Southwest Dental Associates offers modern denture technology in Boise, Idaho. If you are missing multiple teeth, a partial or full denture may be an option for you. A complete denture will replace all teeth, whereas a partial denture replaces some teeth while using your remaining teeth as an anchor. Before dentures can be completed, an examination is required.
What are dentures?
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two type of dentures – complete (full) and partial (replaces some missing teeth) dentures. Full dentures are used when all the teeth are missing. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
How do dentures work?
Full dentures provide a pink-colored acrylic base that fits over your gums, set with denture teeth. The upper denture will cover the roof of your mouth, while the lower denture is shaped to fit over your lower bone ridge and accommodate your tongue.
Conventional Full Denture: This denture will be placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth have been removed and the tissues in your mouth have healed. The healing process usually takes between 8-12 weeks, during which time you will be without teeth.
Immediate Full Dentures: These dentures are made prior to the removal of the remaining teeth and will be inserted immediately after the teeth are removed. This means patients will not be without teeth during the healing process, an option many patients elect. However, bones and gums shrink during the healing process following tooth removal. As a result, immediate dentures will need to be adjusted periodically during the healing process, and relined later to provide an accurate fit.
Partial Denture: A partial denture rests on a metal or plastic framework which attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes a crown will need to be placed on one or more of your natural teeth in order to act as an anchor for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges. Partial dentures not only fill the spaces left by missing teeth, they also help maintain the integrity (alignment) of the gum structure and other teeth in your mouth.
What should I expect?
The process of getting dentures typically requires multiple appointments over the course of a couple of months. First, your dentist will review your oral health and examine x-rays of your mouth to determine the best treatment plan. It may be determined that some teeth need to be removed to accommodate the partial or full denture.
Sometimes dentures can be anchored in place with implants to help hold them in place.
Some things you should know about partial dentures
Adjustments: Partial dentures will need to be adjusted or replaced every five years.
Structural loss: After teeth have been removed, the gum tissue and jaw bone will begin to ‘shrink’. This causes the partial denture to become increasingly loose. Inserting dental implants into the jaw bone can help preserve the gum and bone structure and reduce the likelihood of your dentures coming loose.
Wear: If a partial denture becomes loose, it can begin to wear and decay the teeth around it. Implants will prevent this wear and tear from occurring.
Bite Force: Partial removable dentures do not afford the same bite force as permanent dental implants.
Time decay: As time passes your bone structure will continue to a point where dental implants are no longer an option.
What are the alternatives to dentures?
Dental implants can be used to support fixed bridges. This procedure usually costs more, but implants and bridges will react and feel more like natural teeth. You will need to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in order to determine the best treatment plan for your needs.
Dental implants can also be used to support traditional dentures and secure the dentures in place.
Does insurance cover the cost of dentures?
Most dental insurance providers will cover some or all of the cost of your dentures. However, first contact your provider to determine the exact level of coverage you have. If you don’t have your dental insurance, we do offer our own in-house coverage. Contact us for more details.