There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Partial dentures not only fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A complete denture may be either "conventional" or "immediate". A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade , repaired or readjusted due to normal wear.
Implant-supported dentures are a type of over denture that is supported by and attached to implants. A normal denture rests on the gums, and is not supported by implants. Implant-supported dentures are normally made for the lower jaw because regular dentures tend to be less stable there.
There are two types of implant –supported dentures, bar-retained and ball-retained. In either case, the denture will be made of an acrylic base that will look like gums. Porcelain or acrylic teeth that look like natural teeth are attached to the base. Either type of denture need at least two implants for support.
Reasons to consider dentures and partials:
• Complete denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch
• Partial denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch
• Enhancing smile and facial tissues
• Improving chewing, speech and disgestion