A denture is a removable dental structure used to replace missing teeth and neighboring tissues. The loss of teeth and oral tissues can be because of accident, old age, or illness. When this loss occurs, the ability to chew properly is lost, and the person develops low self-esteem due to the negative way the loss affects speech and facial features.
Depending on the level of the loss, your dentist will recommend either a complete denture, or a partial one. He will use a complete denture when there is loss of all the teeth, while partial denture is used when there are still some natural teeth left. Either of the two types of dentures aims to achieve the same goals, which are:
- Improved speech
- Better chewing ability
- Better cosmetic look
- Improved general oral health
The dentist will use a ceramic-based material for the construction of the tooth part of the denture, while the base part is made of synthetic polymer fiber, which fits snugly over the gums.
Complete and Partial Denture Treatment Procedures
Though the goals for both types of dentures are the same, the methods used differ.
First, in all cases, your dentist will create a dental impression of your teeth and the positioning of your jaw. He will then need to select a denture that offers a perfect match to the shape and color of your teeth. A patient moving from weak teeth to dentures uses temporary dentures until a permanent one is constructed.
For complete dentures, there is a delay in the construction of the impression and permanent denture, until all the teeth have been extracted, and the gums healed properly. This is because the gums will shrink as they heal, and any denture made before the gums heal will not fit comfortably. The healing process lasts for about 3 months.
For partial dentures, replacement teeth are secured to a gum-colored base, which is anchored on a metal structure secured to the natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by the missing teeth. This type of partial denture that utilizes a metal structure is rigid and offers less flexibility.
Another type of partial dentures is the flexible partial denture. Metal attachments are not used to attach the natural teeth on either side of the gap. It offers a more comfortable fit, has better aesthetic values, lasts longer, and is faster to make than the others.