Complete vs. Partial Dentures: Which Is Right for You?

Dentures may be a good option if you are missing one or more teeth. But how do you know which type of denture is right for you: complete or partial? Below are the advantages and disadvantages of each option to help you make a decision.

Complete (or full) dentures replace all of your natural teeth, while partial dentures only replace some.

Complete Dentures

All of your natural teeth must be removed if you want complete dentures. This means you must have a dental examination and tooth extraction before being fitted for your new set of teeth. You need to remove your dentures when you sleep, brush them with cleaning agents designed for dentures, and soak them in water overnight. This will keep them from drying out.

Dentures that are complete give wearers a natural look, so nobody can tell you’re wearing them. They also feel comfortable and fit over your gums snugly.

There are two types of dentures: “conventional” and “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal. This can take about 8-12 weeks.

Immediate dentures are made before the teeth removal procedure, unlike conventional dentures. This allows them to be positioned immediately after the teeth have been removed. Therefore, the patient does not have to be without teeth during the 8-12 week healing period. It’s essential to remember that post-tooth removal, both your bones and gums may shrink during the healing process. The main downside to getting immediate dentures is that they might not fit as well during the healing process. Traditional dentures are the more permanent solution, though they may take longer to make.

Partial Dentures

A partial denture is used to replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. Complete dentures rest on the gums and replace all of your teeth, while partial dentures fit only where there are gaps between natural teeth. The partial denture clasps teeth on each side of the gap.

A removable partial denture (or bridge) is usually composed of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base. They are sometimes connected by a metal framework that helps keep the denture in place.

If you still have some natural teeth in your upper or lower jaw, partial dentures are best. A fixed bridge is when crowns on the surrounding teeth replace one or more teeth. Then, the artificial teeth are attached to their existing teeth. This “bridge” is then secured with cement. A partial denture can help to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from shifting position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments instead of clasps that attach to the surrounding crowns. This makes it appear more natural.

Are There Alternatives to Dentures?

Dental implants are an increasingly popular alternative to dentures, but only some are candidates for them. Implants resemble natural teeth more closely than dentures and can support cemented bridges. Furthermore, they usually cost more.

Dental implants can also help to stabilize dentures. If you’re wondering about dental implants, ask your dentist for more information.

How Are Dentures Made?

The average denture creation process takes a few weeks and requires multiple appointments. Your dentist or prosthodontist will decide what type of appliance is right for you and then take the following steps:

  • Make a series of impressions and measure how your jaws relate and how much space is between them.
  • The first step for creating a denture is to make an exact model of the desired shape and size. This mold will be used several times in the process, and each time it will be assessed for color, fit, and comfort before the final product is cast.
  • Cast the final denture
  • Adjustments will be made as necessary.

How do New Dentures Feel?

At first, it is common to feel discomfort around the cheeks and tongue as they become accustomed to new dentures. Additionally, you may find that your mouth produces more saliva or experience discomfort when wearing them – these are both normal reactions that should improve as your body adjusts to the braces.

Will Eating With New Dentures Be Difficult?

Wearing dentures is a new experience that will take some time to get used to. You may feel discomfort for a few weeks as you adjust. Get used to your denture by beginning with softer foods cut into small pieces. Start chewing slowly on both sides of your mouth to get used to the feel of your new dentures. After you’re settled in, introduce other foods back into your diet until you return to your regular eating habits. Hot or hard foods and sharp-edged bones or shells can cause injury, so be careful. Avoid foods that are either extremely sticky or hard. Avoid chewing gum and using toothpicks to keep your dentures in good shape.

Are Dentures Worn 24 Hours a Day?

Upon receiving your dentures, your dentist will tell you how long to wear them and when it is appropriate to take them out. For the initial stretch, you should confine them all day and night. Though it might not feel natural at first, doing this will help you figure out which parts of the false teeth need to be adjusted. Removing your dentures at night gives your gum tissue a much-needed break. This method also calls for regular stimulation and cleansing by the tongue and saliva, which you can do before putting your denture back in place in the morning.

If some of your teeth are still healthy, partial dentures may be a good option for you. Complete dentures may be the better option if you’re missing multiple teeth. Need help determining which denture is suitable for you? Let us help guide your decision and ensure you receive the best care possible. In addition to dentures, there are several other tooth replacement options available. We would be happy to discuss those with you at your next appointment. Contact our office today to learn more or schedule your appointment!