1000 Towne Center Blvd • Suite 505 • Pooler, Georgia 31322 • 912.988.7723
Dentures & Partial Dentures
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available: complete and partial dentures.
Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Complete dentures can be either "conventional" or "immediate." Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore, a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is sometimes connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This "bridge" is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.
When it comes to making dentures, the dentist will make a series of impressions of your jaw and take measurements of how your jaws relate to one another and how much space is between them. They will create models, wax forms, and/or plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the denture to be made. You will then "try in" this model several times and the denture will be assessed for color, shape, and fit before the final denture is cast. Once the final denture is cast, adjustments will be made if necessary. There are alternatives to dentures such as dental implants, which can be used to support cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. Dental implants are usually more expensive than dentures, but they more closely resemble the feel of real teeth. They can also be used to support dentures, resulting in more stability. Everyone, however, is not a candidate for implants.