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Dentures are removable dental appliances that are used to replace missing teeth. Whether you’ve lost teeth from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing the missing teeth is critical—not only for your oral health, but overall health as well. Dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth, which means there generally aren’t any noticeable changes to your appearance. In fact, dentures have even shown to improve smile appearance and improve mouth function.

Dentures can be used to replace all of your teeth, or just some. Dentures that replace all the teeth are known as complete dentures. This type of denture rests on the gums that cover the jawbones and is completely removable. Dentures that replace some, but not all teeth are called partial dentures. These dentures attach to the teeth that are still present and also cover and rest on the gums and bone where the teeth are missing—similar to a dental bridge.

Developing dentures can take up to six weeks and usually involves several appointments. During the first appointment, your dentist will take a mold of your natural teeth and gums. This impression is used to create a mold for you dentures. Once the dentures are created, patients return to have them fitted.