Dentures

WHAT KINDS OF DENTURES ARE THERE?

Complete & Partial Dentures

An elderly couple smiling

A denture is a removable dental appliance 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.

Reasons for Dentures:

  • Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues
  • Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion

Implanted Supported Dentures

An implant-supported denture is a type of over-denture that is supported by and attached to implants. A regular denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants.

An implant-supported denture is used when a person does not have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants. An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto attachments on the implants.

There are two types of implant-supported dentures: ball-retained and bar-retained. In both cases, the denture will be made of an acrylic base that will look like gums. Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base. Both types of dentures need at least two implants for support.

Ball-retained dentures (stud-attachment dentures):

Each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped (“male” attachments), and they fit into sockets (“female” attachments) on the denture.

Bar-retained dentures:

A thin metal bar that follows the curve of your jaw is attached to two to five implants that have been placed in your jawbone. Clips or other types of attachments are fitted to the bar, the denture or both. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by the attachments.

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