What are dentures?

  • denture-full
    Full dentures replace all of your teeth in one arch

Dentures, or false teeth, are removable dental prostheses that fill gaps created by missing teeth. Whether it's one tooth, multiple teeth, or all of your teeth, you can replace these missing teeth by wearing a denture. Dentures are made from pink and white acrylic that closely resembles natural teeth and gum structure. Keep in mind, dentures are considered a removable prostheses, which means you can easily take them in and out of your mouth. There are many different types of dentures. These include complete dentures, partial dentures, immediate dentures, and overdentures (implant-supported dentures). Each type of denture has its own implication. Your dentist will help you decide which type of denture is most suitable for your needs. Schedule a denture consultation with your local dentist to learn more about dentures to see if you are a candidate.

What are the benefits of wearing dentures?


Wearing dentures gives you natural-looking teeth as well as a fuller facial appearance

Wearing dentures is a cost-effective way to replace your missing teeth. There are many happy denture wearers who function well and hardly miss their natural teeth. Here are some common benefits of wearing dentures for those who need them:

Natural Looking Teeth

Having missing teeth can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Wearing dentures gives you a more attractive smile and offers a reasonable alternative to your missing natural teeth. However, not everyone enjoys wearing dentures, some do very well with them, others not so much.

Bite Stability

Having missing teeth causes dental and skeletal issues over the years. Whenever a tooth goes missing, other teeth start to shift into the resulting missing gap. If you don't replace your missing teeth, the remaining teeth become crooked in due time. This could lead to biting issues, teeth crowding, and collapsed facial features. Wearing dentures helps support your bite and prevents the remaining teeth from collapsing into the missing gaps.

Affordable & Simple Tooth Replacement Option

Wearing dentures is the most cost-effective way to replace your missing teeth. Alternative treatments, such as dental implants and dental bridges, are much more expensive than dentures. They also require a lot more work to fix your missing teeth. Denture treatment is both simple and quick. You can typically have a new set of dentures made within a few weeks or a month or two at most. Some offices even have an onsite dental laboratory and make dentures in just one day. On the opposite hand, dental implants and dental bridges typically take several months, sometimes even years, to complete your treatment.

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What are some problems with wearing dentures?


Long-term denture wear can damage your remaining teeth, gums, as well as jawbone

There are many happy denture wearers who love their false teeth. However, there are those who face varying degrees of pain and discomfort with wearing their false teeth. These problems can range from slight annoyance all the way to the absolute inability to wear your denture. Here are some of the most common problems you may come across wearing false teeth:

Pain & Discomfort

Wearing removable teeth is not nearly as comfortable as having your own teeth. If your dentures aren't stable, they can cause many problems. This includes sub-par chewing ability, speech difficulties, and recurring sore lesions

Damage to Remaining Teeth, Gums, & Jawbone

Long-term denture wear puts lots of stress on your remaining teeth. This causes you to lose your remaining teeth at an accelerated rate. Wearing dentures for long periods gradually causes your jawbone to shrink. It also leads to facial muscle collapse which causes wrinkling. As you continue to lose teeth and jawbone, your dentures become looser and looser. This is why many denture wearers have to replace their false teeth every several years.

Wear and Tear

Dentures age quickly and usually require replacement every several years of use. Since denture teeth are made from acrylic, they wear flat with repeated use. This causes your denture to lose its chewing efficiency which compromises your digestion. Additionally, dentures can break easily, especially if you accidentally drop them. They can also get lost if not paying attention.

The average denture wearer should replace his or her false teeth every three to five years. If you feel it's time for a new set of dentures, give your dentist a call. It's not a good idea to put up with loose dentures, sore lesions, and teeth that don't cut your food any longer. Contact your dentist to inquire more about a replacement denture or your options involving dental implants.

What are the different types of dentures?

Depending on how many teeth you're missing, there are different types of dentures that fit your needs. These include complete (full) dentures, partial dentures, immediate dentures, and overdentures to name a few. Here's what you need to know about each type of denture:

Complete/ Full Dentures


Complete dentures replace all of your teeth in the respective arch

Complete dentures, also referred to as full dentures, are false teeth that replace all of your remaining teeth within that arch. Complete dentures are made from pink and white acrylic that closely resemble natural teeth and gum structure. The denture covers your entire jaw and gets its stability from suction against your jaw. Many complete denture wearers use denture adhesives, such as Polygrip or Fixodent, to better keep their false teeth in place. Denture adhesives prevents your false teeth from moving as much when chewing or speaking.

Partial Dentures


Partial dentures anchor onto your remaining teeth to support and stabilize your false teeth

If you have lost some but not all of your teeth, then you need to wear partial dentures. Partial dentures, or simply partials, fill in gaps created in the mouth by missing teeth. These dentures have one or more anchors that attach to the remaining teeth for better support and stabilization. Typically, partial dentures are more stable than full dentures due to the support that they get from your remaining teeth. As a result, they are almost always the preferred option to full dentures whenever possible.

