscles. Denture wearers therefore often have more trouble with their lower dentures. It takes time getting used to new dentures and they often need several adjustments. Always discuss any concerns with your clinician.

Another way of making dentures more retentive is by using implants. These are special titanium posts that screw into the jaw. A number of different means of attaching the denture to them can be used including ball and socket fixings and miniature magnets. Your clinician will be able to advise you both on the suitability of the above to your own particular clinical situation as well as the costs of your treatment.


Where are dentures made?

Dentures are made by a skilled team, led by your clinician. The actual fabrication is done by highly skilled technical staff, frequently in a separate dental laboratory. Much of the work that goes into the making of a natural looking denture is never seen by the patient who only sees that part carried out by their clinician.