Complete Dentures And Partials
'I'm missing teeth'
Passionate, Dedicated, Friendly
I’ve Lost My Teeth. What Are My Options?
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, you have a number of choices. What you ultimately select will depend on how many teeth are missing, if you want a fixed or removable solution, how quickly you wish to have the replacement teeth, and your budget.
We use the word “denture” to describe a false tooth or set of teeth. Whichever denture option you choose should be properly fitted to ensure that you can eat and speak naturally and maintain the structure of your face so it doesn’t sag. Dentures for missing teeth can help keep you healthy and restore your self-confidence.
What Are the Different Types of Dentures?
In simple terms, there are two types of dentures – complete and partial.
Complete dentures are used when all of your teeth are missing or need to be replaced. Partial dentures are for filling the gaps created when one or a few teeth are missing.
Dentures can be either removable or fixed, and a fixed denture is better known as a dental implant. Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth or even replace all of the teeth in your mouth.
What Are My Options For Complete Dentures?
Complete Removable Dentures
If you require a full set of artificial teeth, the process for getting traditional removable dentures includes extraction, healing, impression, and fitting.
The dentist will typically extract the back teeth first and allow 4-8 weeks for the area to heal. After you’ve healed, the dentist will make an impression of your mouth so that you can have a temporary “immediate” denture to fill the space until the permanent one can be fitted.
As soon as your immediate denture is available for the back teeth, the dentist will extract the front teeth and place the immediate denture for the back teeth at the same appointment. The healing, impression, and fitting steps will be the same for the front teeth.
While you’re using the temporary immediate denture, you’ll need to have follow-up visits to ensure that the fit is proper because it may change as your mouth heals.
It will take between 3 and 6 months before you’re ready for the permanent complete denture. At your appointment, the dentist will take many bite impressions to ensure a perfect fit.
Complete Permanent Dentures: All-On-4 Procedure
The All-On-Four technique differs from traditional complete dentures in that it offers a fixed solution for those who need a full set of replacement teeth.
All-On-4 is a dental implant procedure which can be accomplished in one appointment. For some implant candidates, the amount of bone available may not be sufficient for the implant to “take” and be secure. In that case, bone grafting may be required. But All-On-4 typically doesn’t require bone grafting so it’s an ideal solution for someone who suffers from osteoporosis.
The All-On-4 procedure uses only four implants on the top of your mouth and four on the bottom. The implant is a titanium post that fuses with your jawbone and creates stability. Once the posts are inserted, the denture is secured on top. Most patients recover quickly and are usually able to return to work after a couple of days.
During the procedure, patients are made comfortable with local anesthesia and afterwards, they generally require only over-the-counter pain relief (like Tylenol or Advil).
What Are My Options For Partial Dentures?
Just as with complete dentures, you can choose between removable or fixed partial dentures.
Removable Partial Dentures
There are three types of removable partial dentures:
Cast Metal Partial Dentures – Metal is the strongest and most durable material, which is why this type of partial is the most common. The metal framework is covered by a plastic that matches your natural gum line and the clips that attach to your natural teeth can often be made with tooth-colored material.
Flexible Partial Dentures – A nylon material is used for flexible partials. Although they are generally considered more comfortable than cast metal and tend to have a more realistic appearance, they are less sturdy.
Acrylic “Flipper” Dentures – Acrylic flippers are valued because they can be removed very easily. They’re less expensive than the other options but they also break easily because they are so lightweight. They can also be bulky in appearance and not as comfortable as the other options. That’s why flippers are generally used as a temporary placeholder while waiting for other dental work to be completed.
Fixed Partial Dentures
The fixed solution for partial dentures is a dental bridge. A dental bridge uses two crowns on either side of the space and a crown in the middle to replace the missing tooth. A traditional bridge requires that the surrounding teeth be filed down and the crowns cemented to support the false tooth (called a “pontic”) that fills the gap.
When multiple teeth are missing or you do not have viable surrounding teeth to support the pontic, an implant supported bridge may be the best option. Instead of using crowns for support, a titanium implant is embedded in the jawbone for each missing tooth and holds the bridge in place. It’s a more expensive option but will last longer than a traditional fixed bridge.
How Long Do Dentures Last?
If you take good care of them, dentures should last for approximately five years. If you have a minor crack or fracture in a denture, it can generally be repaired within a couple of days. You may notice that some drug stores or online shops offer denture repair kits, but these can be complicated to use. It’s best to contact your dentist as soon as you notice that your dentures have a crack or feel loose.
But the reason dentures do not last a lifetime is because your bone will decrease and break down over time, and that will cause your dentures to become loose. And when your dentures are loose and ill-fitting, the bone can shrink even more quickly. One solution for ill-fitting dentures is a procedure called denture relining.
Denture relining reshapes the underside of the denture to make it more comfortable. There are two kinds of denture relines: Hard Reline and Soft Reline
A soft reline uses a porous material and is ideal for those with sensitive gums. The other advantage of a soft reline is that it can often be done in one visit to the dentist office. However, a soft reline may require more follow-up appointments because the porous material is soft and can shift.
A hard reline uses the same material that the original denture is made from. It is longer-lasting and requires less follow-up, but it’s almost always performed at a lab. You will be without your dentures until the procedure has been completed and they are sent back to the dental office.
Your dentist can help you decide which denture relining option is best for you.
How Much Do Dentures Cost?
Since there are so many different types of dentures, the cost can vary considerably depending on how many teeth need to be replaced. Dental implants are more expensive than traditional dentures, but last a lifetime and help retain your bone.
After you consult with the dentist about your denture needs, one of our team members can put together a payment plant to make it easier on your budget. You may also find that your insurance will cover a good portion of the cost.
Overwhelmed by All of Your Denture Options? Osseo Family Dental Can Help You Make the Right Choice
You can’t decide which dentures are right for you by simply reading about them. Schedule a consultation with us and we can break it all down for you. We’ll examine your jaw and gums and you can tell us your concerns and priorities. We want you to be happy with your decision and to choose the type of dentures that fit best with your lifestyle.