Dentures and Partials

A denture or a complete denture is an appliance that replaces a full arch (jaw) of missing natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips. A removable partial denture is an appliance that replaces some missing natural teeth.

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
  • An upper denture has gum colored acrylic covering the roof of the mouth (palate).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An overdenture fits over dental implants and is retained by them for excellent “snap in” retention and stability. The implants also provide the benefit of preserving bone.
  • A conventional removable partial denture consists of teeth and gumwork constructed on a metal frame. It has metal clasps around several teeth to retain it in place.
  • A precision attachment retained removable partial denture consists of teeth and gumwork on a metal frame. It is retained in the mouth with crowns or the adjacent natural teeth which have built-in snap attachments. There are no ugly metal clasps visible as the snap attachments are hidden under the partial.

The teeth or the denture are made of plastic or porcelain. Dentures can also be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth.

We see patients with a wide variety of problems. A common problem amongst the denture wearing population is extensive bone loss, especially in the lower jaw, after many years of denture wearing. We have a very high success rate in making dentures for these patients. We also have some young denture wearers in our practice. Young adults will lose less bone in the future if their dentures are well constructed and maintained.
Immediate Dentures
We help patients make the transition from natural teeth to dentures when their remaining natural teeth are hopeless. These people never have to go without teeth. If the remaining natural teeth have loosened and moved, it can be difficult to work out where the denture teeth should go. We ask patients to bring in photographs of their natural teeth for us to copy, if desired.
Denture Maintenance
Dentures will wear out over time and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to tooth loss. Regular dentist examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be examined for disease or change and the dentures checked for wear and tear. We provide annual recall examinations for our denture patients which include a thorough oral and cancer screening examination, The dentures will be cleaned in our professional-grade ultrasonic cleaner. The average life span of dentures is about 10 years but varies widely between individuals
Denture Reline
A denture reline is simply a refitting of the underside of the denture to the gum and bone which support it. The gum and bone change slowly over time, causing the denture to become looser and less stable then when first placed. Most patients need a denture reline every 2-5 years. A denture reline will often be necessary after weight loss or illness. There is wide variation between individuals.