What are dentures?


Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth. They can come as complete or partial dentures. Complete dentures can be used to replace a full mouth of teeth. Usually complete dentures are placed immediately after teeth are extracted. In some cases you may need to wait for gums to heal before they can be placed. Partial dentures will only replace some missing teeth. It is either a plastic or metal plate with some teeth attached to it. It is then clipped on to your remaining teeth with a metal clasp. It can be unclipped and removed for cleaning.


What does the fitting procedure involve?

Having dentures fitted will typically take between 4 – 8 weeks and will require several visits to the dentist. The steps in the procedure will be as follows:

  • Visit the dentist for a consultation. The dentist will give you all the information necessary for you to make a decision. They should also be able to advise of the different types available and which type is best for you.
  • The dentist will take an impression of your mouth. They will also take measurements of your mouth to allow a custom fitted denture to be made.
  • Create models or plastic/wax forms to allow them to plan and make sure that the dimensions of the denture are the correct size for your mouth. You will try on this model to make sure that the shape, size and colour of the denture are a correct match for your mouth.
  • Cast a final denture. Minor adjustments may be made to make sure it is the correct fit.



This patient had a plain denture replaced with a cosmetic denture. They also had their bottom jaw replaced with an implant retained denture. The case study courtesy of Cleveland Cosmetic and Dental Implant Clinic


How to look after your dentures?


Dentures may feel a little uncomfortable at first but you should soon get used to them. Once they are fitted, you will still need to brush any remaining teeth your gums and tongue with a tooth brush as before. The dentures themselves must be removed and cleaned at least twice a day. To clean them you must first brush them to remove any food particles. They are then soaked in a special fizzy solution which will clean bacteria off them. Once you put them back in your mouth you brush them again.


Eating with dentures is possible. When they are new you will only be able to each soft food and it is helpful to cut it into small pieces. Over time you will be able to chew tougher foods.


Dental implants are an alternative to dentures. Although they are more expensive they are the preferred option for many people as they are a permanent solution. They are easier to clean and maintain and they stop bone atrophy.


Are Dentures available through NHS?



Dentures are available through the NHS as a band 3 treatment meaning they cost £209. If you wish to have they fitted privately they can cost up to £5,000.


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