Dentures That Help You Keep Your Smile (Part I)

Best DenistPeople who have lost some or all of their teeth can have them replaced with dentures. With a little practice, dentures will feel natural and let you eat, speak and smile with ease.

“Dentures are one of the choices you have to replace missing teeth,” says Dr. Carol Ford, from her Cosmetic Dentistry office in Phoenix. “There are other choices, and which one you make depends on many factors—look, ease of use, diet, health, and cost,” she continues.

Complete dentures consist of both top and bottom teeth. The top denture (or plate) has white, even teeth and a plastic part that covers your palate, or the roof of your mouth. This is done to create a bond to hold the upper teeth in place.

The bottom denture is curved like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue and the way the tongue attaches to the bottom of the mouth. If you have some teeth left, the denture will attach to them with clasps. If you have no teeth left, the dentures can fit over your gums to hold them in place. Another way for dentures to be attached, is to affix them to implants that are placed first.

Partial Dentures contain metal–the clasps that hold them to other teeth, and are often covered in dental resin or acrylic. Complete Dentures that cover the gums use acrylic in the places that meet the gum. This is done for comfort. The dentures’ gums (that show when you smile) are made of acrylic, and the teeth can be made of either resin or porcelain.

Partial dentures replace the teeth that are missing and attach to the teeth still in the mouth. Dr. Saul Miller, writing for the website ShareCare, says, “Partial dentures are fabricated with the same materials, except that there is often a chrome-cobalt framework for strength and retention. In all-acrylic partial dentures stainless steel clasps may be used for retention.”

(Part 2 of Dentures will run on 1/30/2013)

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