As indicated by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), a study reveals that in the United States, approximately 3.75% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 are completely without teeth. On average, individuals within this age group possess 24.92 out of a total of 32 permanent teeth. Dentures are one of the possible options for replacing missing teeth in order to restore both oral function and aesthetics. Whether a few teeth or all teeth have been lost in the upper or lower jaws, dentures can be utilized accordingly. In addition to recreating a natural and complete smile, dentures also help in reclaiming the facial contours, eliminating the undesired “sunken” appearance resulting from tooth loss. Dentures are a reliable method of treatment for individuals who have lost teeth due to various reasons such as tooth decay, gum disease, medical conditions, congenital anomalies, or trauma. These removable appliances are specifically designed to fit comfortably and accurately upon the gums that cover the jawbones. They can be taken out of the mouth temporarily to facilitate oral hygiene practices, maintaining the underlying tissues, cleaning the dentures, and while sleeping.
various denture types
There are two primary categories of dentures: complete dentures and partial dentures. These two types are individually crafted, taking into account specific details acquired from dental impressions, along with comprehensive information provided by the dentist regarding both functionality and aesthetics.
Full dentures, also known as complete dentures, are specifically designed to replace all of the upper or lower teeth. A complete maxillary denture, commonly referred to as a full upper denture, consists of a base that covers the roof of the mouth, along with a complete set of artificial teeth arranged around the area that covers the dental arch. On the other hand, a complete mandibular denture, or full lower denture, has a horseshoe-shaped design to accommodate the tongue, with teeth positioned along the portion that covers the underlying dental arch.
For the fabrication of a conventional full denture, all remaining teeth are first removed, and the tissue is allowed to heal before the denture is made and placed. This healing process typically takes several weeks, during which the extraction sites heal, and the surrounding bone and gum tissues gradually fill in and remodel. By waiting for the tissue to fully heal before taking final impressions for the new denture, a prosthesis that fits precisely and offers optimal comfort can be created.
In contrast, an immediate denture is inserted on the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. This approach allows patients to have immediate replacement teeth without the need to wait for complete healing of the extraction sites. Immediate dentures provide the advantage of maintaining a complete set of teeth cosmetically, even during the healing process. However, since the denture is worn while the extraction sites are healing, it may later require a reline or even a new denture to ensure better comfort and fit.
An overdenture is a type of complete denture that gains additional stability and support from special attachments. These attachments are either secured to the remaining teeth or strategically placed dental implants. As a result, the overdenture offers improved stability and reduces the chances of it slipping or moving.
In summary, full dentures come in different types such as conventional, immediate, and overdentures. Each serves a specific purpose and offers unique benefits based on the patient’s needs and preferences.
A partial denture is a removable dental prosthesis that is specifically designed to restore a complete and functional smile in situations where multiple teeth are missing or need to be extracted, while some healthy teeth remain in the dental arch. These dentures are custom-made to ensure a precise fit and an aesthetically pleasing appearance. They are typically held in place and made stable with clasps or precision attachments that connect to adjacent teeth near the areas where teeth are missing.
The fabrication of a partial denture can vary depending on the number of teeth that need to be replaced and the specific functional and aesthetic requirements of each case. It can be created using a combination of cast metal and acrylic materials, solely acrylic, or thermoplastic resins like ValplastTM, Flexite®, Duroflex®, and tcs®.