Dentures are removable appliances that are custom-made to replaced a person's missing teeth and restore the appearances and oral functions that were lost. The other most common options are implants and bridges.
Dentures can be categorized in the following:
Any teeth still existing?
Full Denture Partial Dentures
Deliver with extraction? Deliver with extraction?
Complete dentures (conventional full dentures) are dentures that will be placed only after all remaining teeth have been extracted and your gums have healed. This healing period usually takes 4-6 weeks, which in the meantime, you are without teeth. Dentist will have to examine your gums to make sure they are completely healed before you can receive these dentures to wear.
Immediate full dentures are inserted immediately after all remaining teeth have been extracted. The molds of your teeth and jaw will have been taken prior to tooth extraction and will be ready to insert the same day of extraction. This is a great option for people that would not like to go months without teeth. However, they will need to be adjusted after several months of having them. Your bone structure will change after having your teeth removed and these dentures will become loose once that happens. Reline will be needed usually 6 months after the delivery of the dentures.
Partial Denture with Metal Framework
This type of partial dentures have a metal framework and clasps that connect to your teeth. Normally plastic dentures teeth are set up with pink or gum-colored plastic bases. In some cases, a removal partial denture is made to attach to your natural teeth or implants with devices called precision attachments. Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than clasps.
This type of dentures have a flexible base resin made of a biocompatible thermoplastic nylon resin that provide the perfect degree of flexibility and stability when processed. The color, shape, and design of this type of dentures blend seamlessly with the natural appearance of the gum tissues, making the prosthetic virtually invisible.
Temporary Partial Denture (Flipper)
A flipper is a temporary removable denture that fits along the roof of your mouth (palate) or sits on your lower jaw, and has one or more prosthetic teeth attached to it. Even though there are some wires around some teeth, they are mainly to secure the flipper inside your mouth. It means that when you eat with a flipper, it gets supported only by gum. Most of the time, a flipper gets made right before or after a tooth extraction. There will be open space between the flipper and the gum as the gum heals. So it may not be easy to eat with a flipper. It is mainly for looks.
Usually a flipper is used for a short period of time, such as when a person is waiting for a more permanent tooth replacement option like dental implants or a fixed bridge. They are often used to replace front teeth. But because a flipper can be uncomfortable and may sit loosely in the mouth, it is typically not recommended for long-term use.
Can I eat normally with dentures?
Most patients need to learn how to use dentures properly and as a result, it takes a little time to get used to them. The more teeth you are replacing with dentures, the harder it will be to eat with them. It will be harder to eat with complete dentures more than with partial dentures. Especially with complete dentures, since it is a one piece appliance, you need to make the food size smaller and to chew on both sides together. Otherwise, the dentures will rock and get loose.
After a while, you should be able to eat fairly normally, but it may take more time to get comfortable with harder foods or sticky foods. Using a small amount of denture adhesive (no more than three or four pea-sized dabs on each denture) may help stabilize the dentures and help hold them in place while you learn how to get comfortable with them and may make the learning process easier.
Can I sleep in my dentures?
It is preferred that you don't wear the dentures at night. This will give your gums and bone a chance to relax from the pressure of the denture during the day.
What are my options when I can't wear dentures?
If the dentures are loose, the first option is to get them relined. Reline is to refit the base of the denture. In most cases, the lower denture is much less stable than the upper denture due to the shape of the gums on the lower ridge and movement of the denture caused by the tongue.
If you want to have something more permanent that you don't take in and out, or if you want to eat better like with your own teeth, or if you don't want your palate (roof of your mouth) to be covered with a denture, ask about implant options: snap-on denture and/or All-on-4 hybrid option.