Partial & Complete Dentures
Partial and complete dentures are removable solutions to missing teeth.
Dentures are a form of removable prosthetic – they provide replacement for missing teeth (and some function) by having false teeth mounted on a ‘plate’ that fits in your mouth. This plate can be removed for the purposes of cleaning and resting your mouth.
There are two main types
- Partial Dentures – these appliances replace some of the teeth in either your upper jaw, or lower jaw. They are stabilised by the surrounding teeth and may be attached to the surrounding teeth via a metal clasp so the denture is kept in position.
- Full Dentures – these replace all of the teeth in one arch (upper, lower or both). These dentures are not stabilised by surrounding teeth and therefore need to stay in by controlling the muscles around the denture (to stabilise it). An accurate fit is also required as the denture will utilise suction from an accurate fit to stay in place. Full lower dentures are notorious for ‘swimming’ about in the mouth – this problem can be remedied by either stabilisation of the denture with implants or by placing implants that are used to fully support the teeth (as an extension of the jaw bone).
Problems with Dentures
Cosmetics of Dentures
Full dentures can often provide a cosmetically pleasing result – since all the teeth and gums are incorporated into the one appliance. However, partial dentures can be conspicuous because the teeth on the denture look new and the surrounding teeth look worn. This can be remedied by placing new resin restorations over the surrounding teeth, or veneers on the surrounding teeth prior to the construction of the denture. This will match the denture teeth to the surrounding new fillings/veneers.
There is usually a problem with full dentures ‘swimming’ about in the patient’s mouth. This can be remedied in a number of ways:
- Relining the denture – sometimes the denture is poorly fitting i.e. the patient’s mouth has changed and the denture no longer fits properly. In this instance, the denture can be relined.
- Denture stabilisation with implants – this technique is usually applied to full lower dentures. The stabilisation may be created using either four mini dental implants (MDIs) or using two conventional implants. The implants protrude from the gums and have a device mounted on them (and a corresponding device inside the fitting surface of the denture) to attach the denture to the implants. With denture stabilisation, the implants only localise the denture correctly against the jaw – when the patient bites on the denture, the denture is supported by the gum that covers the lower jaw. The implants just provide the correct positioning of the denture, as the jaw bone still provides the support to the denture.
- Implant supported overdenture – in this instance, there are a number of implants (four, five, six or more) that provide complete support to the denture (there is virtually NO support provided to the denture by the gum overlying the jawbone). This is a more complex treatment arrangement but restores almost 80% of the function of the original teeth. This is what is commonly called All-on-4 in advertising.
Dentures are a specialty at Belle Dental. In combination with the resin cosmetic technologies, implant placement as well as traditional denture production techniques, we are confident we can deliver a pleasing cosmetic and functional result.
When it comes to our philosophy of Low Biological Cost Dentistry, we prefer partial dentures to bridges as they do not require loss of any existing healthy teeth. In regards to our other dentures and tooth replacement options we will always recommend the solution that minimises damage to existing teeth and tissue. You can find out more about Low Biological Cost Dentistry here.