A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available — complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore, a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made. Partial Dentures
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-coloured plastic base, which is sometimes connected by a metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth.
Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.
An implant-supported denture is a denture attached to dental implants, with the implants providing improved stability and support. They are unlike regular (conventional) dentures which sit on the gum line without support.
Also known as implant-supported overdentures (or simply implant dentures), they are well suited for patients missing either all upper teeth or all lower teeth. Overdentures can sometimes offer patients better facial aesthetics if they have lost a lot of bone from their jaws.
Although some individuals are happy with conventional dentures, most find that they don’t provide the security and stability of their natural teeth. This is why implant-supported dentures offer an excellent solution. Plus, they have the versatile advantage of being able to click on and off as desired, for example, when cleaning or sleeping.
Benefits of implant-supported dentures:
No more dentures – and consequently no more sores, gum or mouth irritation, no need for glues, etc.
How implant dentures work
Implant-supported dentures first require dental implants to be placed. Once placed, the denture sits on top of the gum like normal dentures, but unlike typical dentures, they are anchored onto the implants which are secured firmly in the jawbone via an abutment. This makes the denture more like natural teeth regarding stability, strength and appearance.
Denture implants (aka implant-supported overdentures) are used when a person has no teeth but still has enough bone to support the implants. The denture attachment clips securely into the implants and can be removed whenever required.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants act as a replacement tooth root and stimulate new bone growth. Consequently, implants minimise bone loss which is a common problem for conventional denture wearers. Long-term bone loss can give considerable aesthetic changes, with the individual’s face collapsing inwards.
The alternative to removable implant-supported dentures is an implant-supported bridge. Bridges are also secured by implants, but are secured permanently and cannot be removed at any time by the patient.
A more affordable implant option
No implants are cheap; however, implant-supported dentures may often be a less expensive option for those wishing to have implants without spending a considerable amount more for a fixed rehabilitation.
Cost always needs to be addressed carefully, though, so we thoroughly encourage everyone to come in and see one of our experienced dental implant dentists to discuss your options with them. We have your best interest at heart and will do everything we can to make sure you have the very best outcome for your health and lifestyle.