Dentures/Full and Partial

smiling couple with dentures in golf cart

Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two kinds available: full and partial. You will require full dentures if all of your teeth are missing or need replacing, and partial dentures when you still have some natural teeth. Partial appliances not only fill in spaces where teeth are missing, they help to prevent your other teeth from shifting in your mouth. To help you feel more comfortable, dentures are created to resemble your natural teeth as closely as possible. In some cases, it might even enhance your smile.

The denture process generally takes several appointments. Highly accurate molds and measurements will need to be taken to create your custom-made denture. They are placed using two different methods: conventional or immediate. Being placed in a conventional manner means that all of your teeth have been removed and gum tissue has healed. This generally requires anywhere from four to twelve weeks. For that period of time, you will have to go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and placed right away once your teeth are removed, allowing you to have teeth during healing. Because bones and gums can shrink over time, especially following tooth removal, this method may require adjustments as the tissues shrink and heal. Thus, the immediate type of dentures will require more adjustments during healing for a perfect fit than the conventional choice. Dentures are very durable and typically last many years, but at times have to be readjusted or remade due to normal wear.

Dr. Mattison will provide care instructions on how to care for your new appliance. Proper care, along with good oral hygiene and continued regular dental visits will help you keep your dentures for a long time.

Partial dentures will be utilized when one or more natural teeth are still in the upper or lower jaw. One or more teeth will be replaced by a fixed bridge by placing crowns on your teeth on either side of the space and attaching the denture, or artificial teeth, to those. The “bridge” will be cemented into place. A partial denture, besides filling in space created by missing teeth, also prevents other teeth from changing position. Your appliance will have internal attachments attached to the adjacent crowns for a more natural look.

The dentist will likely recommend removing both types of dentures, probably at night. This will allow the tissue to breathe and heal through removing pressure on your gums and tissue. When out of your mouth, dentures should be kept moist to prevent drying out.

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