Complete or full dentures are an all inclusive full mouth reconstruction that works to restore function, youthful appearance, improved speech, facial support and patient self-esteem. Over time, as you wear your denture, you continually lose the boney structure that supports your soft tissues. Because your soft tissues actually make contact with your dentures, they too will start to recede with the bone, this will leave you in a continuous state of adjustment, discomfort, and difficulty with everyday functions like; speaking, chewing, and especially smiling. A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues.
Two types of dentures are available — complete and partial dentures.
Complete Dentures Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
Partial Dentures A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (permanent) bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.