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A denture is simply a removable replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. Full dentures are used when all the teeth are missing. Partial dentures are used when some of your natural teeth remain. Complete dentures can be taken in and out of the mouth by the patient while partial dentures replace some of the teeth in your mouth and use special attachments to help hold them in place. These attachments rest or grip the existing natural teeth or onto specially sculpted crowns.
Full dentures replace all the upper or lower teeth on one or both arches. The teeth are fabricated from porcelain, plastic or a combination of the two. Choosing the right size, shape, contour, and shade of the teeth are the keys to giving the patient a natural and healthy appearance. Dr. Zelby is a prosthodontist and has had three additional years of training in creating beautiful prosthetics for your smile. Teeth and the underlying supporting bone work together to create fullness and contour in a person’s face. Patients who have lost all of their teeth often have a sunken, older appearance. Properly fabricated dentures can restore this fullness and help the patient maintain a younger and more desirable appearance.
There are two types of full dentures: conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are made after any existing decayed or damaged teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal. These dentures are placed in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks following removal of the teeth.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned in your mouth as soon as the teeth are removed, so you’re not without teeth during the healing period. However, since bones and gums shrink over time (and especially during the healing period after tooth removal), immediate dentures require follow-up adjustments to ensure a proper fit. For this reason, they’re considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be fitted.