Dentures

A denture is a removable dental appliance for missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  It is made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures.  Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.  A partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting. A complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate”.  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking four to six weeks.  During this time, the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments may have to be made.

What is the difference between full and partial dentures?

Full Denture

Also called a complete denture, replaces all of the natural teeth and provides support for cheeks and lips. By replacing missing teeth, dentures not only support sagging facial muscles, but also improve a person’s ability to speak and eat. Full dentures are divided into two categories according to when they are made and inserted into the mouth.

Conventional dentures are made and inserted after the remaining teeth are removed and the tissues have healed. Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth. An advantage of immediate dentures is that the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, immediate dentures may require rebasing or relining to fit properly after gums shrink from the healing period.

Removable Partial Denture

Fills in the space created by missing teeth and fills out your smile. Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework, and attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or precision attachments. Precision attachments are nearly invisible, but often require crowns on your natural teeth for a precise fit, and generally cost more than those with metal clasps.