If an individual has lost a number of teeth then the dentist may advise a denture. Not only can a denture improve the appearance of the teeth by filling the gaps, but it also provides extra teeth with which to chew. It can also improve speech defects caused by missing teeth.

Dentures are made from acrylic (plastic) or porcelain teeth attached to a base plate or framework which fits snugly in the mouth. For people who need only a few teeth replacing, a metal (chromium cobalt) framework is often preferred because it is stronger, lighter and better tolerated by the tissues in the mouth. It can also be made more accurately and should last longer than an acrylic baseplate.

Dentures, like crowns, are made by dental technicians from impressions taken by the dentist. A wide selection of teeth is available to match the existing teeth, and this can be checked at a preliminary ‘try-in’ stage. At the final stage the denture is fitted and adjusted to ensure a satisfactory result. For someone who has lost all teeth, usually through tooth becomes loose, extremely painful to touch, and is often accompanied by a throbbing and swollen face, and possibly a gum boil or swollen glands. For a tooth that has irreversible pulpal damage, a dead tooth, or a tooth abscess caused by decay or traumatic injury, the dentist may advise root canal treatment (root filling). This involves drilling a hole into the tooth and cleaning it out; disinfecting and filling the pulp chamber, and also the canals in the root that once contained the nerves and bloodvessels. A number of visits to the dental surgery may be required to ensure adequate cleaning and preparation of the canals. The tooth may then be restored in the normal way, by filling. Teeth subjected to root treatment may become weakened and often discolour, so to preserve colour a crown or facing may be suggested.