Dentures and Partials

Removable appliances that can replace missing teeth to help restore your smile are called dentures.  By replacing missing teeth  you will improve your appearance and your health. Dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth. There are two main types:

Comparison of Partial and Complete Dentures

Complete or Full Mouth Dentures

There are also generally two types of complete dentures:

A denture that is placed in your mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed is called a complete denture.  These dentures are made to fit the new contours and shape of the mouth.  Several visits to the dentist will be required for fitting before a set is finished. The advantage is that the denture is fit to healed tissues and gums.

A denture that is made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed is called an immediate denture. You don’t have to live without teeth while your gums are healing.  However, bones and gums do shrink over time, especially during the healing process. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate denture compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process. Generally an immediate denture should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.

Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base.  Sometimes it is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. In contrast, they can also be made of a flexible material that be more comfortable. A partial is an option if one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw to serve as an anchor.

A partial prevents other teeth from changing position.

Dr Nawiesniak may recommend a fixed bridge rather than a partial if you already have crowns on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth.  A fixed bridges replaces one or more teeth by replacing the existing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. This is different than a partial denture and can’t be removed.

Implant Supported Dentures or Bridges

Dental implants can be used to support cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a partial denture. The cost is usually greater, but the implant bridges more closely resemble the feel of real teeth.

Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. An implant-supported denture is used when a person doesn’t have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants.

Call (615-444-2034) our office for more information about dentures, partials or implants