If poor oral health, an accident or disease has left you with only a few or no healthy teeth, your dentist may recommend dentures to replace them. The two types of dentures available are complete dentures and partial dentures. Your dentist can help you decide the type of denture that is right for you.
Types of dentures
Dentures are removable replacements for natural teeth and gums. Dentures fit over the gums to replace missing teeth. They eliminate or reduce potential problems linked to gaps left by lost teeth in the mouth, which can cause problems with speech and eating because teeth on either side of a gap can grow into the space at an angle.
Sometimes, teeth need to be removed and then replaced. A person with some or no teeth may need either partial or complete dentures. For both types of dentures, a dentist makes a model of a patient’s teeth by taking impressions. These models are used to custom-make the dentures.
Partial dentures can be used to replace just one tooth or a few missing teeth. A partial denture is designed to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. These dentures are usually made of a nylon, plastic or metal plate with a number of false teeth. Partial dentures rest on metal frameworks that attach to natural teeth.
These dentures are made up of one or more artificial teeth that are held in place by clasps that fit onto the nearby natural teeth. These clasps hold them securely in the mouth, and the dentures can easily be unclipped and removed. Sometimes, the clips can be made of a tooth- or gum-colored material. In some cases, crowns are placed on a few of the natural teeth and end up serving as anchors for the dentures.
Complete dentures, also called full dentures, are recommended when all the natural teeth are missing. These types of dentures can either be conventional dentures or immediate dentures. Conventional dentures are made and placed in the mouth after the teeth have been removed and the gum and jaw tissues have healed. Healing takes months, during which time, a person is without teeth.
Immediate dentures are made before the teeth have been extracted. These dentures are inserted immediately after the teeth have been removed. The benefit of immediate dentures is that a person does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. During this time, the gums and bones can shrink, so immediate dentures may need to be adjusted by a dentist to fit properly during the healing process. Immediate dentures are usually a temporary solution until conventional dentures are made.
Contact your dentist
If you have one or more missing teeth, dentures are a good tooth-replacement option. They can help solve or prevent problems associated with having missing teeth. Full dentures can be used to replace all the teeth, while partial dentures are used when a few teeth are missing and natural teeth remain. If you have any questions about complete dentures or partial dentures, contact your dentist today.
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