Different Types of Dentures: A Close Look

If you have missing teeth, your dentist may recommend a set of dentures so that you can maintain a healthy smile. Dentures are removable replacements made out of acrylic resin, metal and other materials, and are custom made to fit your mouth. When you have missing teeth, it can be difficult to control your expression, chew food properly or even pronounce certain words. Dentures help to keep your jaw muscles aligned and support your existing teeth and gums. Here’s a close look at how dentures work, and the different types of dentures available:

How Dentures Are Fitted

In many cases, dentures are fitted after a set of teeth are extracted. Many people need to have some form of surgery to remove teeth and correct any gum and teeth problems before the set of artificial teeth can be placed into the gum line. Bone reshaping is a common technique used before the denture fitting, as the bony ridges inside the gums can help to hold the dentures in place.
The procedure begins with an X-ray of the mouth and the creation of wax bite impression. The denture fitting involves selecting a color and shape of the denture, and the dentist can then order a custom size and fit based on the measurements of the patient’s mouth.
Dentures are designed to create a natural-looking smile and support a healthy jaw line. Most dentures last for over five years, and some up to ten years, and while there is a lot of maintenance involved, they offer an attractive option for people who have lost their teeth and are having speech problems, difficulty chewing or are experiencing pain in the jaw line because of increased tension in the jaw muscles. Dentures may eventually need to be replaced, but the replacement procedures are relatively simple.

Different Types of Dentures

There are several different types of dentures available, and each one offers a wide range of benefits. The most common types of dentures include:
  • Complete dentures – designed to replace all of the teeth in the upper and lower quadrants
  • Immediate dentures – typically placed after tooth extractions and are placed all at once
  • Upper dentures – designed only for the upper teeth and are made of the same materials as a set of complete dentures
  • Partial dentures – designed to correct only the gaps in the smile or replace missing teeth. These are often coupled with metal anchors that are fused into the gum line and bone
  • Over dentures – are similar in construction as complete dentures except that they use one or more natural teeth for support
Modern technology has made it easy for dentists to create custom fitting dentures that look and feel like real teeth. They are a practical solution for many adults that want to improve their quality of life, and in some cases, are covered by dental insurance plans.
Learn more about dentures in our information guide, or consult with a dentistry professional in your area to find out if you are a good candidate for a denture fitting.