Full dentures, to replace all your own teeth, fit snugly over your gums. They will help you to eat comfortably and speak clearly, and will improve your confidence and self-esteem.
Partial dentures replace teeth that are missing and can sometimes be supported by the teeth you have left. If you have gaps between your teeth, then your other teeth may move to take up some of the space, so you could end up with crooked or tilted teeth. This could affect the way you bite and could damage your other teeth.
Usually dentures can be fitted straight after your teeth have been removed. These are called 'immediate dentures'. You will need to visit the dentist beforehand for them to take measurements and impressions of your mouth.
With immediate dentures you don't have to be without teeth while your gums are healing. However, bone and gums can shrink over time, especially during the first six months after your teeth have been taken out. If your gums shrink, your immediate dentures may need relining, adjusting or even replacing.
Denture relining involves resurfacing only the inside portions of the denture to give it a snug fit with the existing gum condition. Your dentist will be able to talk to you about this.
Sometimes your dentist may advise you to wait until your gums are healed before having your dentures, as this can sometimes provide a better fit. Healing may take several months.
When you wear a denture for the first time it may take some time getting used to when speaking or eating and chewing.