What Are the Different Types of Dentures?
When it comes to dentures, your choices are confined to two types: partial and complete.
In this section, we’ll explain everything you need to know about these different denture types so that you know which one might be a better fit for you.
True to their name, complete dentures fully cover the gums with missing teeth. They are used when all the teeth in a patient’s mouth are missing.
Complete dentures can be either immediate or conventional.
What Are Conventional Dentures?
Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been extracted and the gum tissue heals.
Typically, conventional dentures can be placed on the teeth eight to 12 weeks after extraction (although this can be longer for some people).
What Are Immediate Dentures?
Immediate dentures can be positioned in the mouth as soon as the teeth are removed. While these aren’t meant as a long-term solution, they can prevent someone from being without teeth while their gums heal.
However, immediate dentures have one disadvantage: They don’t prevent shrinking of the gums and jaw when the teeth are removed.
In addition, immediate dentures may require more adjustments to fit properly. Last, patients report that they’re not the most comfortable dentures. For this reason, they’re only used in the short term.
A dentist might opt for partial dentures when the patient has one or more natural teeth remaining in the upper or lower jaw. Typically, a dentist will recommend a partial denture if there are three or more missing teeth right next to each other.
Partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth that are attached to a gum-colored plastic base. Just like complete dentures, they can be removed.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
Alternatives to dentures include implants and bridges.
An implant is a metal or ceramic rod that gets inserted directly into the gum. A crown is typically placed on top to mimic the appearance and function of a natural tooth. However, those with little gum tissue may not be candidates for implants.
A bridge is a mold of several teeth that are attached to one another. They can completely cover the space with missing teeth. However, bridges must be attached to a natural tooth, so they’re not an option for those with many missing teeth.
Are Dentures Really Necessary?
Dentures are necessary when missing teeth can’t be replaced another way. There is a major reason for this.
When someone loses their teeth, resorption begins. During this process, the body begins to absorb the minerals from the jaw where the tooth is missing. As a result, people can experience a change in their facial structure.
Those who don’t replace their teeth will typically begin to notice an indent in their cheek as the jawbone weakens. Not only will this change their appearance, but it can also cause loss of function.
In addition, contrary to popular opinion, those with missing teeth are not at lower risk for dental problems. Having missing teeth predisposes someone to potential oral infections, such as gum disease, and makes more frequent trips to the dentist necessary.
What Is the Process for Getting Dentures?
To begin the denture process, you will need to see a dentist for a full evaluation. Some patients may be fine with partial dentures, while others may require a full set. This depends on how many teeth are missing.
If there are any infected or weak teeth remaining, a dentist might recommend extracting them before installing a denture.
Once the course of action is decided, the dentist can proceed to make a mold of the dentures. This will ensure that the dentures are a perfect fit for the patient’s mouth.
It might take some time for permanent dentures to be made. In the meantime, a patient may wear temporary dentures.
After the dentures are completed, the patient can come in for a fitting. During the process, the dentist will ensure that everything fits perfectly. If not, the dentures will need to be sent back to get remade.
If the dentures fit well, then the dentist will discuss the proper oral care routine to ensure their longevity. They might also schedule a follow-up appointment.
During the first few weeks, there might be some minor discomfort. However, this should subside shortly after the adjustment period.
The adjustment period should last around two weeks. During this time, it’s important to avoid eating hard or chewy foods. It’s also essential to practice proper oral hygiene and to sanitize the dentures at night when not using them.
Common Questions About Dentures
What Do New Dentures Feel Like?
New dentures may feel slightly odd for the first few weeks. However, shortly after, the cheek muscles will learn to keep them in place, increasing how comfortable they feel.
In the first few weeks, it’s not uncommon for minor irritation to occur. While it’s not pleasant, it’s not anything to worry about.
Will Dentures Make Me Look Different?
Because dentures are made to closely resemble your teeth, there shouldn’t be any major changes to your appearance. If any changes do happen, they may be positive, in the form of a more beautiful smile.
Will Dentures Change How I Speak?
Dentures shouldn’t significantly change speech. However, some patients may find it difficult to pronounce certain words. A solution is to practice saying difficult words out loud until it feels natural again.
For some patients, dentures may “click” when they speak. It’s normal for dentures to occasionally slip when you’re laughing or coughing. However, if this happens too often, you should see your dentist for an appointment. They can examine the dentures for any flaws and any changes if necessary.
Are Dentures Worn 24/7?
Your dentist will instruct you about how long you should wear dentures.
Typically, during the first few days after getting dentures, dentists ask their patients to wear them all the time — even during sleep. This can allow them to identify any problem areas and make any necessary adjustments.
If the dentures fit as they should, then your dentist will likely instruct you to wear them daily and remove them before bed. This will allow the gum tissues to rest and repair. In addition, removing dentures can restore normal salivary flow, which is essential for cleansing the mouth.
How Should I Clean Dentures?
It’s important to brush and rinse dentures every day. However, toothpaste should never be used because it’s abrasive and can make microscopic scratches where bacteria can build up.
To clean your dentures, use a soft-bristled toothbrush (a hard bristle is too harsh). Gently brush all surfaces of the denture. Be sure not to drop the dentures or bend the attachments.
For optimal hygiene, try rinsing your dentures after every meal.
Getting Dentures With Flossy
If you have missing teeth, you can consider dental implants or dental bridges as a replacement. However, if you have many missing teeth, you may not be a candidate for these procedures and might require dentures instead.
When it comes to your options for dentures, you may need either partial or complete dentures – depending on how many teeth are missing.
A skilled dentist can help you decide which dentures are right for you and create custom-made dentures that restore the function and appearance of your natural teeth.
Flossy can connect you with a skilled dentist in your area — at a fraction of the cost of other providers. Use our convenient mobile app to schedule your appointment today.
Wound Healing Problems in the Mouth | PMC
Tooth resorption part I - pathogenesis and case series of internal resorption | PMC
The functions of saliva | SpringerLink
Denture Care: Fake Teeth, Dental Implants, Denture Cleaning | Cleveland Clinic