A complete denture is for replacing a full set of upper and/or lower teeth. There are two types–conventional and immediate.
A conventional denture is made about 8-12 weeks after teeth have been removed. Bones and gums shrink while your mouth heals, so your dentist will take more impressions, create wax models and do a “try-in” after healing is complete. Once your dentist is confident that you have achieved the perfect fit, your denture will be fabricated and inserted.
The upper denture includes a gum-colored acrylic base that covers the gums and the roof of the mouth, which allows the denture to fit firmly. A lower denture is horseshoe-shaped to snugly fit your lower jawbone. Your new teeth may be made of acrylic or porcelain.
A removable partial denture is comprised of replacement teeth that fill in the spaces created by missing teeth. Partials not only serve practical and cosmetic purposes; they also prevent natural teeth from shifting.
A partial denture can be attached to natural teeth in several ways. The most common method employs metal clasps that grip the natural teeth. Precision attachments, which are sometimes attached to crowns on natural teeth, are less noticeable and create a “bridge” of sorts.
An implant-supported denture has special attachments that snap onto posts placed in the jawbone, and can be either removable or fixed. There are two types–bar-retained and ball-retained dentures. Candidates for implant-supported dentures should have healthy gums and adequate bone structure, though bone can sometimes be augmented if needed.