Learn everything you need to know about dental dentures.
Dentures, also commonly known as false teeth, are used to replace teeth that have been lost due to disease or trauma. They are widely used throughout the world as the quickest and most cost-effective solution to restoring the chewing ability, jaw function and cosmetic appearance of a smile. Dentures are usually removable devices, however, modern dental advancements can now provide a fixed solution to dentures that can hold the denture securely in place permanently.
Dentures must be custom made by a dentist or dental lab technician known as a prosthodontist to ensure a comfortable and secure fit, as well as looking natural and suited to the individual’s facial features. Although nothing can compare to having your own natural dentition, dentures are a great solution to replacing a single missing tooth, several teeth or an entire upper or lower arch of teeth.
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The national average denture cost for a full upper acrylic denture or full lower acrylic denture, meaning you have no teeth remaining in that arch, is $1300. Most practices discount the cost of an upper and lower acrylic denture if they are being made at the same time to an average of around $2400.
A partial denture, meaning you still have some of your own teeth remaining and just want to fill the gaps where teeth are missing will vary greatly depending on the number of teeth will be added onto the denture, the base material you want to use and the location of the practice or denture lab.
Keeps remaining teeth healthy
Easy to clean
Continue eating what you like
Good solution to missing teeth
Understanding your condition is the
key to making the right choices for you
The time a denture lab takes to make a new denture will depend on a number of factors. This will include the type of material being used, the number of components being added to help secure the denture in place, the number of teeth being added and the level of complexity in getting the right fit in your mouth.
You can expect to visit the dentist or denture lab technician 2 – 5 times over the course of getting a new denture made. Each appointment will only take around 15 – 20 minutes and allows the dentist or denture lab technician to review each stage of the denture in your mouth as it’s being designed and make any changes as needed along the way.
For a straight forward acrylic denture, it will take around 1 – 3 weeks to be made. If your denture has a chrome cobalt frame design, this may add an additional 2 weeks to the overall process.
Dentures are most commonly made out of human safe grade acrylic material, coloured to match your existing teeth and gums. For a more comfortable fit, chrome cobalt can be used as the frame that sits across the roof of your mouth and along the gum line with acrylic teeth and gum attached. To hold the denture in place, steel retainers and clasps are used which wrap around your existing teeth tightly. Where possible, clasps and retainers are positioned out of sight when you smile.
If dentures are well looked after, cleaned regularly with appropriate denture cleaning solution and are the right fit and material to withstand your unique bite, you can expect dentures to last around 8 – 12 years. During that time your gums and bone might shrink causing the denture to become loose-fitting. If the denture is still in a good working condition, the denture lab or dentist can offer a reline of the denture to return it to a snug and secure fit.
Absolutely! A daily soak for 10minutes in a solution designed for dentures will ensure the longevity of your false teeth. A soft bristle toothbrush with denture cleaning paste will remove stubborn stain and hard build-up from the denture. Avoid using toothpaste, bicarb soda or any other harsh brushes or paste that may scratch the denture surface causing it to stain more easily.
During your regular dental check-ups, ask the dental practice to clean your dentures professionally to help remove heavy build-up of tartar and stain you have been unable to remove at home. A denture lab will also offer a professional denture cleaning service for a small fee.
In short, yes – if this method is what is considered to be the best course of action for your situation the dentist will arrange your sequence of appointments so that the denture is made first and ready to insert the day you have your teeth removed. Often patients who are having teeth removed from the front of the mouth in the smile line will have the teeth removed and the denture inserted on the same day to avoid a period of having an unsightly gap and to help with chewing food.
Having a denture placed the same day as tooth extraction can also help to reduce the bleeding and swelling in the area as it provides constant firm pressure over the open socket, and as healing occurs, the gum will mold to the inside of the denture to assist in a firmer fit for a period of time.
This is entirely up to the individual and what is comfortable for them. There might be situations where a dentist recommends that the denture is taken out at night. This could be due to the size of the denture as it might be seen as a choking hazard if it’s small enough to be inhaled while you sleep, or it could be that the gum and soft tissue need time to breath as an infection is starting to develop from the denture being worn to often.
For the best health and longevity of your new denture, it is best to consult with your dentist for advice on whether or not you should wear your denture while you sleep.