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Different Types Of Dentures

Dentures are replacement teeth that can be removed when required. They have a acrylic gum line with acrylic teeth attached to mimic your own set of teeth.

There are different types of dentures available:

Immediate Dentures

When your teeth have been removed, an immediate denture can be fitted.  This is a temporary denture that is fitted to allow the gums time to heal.

The temporary denture can be worn for around 10 – 12 weeks after the removal of teeth. As the healing occurs, bones and gums shrink slightly after the teeth have been removed

Immediate dentures are made before your teeth have removed. These kind of dentures are often the choice of patients, since there will be no time lag when the patient will be without teeth.

The disadvantage of these temporary dentures is that they will need quite a lot of adjustment. They should thus only be seen as a temporary solution.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are made when not all your teeth are missing. The denture replaces the missing teeth between your existing teeth or crowns / bridges.

Teeth are attached to a pink acrylic gum base, and this is connected to a metal framework that fits over your palate and attaches with clasps to the surrounding teeth.

Partial dentures are advisable as if spaces are left in your mouth the existing teeth may start to drift and reposition. Partial Dentures are removable and are easily cleaned and replaced by the patient.

Full Dentures

These are made when all your teeth are lost and an immediate denture is not sufficient. These dentures covers your hard bone where your original teeth were. The teeth span around your mouth and are attached to a acrylic gum line..

Full Dentures require as much surface area as possible, since they rely on suction to hold them in place. The pink acrylic cover most of your hard palate, and can cause some patients to gag.  However it is only the first 24 hours that causes this kind of sensation. It is normally well tolerated as the suction is important and keeps the retention. If the gag reflex does not fade after 24 hours, the acrylic can be cut to help alleviate the sensation.

It normally takes 3 appointments from start to finish to achieve the perfect denture fit.

What is an Overdenture?

If you have loose or painful teeth, as may be the case with advanced periodontal disease, it may be too late to save them. In this case, one option is to remove some of them and replace them with an overdenture. In this way, infection can be avoided and your mouth will be much healthier.

What exactly is it?

It looks like a regular denture. But there’s a big difference. With regular dentures, all the teeth are extracted, or have been lost. And that means there’s nothing to prevent the bone in your jaw from receding.  With an overdenture, some of the natural teeth, or parts of them, are retained. And that means, with the roots in place, bone loss doesn’t happen. And that gives you a much more stable denture.

How is it done?

With some remaining teeth, the part that extends above the gum line is removed. Then root canals are performed—just in case of infection. Oftentimes a small metal cap is placed over each one, for more protection.

Then impressions are taken in your mouth, and the denture is made according to those impressions. Of course, you have say in the color and shape of your new teeth.

This procedure is also possible using dental implants.

The overdenture is attached by special dental attachments in the roots or implants.

One type is a bar joint overdenture.  The dentist screws the denture into implants and surgically inserts it into the bone, where the denture is then anchored. And these bar joints actually support the dentures better than just implants. But you still need implants to support the bars. Bars on the upper jaw arch need more implants than the lower jaw—because there’s less bone density in the upper jaw arch. When this is done, it’s great, because you can chew food normally—just about any kind of food, just as if you had your natural teeth.

Another type, usually used if an oral disease has caused your tooth loss, is telescopic overdenture. With this procedure, inner and outer metal crowns are placed over the remaining teeth. In this case, the dentures are natural looking and you can take them out. One thing, though, is that each tooth that gets a crown requires a root canal.

Benefits of overdentures:

1. The prevention of bone loss. The implant overdenture actually strengthens the bone structure. And this is a BIG benefit; because bone loss can actually change the way your face is shaped.

2. A much easier time talking and eating.

3. Align the jaws accurately and restore 90 percent of chewing power.

4. Better oral hygiene.

5. Decreased risk of gum disease.

Overdentures can be the answer to your tooth loss problem. So be sure to ask about it when you talk to your dentist.

Postoperative Instructions for Dentures

This list has been prepared so that you know what to expect as a natural side effect versus a symptom that would need immediate attention.

There are also helpful guidelines to prevent damage to your restoration.  Although modern technology makes the appliance durable as well as functional, every denture is vulnerable to pressures exerted upon them with wear and tear.  They are not indestructible but with proper care, you can extend the life of the appliance.

Fresh Postoperative Period (1st 6 Hours)

Slight bleeding after placement of dentures may occur and can last intermittently and lightly for up to 2-3 days.  An ice compress applied to the affected area will stop the flow.  Maintain the application for 10-20 minute intervals.

Adjustment Period

Regardless of whether the dentures are complete or partial, a period of adjustment is always needed.  This may take several weeks to a month for new wearers to adapt to the appliance. Instruction may be needed to alter speech with positioning of tongue against dentures, palate and lips.

Rinse your mouth out with war water each evening and after meals.


Drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 glasses of water) the first 2 days.

Avoid crunchy foods the first few days including:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Nuts
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Sticky rice
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Jicama

Chew soft food in small pieces.  If the occlusion (bite) seems uneven, it can be addressed at the next dental visit.

The taste of food may be altered the first week as well.

Irritation and Infection

Isolated areas of discomfort or sores may arise.  If this should occur, wear the denture with the sore prior to the dental visit so that the area can be easily detected and visualized, facilitating its care.

Put the dentures to rest in a moist container (or glass of water) instead of leaving it in the mouth.  The oral tissues, gums and jawbone need rest intervals to inhibit the formation of inflammation, infection, irritation and bone shrinkage as well as ulcers.

Proper Care

It is crucial to clean the dentures daily to deter formation of stains, discoloration and bacteria from adhering to the appliance surface.

Take note of any wear of the appliance with chips or loss of shape to the attachments.  Over time, the supporting gum and bone may recede or change size or shape necessitating a visit for reevaluation by the dental specialist.

If cracks or hairline fractures appear in your dentures, do not attempt to repair them yourself.  Instead, consult with the dentist who designed them.

Following the guidelines, you may enjoy your new set of teeth for years to come.

Replacing Missing Teeth With Dentures

Great innovations in cosmetic dentistry and new techniques allow construction of dentures which are made of colored acrylics to greatly mimic the appearance of natural teeth making it difficult for onlookers to tell the difference.

The importance of replacing extensive dental loss with dentures (either partial or complete) is not just appearance however, although this plays a very crucial part in a person’s sense of self-esteem and confidence.  Teeth replacement acts to support facial muscles to prevent the cheeks and lips from sagging inward. In doing so, the individual gains a youthful appearance instead of that of an old person.

There are functional roles that teeth replacement fills besides giving a nice smile.  By aiding in chewing of food, nourishment is provided and the risk of choking from food consumption is decreased.  In addition, the teeth aid in communication and enunciation of words.

Some individuals have suffered from extensive dental damage and tooth loss secondary to trauma, widespread decay, or periodontal disease, which has gone essentially ignored. These people can be quite frustrated and request all remaining teeth to be extracted with a full denture devised.

Despite their request, a cosmetic, reconstruction dentist will generally recommend keeping the healthy remaining teeth and having implants or only partial dentures fabricated.

Implants supporting partial dentures, which are titanium posts inserted into the jawbone and act as anchors for the dentures to attach, will prevent sliding or shifting of the device in the mouth, providing security both of the appliance and frame of mind.

Full or complete dentures are recommended for patients who have either lost all their upper and lower teeth or need to have the remaining teeth extracted (removed) due to severe damage or extensive decay. High quality acrylic resins are used to form the base, colored to match gums and they are wear-resistant.  Porcelain is used for the tooth material as it mimics natural enamel.

Wax impressions are used to create dentures based on shape and size of the bite and jaw shape.  Nowadays dentures can be custom designed to fit not only the shape of the mouth but also smile lines and age as well.

After extraction, if this process is required, dentures cannot be customized and used for between one and two months while the gums and oral tissues are healing in order to get a proper fit. If this poses a problem, dentures can be placed in immediately after extractions and adjusted accordingly as time progresses.