Full Dentures

What are Full Dentures?

If you are missing all your teeth – whether due to injury, tooth infection, periodontitis or a medical condition – you will need a complete set of replacement teeth.

The artificial teeth are fixed to a plate which sits snugly over your gums and – in the case of an upper denture – on the roof of your mouth. This plate is usually made from gum-coloured acrylic material, but the inner part can be made from metal. The ‘gum’ extends far enough away from the teeth that the edge shouldn’t be visible when you smile.

When the base fits well, natural suction keeps it in place. But over time, your jaw bone changes shape and the plate will eventually become loose. False teeth glue can be used to keep it in place for a while, but if you’re experiencing this problem it’s probably time to get a new set of teeth from your dentist.

Partial dentures are used when some healthy, natural teeth are still present. They are carefully shaped by a dental technician to fit around and clip onto any remaining teeth. Both the artificial teeth and gum are coloured to be a good match with your natural teeth and gums.

Although the metal clasps are designed to be as inconspicuous as possible, they may still be visible when you talk, depending on their position. The clips can be made from a tooth-coloured material, but this isn’t as strong as metal.

Removable false teeth

Traditional dentures are designed to be removable. Complete sets may have to be removed overnight for cleaning, whereas partial ones can often be worn for longer and brushed as normal. A dentist can advise on the exact cleaning procedure you should follow.

The fact that they are removable does mean they can slip out of place – particularly when eating foods that require a stronger biting force. For this reason, dentists often advise patients to avoid certain hard, sticky and chewy foods.

Patients may choose to use a dental adhesive which helps keep their artificial teeth more securely in place. This might allow access to more foods, but it can be messy and fiddly to deal with.