Dentures are made out of a plastic base that supports fabricated teeth. It’s shaded to match your gum tissue, and the teeth are usually made of porcelain or plastic. Dentures are custom made to match the structure and form of each individual person’s mouth so they help maintain the look and structural integrity of the person’s face. Dentures are made in a lab, molded and shaped to exact proportions based on your dentist’s prescription and custom impressions of your mouth. As teeth are lost, so is jaw and facial structure. Dentures fill the gaps created by lost teeth, and also help the facial and jaw muscles continue to work in the fashion they are supposed to. So you can eat properly, speak properly, and feel less pain when doing both.
A partial denture is just that: a denture that covers only part of your mouth. It’s held in your mouth with clasps that grab onto remaining natural teeth. Partials are usually recommended when one or more of your natural, healthy teeth are still in the mouth. Dental Associates dentists try to keep as many teeth as possible in your mouth, because the more natural teeth, the greater the integrity of your jawbone. Existing teeth help retain bone in the jaw, help support and secure the partial denture, and help the entire mouth feel more comfortable when chewing or talking. Like complete dentures, partial dentures take a little getting used to, but should fit in your mouth securely and comfortable.
Both complete and partial dentures are removable and should be treated with care. They should be cleaned daily and adjusted only by your dentist. Permanent solutions to filling gaps where there are missing teeth include fixed partial dentures and dental implants.
Fixed partial dentures (also called bridges) are made from crowns that are fitted to remaining teeth. The bridge is cemented into place, and is therefore non-removable.