Complete And Partial Dentures
A denture is a removable dental appliance used as a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are 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 4 to 6 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 will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
When to Get Dentures
All teeth have been lost in the upper or lower jaw – Complete Denture. Several teeth in the upper or lower jaw have been lost – Partial Denture. Dentures can help to improve your smile and facial appearance, improve your chewing, speech, and digestion.
The Process of Getting Dentures
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, we will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
While every effort is made to make a good and functional denture, please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect denture. After delivery of the denture, it may require a few adjustment visits and some time for you and your new denture to adapt to each other. The most important point to remember is that adjusting to your new dentures is a process; it sometimes takes a little time to get used to.
A new denture can also alter your eating and speaking habits and it may require a bit of practicing before you get comfortable.
Finally, due to differences in the shapes of the jaws and the strong muscle movement of the tongue and cheek, a lower denture may be harder to keep in the mouth compared to an upper denture.
Complete dentures can be either "conventional" or "immediate."
Conventional complete dentures are made after all the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. A conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Immediate complete dentures are fabricated prior to teeth removal and inserted in the mouth on the same day that the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
Partial dentures are replacement teeth for people who have lost one or more of their teeth. Partial dentures can be taken in and out of the mouth and consist of a denture base, which closely resembles the color of your gums and denture teeth, which are attached to a supporting framework. The partial denture then attaches to the existing teeth via a clasp or some other retentive device.
Partial dentures are made using a model of your mouth. Making a partial denture requires about 6-8 weeks, however this can vary from one patient to another. It also could depend on the type of denture and the technique your dentist or the laboratory technician uses.
Partial Denture Treatment
The first step in making a partial denture is the preparation of the teeth. During this phase your dentist may prepare the teeth that the partial denture will use for support. Next, your dentist will take an accurate impression of the upper and lower arches of your mouth and records your bite. The impressions are then sent to the dental laboratory.
At the subsequent visits your dentist will evaluate your bite, test your speech and check the appearance and function of the partial denture teeth and gums.
After the final satisfactory fit and appearance are achieved, the denture is then sent back to the laboratory for final fabrication.
Partial Denture Complication
While every effort is made to make a good and functional partial denture, it may require a few adjustment visits and a little time for you and your partial denture to adapt to each other. The most important point to remember is that adjusting to your partial denture is a process; in some cases, it takes weeks to get used to a partial denture.
A new partial denture can also alter your eating and speaking habits and it may require a bit of practicing before you get comfortable.
Immediate dentures are made using your mouth as a model. First, the dentist will take an accurate impression of the upper and lower arches of your mouth and establish a bite that best resembles your original bite. The dentist will also help you select the shape and color of the denture teeth and gums. This impression is then sent to the dental laboratory.
During the next visit the dentist will adjust your bite, test your speech and check the appearance and functionality of the denture teeth and gums. Sometimes it is necessary to repeat this step to ensure that everything is just right.
After a satisfactory fit and appearance are achieved, the denture is then sent back to the laboratory for fabrication. At the subsequent visit, the remaining teeth will be removed and the denture will be delivered. Please note that the extractions may be performed at one visit or they may be removed in two or more visits depending on the number and condition of the teeth to be extracted, the shape of your jaws and your health condition. The dentist will best advise you of the preferred timing for your extractions.
Immediate Denture Complications
While every effort is made to make a good and functional denture, please keep in mind that there is no such a thing as a perfect denture. After delivery of the immediate denture, it may require a few adjustment visits and some time for you and your immediate denture to adapt to each other. This is due to the fact that when your gums heal following the extractions they will shrink for a period of about 6 months and the denture needs to be re-based or re-lined to fit properly.
The most important point to remember is that adjusting to your immediate dentures is a process; in some cases, it takes weeks or months to get used to your immediate denture.
An immediate denture can also alter your eating; you will not have the same chewing efficiency as you had with your natural teeth. An immediate denture will also alter your speaking and it may require a bit of practicing before you get comfortable. Keep in mind that due to differences in the shapes of the jaws and the strong muscle movements of the tongue and cheek, a lower denture may be harder to keep in the mouth compared to an upper denture.
Fortunately there are new alternatives now, such as implants, which can help restore functionality that is more like natural teeth. You can discuss this possibility with the dentist.
Different Types of Partial Dentures
There are newly developed techniques in making partial dentures. One such advance is an implant-supporting partial denture that helps give additional support to the partial denture. While it offers additional support it also requires the placement of implants in your mouth before making the denture.
There is also a partial denture that uses a special material called valplast which is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This kind of partial does not use metal as its base and has hooks that are made with a flexible plastic material.
Stayplate (Temporary Denture)
If you are scheduled to have a tooth pulled before getting your partial denture, then your dentist may advise you to get a temporary partial denture or a stayplate while your gums and their supporting bone are healing. A stayplate will replace the missing tooth or teeth and can help you with your chewing and speaking until a more permanent solution is achieved. A stayplate will also help maintain your appearance when in public and keep your existing teeth from shifting in your mouth and creating bigger problems.
The Stayplate Treatment
Stayplates are made using your mouth as a model. First, your dentist will take an accurate impression of the upper and lower arches of your mouth and establish a bite that best resembles your original bite. Your dentist will also help you select the shape and color of the stayplate teeth and gums. This impression is then sent to the dental laboratory.
At the subsequent visit, the teeth will be removed and the stayplate will be delivered.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
Yes, dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Please call our office to find out if you are a candidate for dentures or implants.
Will Eating with New Dentures Be Difficult?
Eating with new dentures will take a little practice and may be uncomfortable for some wearers for a few weeks. To get used to the new denture, start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to new dentures, add other foods until you return to a normal diet.
Do you need dentures?
Our Natick Family Dental would be happy to create a treatment plan based on your specific needs. If you think you might benefit from dentures, contact us to schedule an appointment today. We also serve other nearby communities like Sherborn, Dover, Wellesley, Framingham, Wayland, Needham, Ashland, Holliston, and Southborough.