What are the Different Types of Dentures?

May 9, 2024 | Dentures

What are the Different Types of Dentures?

If you’re missing some or all of your teeth, dentures can be a lifesaver. They bring back your beautiful smile, let you eat your favorite foods, and help you speak clearly again.

But with all the different kinds of dentures out there, how do you know which ones are right for you? In this article, we’ll break down the different types of dentures, how to choose the best option and tips for living with dentures.

Key Takeaways

  • Dentures offer a valuable solution for tooth loss. They can restore your smile’s function and appearance, improving your ability to eat, speak, and feel confident.
  • Several denture types exist to address individual needs.  Options include complete (full) dentures, partial dentures, immediate dentures, and implant-supported dentures, each with specific advantages.
  • Denture selection is a personalized process. Your dentist will collaborate with you, assessing the number of missing teeth, your gum and jawbone health, preferences, and budget to determine the best fit.
  • Implant-supported dentures often provide exceptional stability. These dentures utilize dental implants for a secure, natural feel that closely resembles your original teeth.
  • Open communication with your dentist is key. Discuss all your questions and concerns with your dental professional to make an informed decision about your denture solution.

The Main Types of Dentures

Dentures come in several varieties, each with specific advantages to suit your unique needs. Let’s break down the major types of dentures:

1. Complete (Full) Dentures

Complete dentures replace an entire arch of missing teeth, either on your upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. They have a flesh-colored acrylic base that fits snugly over your gums, supporting a full set of artificial teeth.

There are two main types of complete dentures:

  • Conventional Complete Dentures: These are created after any remaining teeth have been removed and your gums have had time to heal. This healing period usually takes several weeks.
  • Immediate Complete Dentures: Designed for immediate use, these dentures are made in advance and placed as soon as your teeth are extracted.  This prevents you from having a period without teeth while your gums heal but may require adjustments as your gums change shape during the healing process.

2. Partial Dentures

Partial dentures fill the gaps when you have some remaining natural teeth. They consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base and often have a metal framework with clasps that secure onto your existing teeth for stability.

3. Immediate Dentures

Immediate dentures are a temporary solution. They’re placed immediately after your teeth are removed, preventing you from being toothless during the healing period. Keep in mind that since your gums change shape as they heal, immediate dentures often need adjustments or relining later on.

4. Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures offer the highest level of stability and security.  They use dental implants, which are tiny titanium posts surgically placed into your jawbone, to anchor the dentures firmly in place.

Now, there are two types:

  • Implant-Retained Dentures: These “snap” onto the implants for a secure fit, but you can still remove them for cleaning.
  • Implant-Supported Dentures: These are fixed permanently to implants and cannot be removed except by your dentist.

Understanding Dentures: What They Are and Why You Might Need Them

Dentures are custom-made appliances that act as replacements for your missing teeth. They consist of a base that mimics the appearance of your gums and a set of artificial teeth crafted to look natural.  Dentures are removable, allowing you to take them out for cleaning and at night.  They offer a way to regain your confidence and the ability to enjoy the simple pleasures of eating and speaking without difficulty.

Why would someone need dentures?

Several circumstances can lead to tooth loss, making dentures a necessary solution. Here are the most common reasons:

  • Severe Tooth Decay: When a tooth becomes irreparably damaged due to extensive decay or infection, the dentist may recommend extraction. Dentures can fill the gap left behind.
  • Advanced Gum Disease: Healthy gums provide the foundation for strong teeth. If gum disease progresses to a severe stage, it can weaken the support for your teeth, causing them to loosen and potentially fall out.
  • Injury or Trauma: Unexpected accidents or injuries to the face and mouth can sometimes result in the loss of one or more teeth.
  • Natural Wear and Tear: Over a lifetime, our teeth endure a lot. While good dental hygiene can prolong their lifespan, natural wear and tear might eventually make tooth replacement necessary.

Choosing the Best Denture Option: Factors to Consider

Finding the perfect dentures for you involves more than just the type.  Working closely with your dentist or prosthodontist (a specialist in dentures) is crucial to ensure the right fit and function.  Here are the key factors they’ll consider when recommending the best option for you:

Number of Missing Teeth

The number of missing teeth you have is a primary factor in determining the right denture type. If you are missing all or most of the teeth in an arch, complete dentures will be the solution to restore your smile.  

On the other hand, if you still have several healthy teeth remaining, a partial denture can be designed to fill the spaces while preserving your natural teeth.

The Health of Gums and Jawbone

The condition of your gums and jawbone directly affects how securely your dentures will fit.  Implant-supported dentures require sufficient jawbone density to support the surgically placed implants and healthy gums to promote optimal healing.  

If you have compromised gum or jawbone health, traditional dentures might be a better initial solution, with the possibility of exploring implant-supported options later if your condition improves.

Lifestyle Needs and Preferences

Your personal preferences and daily habits play a significant role in deciding on the best type of denture.  Consider the desired level of stability: implant-supported dentures offer the closest feel to natural teeth, boosting confidence for chewing and speaking.  

Traditional dentures may be preferable for those who value ease of removal and a simpler cleaning routine. Additionally, it’s important to factor in your aesthetic goals, as implant-supported dentures often provide the most natural-looking results.

Financial Considerations

The cost of dentures can vary based on the type you choose, the materials used, and the complexity of your individual case. Implant-supported dentures tend to have a higher initial cost but may offer better long-term value due to their durability and stability.  

Discuss your budget openly with your dentist, explore potential financing options, and investigate any possible insurance coverage to find a solution that works for your financial situation.

Find Your Perfect Denture Solution

Deciding on dentures is an important step towards restoring your smile and overall well-being.  Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist plenty of questions and discuss all of your options in detail. It’s a personalized journey, and open communication with your dental team will help you make the decision that feels right for you.

Remember, dentures should be comfortable, and functional, and give you a radiant smile you’re proud to show off.  With proper care and regular checkups, your new teeth can last for years to come.

If you’re ready to explore denture options and take the next step towards a healthier, happier smile, reach out to your dentist to schedule a consultation.

Restore Your Smile and Confidence

If you’re considering dentures to bring back your healthy, beautiful smile, the experts at Soundview Family Dental are here to help. We understand the importance of personalized dental care and will guide you through every step of your denture journey. Let us help you discover the solution that will give you the smile you love!

Contact Us today to schedule your consultation and start exploring your denture options. Call us at (425) 563-6360.

Eric Kitts, DDS

Eric Kitts, DDS

Owner @ Soundview Family Dental

Born in Seattle and raised in Puyallup, Dr. Eric Kitts received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and his DDS from the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Kitts began practicing dentistry in 2000, at his office in Richmond Beach. In 2011, Dr. Kitts built a brand-new, state-of-the-art dental facility located in the heart of downtown Edmonds.

Book with us today!

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your teeth and refuse to show the world your beautiful smile? Has discomfort at the dentist kept you from receiving dental work that will give you a reason to smile again?

At Soundview Family Dental in Edmonds, WA, we understand that not everyone likes the dentist. Our team of caring professionals works with you to ensure that you feel comfortable from the moment you walk through the door. Specializing in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, Dr. Kitts and his team work hard to preserve your natural teeth and give you back a smile you can be proud of.

Contact today to schedule an appointment and let our team deliver a beautiful, natural-looking smile you can be proud to show off.

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