Dentures and Partial Dentures

What’s the Difference Between Dentures and Partial Dentures?

Partials with Clasps

Dentures replace all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw – or both. The teeth are made of acrylic or porcelain and are held together by pink acrylic “gums.” They can look very natural and are one solution for people who have multiple dental problems. While they look good, they can be challenging to get used to, especially for people who gag easily. The extractions that are needed to be done before having dentures can be uncomfortable and take time to heal.

Immediate Dentures

Temporary partial denture

For people who want to hang on to their front teeth until the last possible moment, we plan “immediate dentures.” The back teeth are extracted in advance, and the areas allowed to heal somewhat, and the front teeth are extracted the same day the denture is delivered.

Immediate dentures do not fit as well as traditional dentures and will need to be “relined” or replaced by better fitting dentures in the future, but they do prevent the need to go without teeth in public. When getting immediate dentures, soft food, patience, and time are necessary.

Traditional Dentures

When someone has had all the teeth removed and several months of healing has been allowed to occur, traditional dentures are indicated and will fit better than immediate dentures. 

There will still be a transition period and several appointments to make the dentures comfortable, but the process will take less time. Traditional dentures are also done when someone has already had dentures and wants a new set.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Adding 2-6 dental implants in the jaw to hold a denture in place will make the denture much more secure, comfortable, and allow for better chewing. The denture will not be as prone to popping out and causing embarrassment. 

The denture or dentures still need to be removed for cleaning and for resting the gum tissues. The development of dental implants has been a wonderful option for denture wearers.

Partial denture with metal frame

Partial Dentures

Flexible Partials

This type of denture can replace one tooth or several. The base of the partial denture can be made out of hard acrylic like full dentures soft flexible plastic, or metal, for strength. 

There are many different designs of partial dentures and a large fee range, from a one-tooth “flipper” that just replaces a front tooth or two, to the metal-frame, long-term, sturdy partial denture. Partial dentures can also be supported by dental implants in some cases.

Hybrid Dentures

This is a type of implant denture that never comes out because it is secured to the implants permanently. Only a dentist can remove the hybrid denture. The denture is considered “hybrid” because it is permanently in place, somewhat like a permanent bridge.

Hybrid Implant Denture

At Hakala Family Dentistry, we provide full and partial dentures but also give patients other options to consider, because dentures do cause a decrease in chewing ability, decreased tasting of food, and can cause sore spots on the gums.

With time, dentures loosen and move around, and can even fall out of the mouth, causing embarrassment. For some people who have dentures, adding two or more implants to the jawbone under the dentures can increase the stability of the dentures and make them more secure. If you are considering getting dentures, we are happy to take a look at your mouth and let you know what options are available.

Call us today to discuss your denture options.