Immediate Dentures

Immediate dentures are made before you remove your teeth and are designed to be worn immediately after tooth extraction

Immediate dentures are designed to replace your missing teeth before you remove your bad teeth. Your dentist makes immediate dentures from casts of your existing teeth. The dentist instructs the lab as to which teeth are scheduled to be removed. The laboratory technician makes the immediate denture to replace these teeth. Then, as soon as your bad teeth are removed, your dentist delivers the immediate denture. This way, you won't be walking around toothless during the recovery period. Immediate dentures are typically designed for short-term use only. Once you're done healing, your dentist will make a permanent set of full dentures or partial dentures will to replace the immediate denture.

Fixed Immediate Dentures

If you're undergoing full mouth dental implants or all-on-four implant treatment, then you might have the option of wearing a fixed immediate denture. Fixed immediate dentures are inserted into the mouth immediately after extracting bad teeth. The denture teeth are adjusted and calibrated to make sure they are biting correctly. Your dentist will use the existing dental implants to anchor the immediate dentures in place. This way, your teeth are locked in your mouth the same day you remove the bad teeth! This process is typically referred to as teeth in a day. This is a great option for patients who don't want to be toothless during the few months that their dental implants are healing. With teeth-in-a-day, you walk into your dentist's office with broken and missing teeth, and walk out with a fixed set of teeth, all on the same day!

Implant-Supported Dentures/ Overdentures/ Snap-on-Dentures

Implant-supported dentures, also known as overdentures or snap-on-dentures, are false teeth supported by two or more dental implants. Overdentures are essentially complete dentures that anchor onto several dental implants for added stability. You require a minimum of two dental implants to stabilize overdentures, but generally no more than six dental implants. Contact a dental implant specialist near you to learn more about overdentures to see if you're a candidate.

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What are the different types of partial dentures?

  • partial-denture-acrylic
    Acrylic partial dentures break easily and are typically for temporary use.

Partial dentures, or partials, are false teeth that replace some but not all of your teeth. There are various materials used to fabricate partial dentures each with its own benefits. The most common types of partial dentures are acrylic partials, metal cast partials, and flexible partial dentures. Here's a bit more information about each type of partial denture:

Acrylic Partial Dentures

Acrylic partials are the weakest and least effective of all partial dentures. This is because acrylic partials are made from acrylic, which is too weak to withstand your bite forces. Additionally, acrylic partials are very loose, since their metal clasps engage teeth only passively. Typically, acrylic dentures are made for temporary use and are not intended as a long-term tooth replacement solution.

Metal Cast Partial Dentures

Metal cast partial dentures are made from acrylic plus a firm metal substrate. These partial dentures have a solid metal framework that anchors the false teeth in place. Metal cast partial dentures are comfortable, stable, and quite affordable. they are the perfect option for foodies, as they are the most capable partial dentures at chewing food particles. However, the metal clasps do occasionally interfere with aesthetics, especially when missing a front tooth. Additionally, metal partials break easily if you drop them and are difficult to repair once the metal has broken.

Flexible Partial Dentures

Flexible partials are made from resilient plastic that is durable, comfortable, and natural-looking. Flexible partials use pink-plastic claps instead of metal ones. This makes them a better option for replacing front teeth since plastic clasps are far less noticeable than metal ones. Flexible partials are also very resilient and don't break that easily.

Which partial denture is best for me?


There are 3 different types of partial dentures to choose from

The most common type of partial dentures are acrylic partials, metal cast partials, and flexible partial dentures. There are several different factors you need to consider when choosing the right partial denture. This includes how many teeth you're missing, where the missing teeth are, and the condition of your remaining teeth. If your primary concern is looks, then a flexible partial denture might be the better option. However, if you are planning on eating with them, you might find that metal cast partial dentures offer the best chewing capability. Ultimately, only you and your dentist can determine which type of partial denture is best suited to your needs.

What can I do if I'm not happy with my dentures?

Some patients love their dentures, some dislike them, and others never wear theirs. What makes the difference? Here are some of the most common reasons patients end up being unhappy with their dentures:


Most dentures need to be adjusted several times after you have received them. Fitting your dentures eliminates sore spots and makes the false teeth more comfortable to wear. For example, you may experience sore lesions in your mouth and the false teeth need to be trimmed down. Other times your false teeth move because your bite needs to be calibrated. Sometimes dentures become loose over time and a simple denture reline can improve their fitness. Wearing ill-fitting dentures is harmful to your mouth and adversely affects your digestion. This has serious consequences that go beyond your oral health. Talk to your dentist if you're experiencing problems with your dentures to find out how they can help.

Ill-Fitting Dentures

You may be unhappy with your dentures because they are not fitting well. This could be due to a poor denture design, due to wear-and-tear, or the result of jawbone shrinkage. A new and improved set of false teeth can fix your problem in no time. Talk to your local dentist to receive a new set of dentures and renew your smile.

Poor Candidate for Wearing Dentures

Unfortunately, some patients simply can not function with their dentures no matter what they try. Some people never get accustomed to wearing their false teeth. They find it a constant struggle to have removable false teeth in their mouth. Sometimes this happens because your gag reflex prevents you from wearing the dentures. Other times your cheek and tongue keep moving the dentures to where you can't function properly with them. For these patients, even the perfect set of dentures won't help out much. If this applies to you, then you should consider getting dental implants. Thanks to dental implants, almost all denture wearers now have options of replacing their missing teeth with a fixed, permanent solution. Talk to a dental implant specialist near you to learn more about how to replace your missing teeth using dental implants.

To learn more about other dental treatments related to dentures, click on the following links: