Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing. In our office, we make immediate dentures, meaning that on the day that your teeth are extracted, you immediately receive your denture so that you never have to go without teeth. Immediate dentures will shift a little bit as the tissues heal and will need to be relined at a future visit, usually six months later.
Partial dentures are used when some teeth are missing but some remain. Partial dentures also prevent the remaining teeth from drifting over time. Partial dentures are a mixture of metal clasps that can hang on to your existing teeth and acrylic, which is used to restore the missing teeth.
Depending on what kind of denture you choose, you can plan on several appointments to complete the process. We’ll take highly accurate molds of your mouth, we may need to modify any existing teeth that you’re planning on keeping, and we’ll need to take accurate measurements to ensure the denture fits as well as possible. In addition, we’ll have a few appointments where you can come in and try the denture at different stages of fabrication to ensure the teeth are the right color, the right shape and in the right position for your smile.
Experiences will differ from patient to patient. Most patients experience increased saliva flow and some soreness or difficulty with speech at first. This subsides quickly over time as your tissues and muscles become accustomed to having a denture.
Upper dentures are much easier to get used to than lower dentures, and it is much easier to get used to a partial denture where some back teeth remain than if all of your back teeth are being replaced by the partial denture.
Instead of using a single dental implant for every missing tooth, we can now use four implants on top and/or four on the bottom to anchor full, implant-supported dentures. Your dentist can attach a denture at those spots. Learn more about permanent dentures here.