What are Acrylic Dentures?

Dentures are used as a synthetic replacement for missing teeth; they are normally removable and are designed to look and feel like the real thing. Most people would probably associate dentures with older people, who have started to lose their teeth as they age, but there are a large proportion of adults in the UK who benefit from full or partial dentures, which are used to replace lost or broken teeth. Our teeth are not indestructible, and they can be damaged by heavy blows or become compromised as a result of dental decay, so it’s not surprising that this type of problem affects people of all ages, not just the elderly.

There are two types of denture, metal and acrylic; metal designs – sometimes called ‘skeleton’ dentures – are generally more expensive than their acrylic counterparts, and don’t tend to cover the whole gum line. Acrylic dentures are moulded into a plate that usually covers the whole roof of the mouth, or a significant area on the lower jaw, they also have metal clasps built into the plastic, which act as an anchor when the appliance is fitted, holding it firmly in place.

Not all acrylic dentures are the same, they have to be designed around the needs of the patient, who might not need all their teeth replacing. A partial denture is built to cover a smaller surface area, working in the same way as a bridge does, without being permanently fixed to the natural teeth. The very first dentures were quite uncomfortable and very noticeable, but thanks to advances in dental technology, the modern designs are more discreet than ever, appearing more natural and lasting longer than their predecessors.

How do acrylic dentures work?

Full dentures will cover the gum line completely, creating a functioning smile that appears natural and in proportion with the face. The upper denture covers the palate completely, and the lower one is moulded into a horseshoe shape, so that the movement of the tongue is not impeded. This design is probably the most well-known of acrylic dentures, and is what springs to mind when ‘false teeth’ are mentioned, but they are actually much more subtle than you might think. Partial dentures have to be custom-made in a laboratory, using impressions from the patient’s mouth, as they need to fit around any remaining teeth, instead of just sitting over the gums as a full denture does.

Will I have to have my teeth pulled out if I need a denture fitting?

That depends on what sort of denture you are going to be fitted with and what condition your remaining teeth are in. If your dentist determines that a full denture would be best for you, it may be the case that your natural teeth have to be removed – because you may not have enough healthy teeth remaining to sufficiently support a partial denture, or they are already in a state of decay and would eventually fall out anyway. It’s important to remember that if you do need to have your teeth extracted, there may be a period of healing that has to take place before you can have your dentures fitted, this can be several months in some cases, so be prepared to cope without any teeth at all during this time. However, you may be one of the lucky ones who can have a denture fitted immediately after the teeth have been removed, providing your dentist feels that your mouth is in a healthy condition and can heal around the new device. Immediate dentures are very convenient in this way, but they do have to be relined after a few months, as the bone changes shape to accommodate the dentures, causing them to loosen over time.

If your dentist decides to fit you with a partial denture, it’s unlikely that you will have to have all remaining teeth removed, although you may still have to have several extracted to make room for the appliance. In addition, your natural teeth might need some reshaping, so that the anchoring crowns can be placed comfortably over the top of them.

How long do acrylic dentures last?

There is a certain amount of upkeep required where dentures are concerned, if you want them to look their best all the time, but once you get into the routine of cleaning, re-lining and re-basing them, it won’t seem like such a chore. The normal wear and tear that takes place in our mouths means that appliances like these don’t last forever, but with good care they should last several years before you need to replace them. Furthermore, as you grow older, your teeth and jaw changes shape, this is a natural process that causes the dentures to become loose around the gums, so you will undoubtedly require several replacements as you age. It’s very important to keep at least an annual appointment with your dentist, if not every six months, as your dentures need constant care and attention to remain functional. Make sure you attend regular check-ups to keep your teeth looking their best, for more information or to book a consultation regarding acrylic dentures, call the Pearl Dental Clinic today and speak to a member of the team.

How do I take care of my dentures?

Cleaning them well and often is the best way to keep your dentures in tip-top condition, and make sure you keep them well hydrated, as the acrylic could crack if they are left to dry out – you need to keep the plastic soft so that the denture fits comfortably, without irritating your gums. Keep them in denture solution when you are not wearing them, but be careful to store them away from any heat sources or hot water, because this could cause them to warp. When brushing, you should treat them as though they are your normal teeth; use a manual or electronic toothbrush to carefully clean them at least once a day, this will stop any food debris or plaque building up and will protect them from stains. Don’t neglect the rest of your oral hygiene routine though, you should gently brush your gums and clean around the palate every day with a soft brush, and use a mild mouthwash to get rid of bacteria in hard to reach places.

How to find us?


5 Vale Parade, Kingston Vale

Kingston Hill, London SW15 3PS


Pearl Dental Clinic

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