A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. It is made of acrylic resin or a combination of acrylic resin and various metals.

Types of Dentures

Complete Dentures v Partial Dentures

Complete dentures replace all of the teeth on the top or bottom arch of the mouth.  Partial dentures are used when one or more teeth are missing, but we still have healthy teeth remaining to anchor onto.  This article discusses complete dentures. For more information on partial dentures, click here.

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing or the condition of those remaining are poor.  Complete dentures can greatly improve the chewing and speaking ability of patients as described above, and can even make a patient look much younger.  The body of the denture is custom made to intimately fit the gums and soft tissues, and can provide support for the lips and face to help patients achieve a more youthful appearance.  The teeth on a denture will replace the form of natural teeth, which is a great upgrade when a denture I needed.  Sometimes implants are needed to increase stability and produce stronger chewing forces.

Immediate Dentures vs Final Dentures

Immediate Dentures are custom made for a patient BEFORE the last of their teeth are extracted.  These dentures are to replace teeth the same day as the teeth are extracted.  A patient will come to the office with teeth that are broken down or failing, and leave that same day with a full set of beautiful white teeth.  These are temporary dentures because the dental laboratory technician has to estimate the level of bone at the end of surgery, which limits their initial hold. Also, in the 4 to 6 months following surgery, the bone around the teeth that have been extracted will change shape until they settle on a stable position, this is called remodeling.  This means during the first few months following surgery, Immediate dentures may get looser over time, which might require a rebase or a reline.  Once the bone has finished remodeling, the patient is ready for their Final denture.

Final dentures are intimately produced for a more comfortable, long-term fit.  The dental laboratory technician is no longer “guessing” where the bone is going to end up.  Final dentures are appropriate for patients who have completed their post-surgery healing or patients who are already wearing a denture and need a new denture.  The final denture requires a series of appointments during which we carefully measure the size and position of the jaws in order to create a denture with high-quality speech, stronger hold and superior aesthetics.

Overdentures

In situations where an individual has lost a significant amount of bone, or stronger chewing forces are desired, implants can be used to fix or hold a denture in place.  There are many ways to attach a denture to an implant.  The most common method is to use “button” attachments on the implants and the denture in order to snap the denture into place.  A custom evaluation is needed to evaluate which implant-related option is best for each individual. 

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