Dentures can be fixed or removable, partial or full, or implant supported. A denture replaces multiple missing teeth, usually four or more series of teeth. Fixed dentures require implants, while removable dentures may or may not rely on implants for attachment.
A denture replaces multiple missing teeth. Fixed dentures require implants, while removable dentures may or may not rely on implants for attachment.
Full Dentures for the Edentulous Patient:
Traditional dentures are removable and are not supported by teeth or implants. Traditional dentures include an acrylic base that is custom made in the dental laboratory to mimic the appearance of natural gums and this base sits over the gums, holding the denture in place. A complete (full) denture is made when all the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw are missing or had to be removed (i.e. from rampant decay or gum disease) and the gum tissue has healed. Denture paste or adhesive is often used to assist in holding the denture in place. Patients are limited to the kinds of foods they can eat with dentures.
Partial Dentures for the Patient Missing Multiple Teeth in One Arch:
A traditional partial denture is a removable solution for replacing many teeth in one arch but the patient still has few remaining teeth present for support. An acrylic base with metal attachments are made, which wrap around the existing teeth for stability. Because a partial denture relies on remaining teeth to prevent rocking and for support, the biggest disadvantage is that it will weaken those supporting teeth over time.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implants can be used to anchor dentures in place, allowing for a smaller base and less shifting of the prosthesis during use.
An implant supported denture eliminates the uncomfortable nature of a traditional denture, which cause sores from rocking or rubbing of the gums. Implants can support both full and partial dentures and a patient can have either fixed or removable dentures.