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How Full and Partial Dentures Work

Author: mcymer Posted: September 30th, 2019 Category:

Have you been told you need dentures? Here are your options to restore your smile and make you feel more confident.

Dealing with missing and painful teeth may lead you to be less self confident in social situations — but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re missing teeth due to decay or gum disease, your dentist may recommend dentures as a solution. Dentures can improve your outlook by restoring your smile and making it easier to speak and chew food. 

The first step in obtaining dentures is having an impression of your jaw, teeth, and gums made. The mold is then sent to a lab where the denture is built, a process that can take up to several weeks. After consulting with your dentist, there are a few different denture and implant options that you can choose between.

Types of Dentures

Dentures come in three main categories: complete, partial, or dental implants. Depending upon the condition of your teeth and gums, you’ll be fitted with one of these types:

Complete. If all your teeth need to be extracted, you’ll be fitted with a complete denture. Complete dentures consist of plastic or porcelain teeth connected to a plastic base that matches the color of the gums. The upper portion covers the roof of the mouth, while the horseshoe-shaped bottom fits over the gum line, leaving an open area for the tongue. 

If you’re getting fitted with conventional complete dentures, you must wait until your gums have healed before receiving your final dentures. That could mean waiting for several weeks without teeth. Your other option is immediate dentures. With immediate dentures, you’re given a set of dentures to wear while you heal. As your bones and gums recover, you will have to visit the dentist to get the dentures readjusted.

Partial Dentures. Removable partial dentures are used mainly to fill in one or more missing teeth. Also known as bridges, partial dentures hook onto natural teeth to fill in gaps. If made of metal, the partial denture attaches to healthy teeth with a metal clasp. Partial dentures can also be made of acrylic that is secured to surrounding teeth with a wire attachment. 

Another option is to be fitted with a fixed bridge in which the artificial teeth in the partial denture are sealed with cement to crowns on each side of the gap. The advantage of fixed partial dentures is that the device also keeps existing teeth from changing position.

Dental Implants. Dental implants replace a missing tooth or several teeth by attaching a crown to a metal post that gets drilled into the jaw bone. For this type of denture, you need healthy gums and enough bone mass to accommodate the post. Dental implants are the most expensive option, but also feel more secure in your mouth once completed.

Initially, your partial or complete dentures may feel loose as the shape of your gums and jawbone change. You’ll likely also produce an excess of saliva. These feelings are temporary, but you may need a few return trips to the dentist to ensure a proper fit. 

You can try several adhesives to make complete dentures feel tighter, especially when you chew. However, if the dentures still don’t fit correctly after some time spent living with them, you should see your dentist to adjust the fit.

Your dentist will also advise you on how to care for your dentures to ensure they stay white and intact until they need to be replaced. Most dentures need to be replaced every five years. As with natural teeth, you should practice good oral hygiene by brushing gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Do You Need Dentures?

Espire Dental offers a wide array of dental services, including fitting you with partial or complete dentures and dental implants. After a detailed consultation, we will recommend the best solution for you and your smile. Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your options with us today.