Types of Dentures

Dentures: Complete Versus Partial

Dentures are used to replace missing teeth and the surrounding tissues around them. They are made of various materials including acrylic, metal, and nylon. Contrary to popular belief, dentures aren’t only for the elderly population. Dentures are worn by children and adults alike.

Today, we will discuss a few types of dentures.

Complete Dentures

As the name indicates, complete dentures replace a complete section of teeth that are missing in a single arch. They either replace the upper arch (maxillary), lower arch (mandibular), or both. Obviously, this benefits patients who have completely lost their set of teeth ranging from disease to trauma.

There are two types of complete dentures, “conventional or immediate”. Immediate dentures are meant to be temporary as it is fitted and placed into a patient before any healing occurs. When this happens, the denture is set on top of the gum and bones that are still healing. While healing, gums and bones tend to shrink over time, causing the patient to endure various adjustments before the immediate denture fits properly. If you absolutely cannot go without dentures before fully healing, this is the option for you. However, as mentioned above, a patient will have to go through multiple adjustments during the healing process, which can be inconvenient.

Conventional dentures, on the other hand, are fitted and placed after the healing process has settled down and begun to heal. If teeth were removed, the conventional denture will be ready for placement in a patient’s mouth at about eight to twelve weeks after the removal. This is more beneficial for patients who have healed as the gum and bones have already shrunk due to healing. As opposed to immediate dentures, conventional dentures are permanent solutions to those who require complete dentures.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures or bridge are dentures that replace a single or few missing teeth and they are removable. This type of denture is frequently used by people today. A couple examples of partial dentures include cast metal removal denture and acrylic removal partial denture to only name a few.

Cast metal removable dentures are made of high-quality metal and consist of a metal framework. This denture attaches to a patient’s natural teeth by clasps connected to crowns. This type of denture is widely used around the world, and if maintained properly can last years. Cast metal dentures benefit those who have a single missing tooth to just a few and are usually worn by patients who have missing teeth in the front of the mouth.

Acrylic removal partial denture (also known as a “flipper”) are made of acrylic resin. They mimic the color of gums giving a patient’s mouth a more natural look. Similar to the cast metal removable denture, this denture also attaches to natural teeth by way of clasps. This type of denture is beneficial for patients who need an immediate temporary solution to replace a missing front tooth. Because it is made from acrylic, this type of denture is only meant to be temporary until a patient can find a more permanent solution, like that of implants.

These are only a few types of dentures readily available today. As previously discussed, complete dentures come in two options, while partial dentures come in a variety of options to choose from.