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Types of Dentures

Dentures are prosthetic teeth that replace missing teeth or broken teeth. People of all ages and with various needs use permanent and temporary dentures. 

You may need dentures for a variety of reasons, such as if you’ve had an oral injury that knocked out your teeth or if you have trouble eating foods due to especially weak teeth. You may also need dentures from neglecting your dental care, which could result in tooth decay, periodontal disease (advanced gum disease), and other oral diseases.

Whatever the reason, dentures fit into your mouth and are supported by the surrounding gum tissue. They can give you a new, beautiful smile and boost your confidence.


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Most dentures are removable, but there are various types of dentures to choose from. Different dentures may be better-suited for your lifestyle. A general dentist or prosthodontist can talk through your options and get you a set of dentures quickly.

The different types of dentures available include the following:

  • Full dentures — Full dentures are ideal for people who are missing all of their natural teeth or those who have had some or all of their natural teeth removed. Full dentures are typically put in only after the patient’s gum tissue has healed from tooth removals, which can take several months.
removable full denture lower jaw
  • Immediate dentures — Immediate dentures are placed directly after a patient’s teeth have been removed. They are used as temporary dentures for cosmetics and function until the patient is ready for a permanent set. During the first few months of use, immediate dentures will require multiple adjustments to sit comfortably in the mouth.
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  • Overdentures —  Overdentures, which are also called an implant-supported denture, are held in place on top of your gums by dental implants. The dentist or oral surgeon will place the implant screws into the jawbone to allow for greater stability of the denture. 
removable full implant denture
  • Partial dentures — Partial dentures replace some permanent teeth that are either missing or have been removed. These kinds of dentures consist of false teeth and an acrylic, gum-colored base or metal framework. The base is attached to two or more clasps that hold the new dentures in place. They’re often considered a removable alternative to dental bridges.
removable partial denture lower jaw
  • Economy dentures — Economy dentures are the most affordable dentures available. Dentists typically do not recommend economy dentures because they can be uncomfortable, hurt your mouth, and lead to poor oral hygiene. But if other dental plans are too expensive, these are a great solution.

All dentures can be partial or complete. Complete dentures are, of course, best for people who are missing all of their teeth or who have many damaged and weak teeth that need to be removed. Partial dentures work well for others who are only missing a few teeth or those who have just a couple of broken or weak teeth. Partial dentures are also less expensive.

Many people will opt for a removable partial or full denture as a stepping stone to an implant retained denture. Implant retained dentures are more costly. However, they are a great permanent solution for those with missing teeth. 

You have the choice of removable dentures and permanent dentures. With removable dentures, there are many benefits:

  • Dental procedures and invasive dental work are easier with removable dentures.
  • You have an easier time cleaning removable dentures, since you can take them out of your mouth to brush them.
  • You don’t need a dental professional to take out removable dentures if they’re causing discomfort.
  • Removable dentures and the ensuing dental treatment is much less expensive than fixed dentures.
  • Removable dentures may be able to preserve the contour of your face while still providing a solution.
  • Removable dentures are considered cheap dentures (compared to fixed ones).

You may choose permanent dentures over removable dentures for other reasons, including the following:

  • Fixed dentures are more stable in your mouth, which will make chewing and talking easier.
  • Fixed dentures last longer, as they can stay put for several years without too much adjusting.

Cost Comparison: What are the Most Affordable Dentures?

The most affordable dentures are removable, economy dentures. They are affordable because they are a one-size-fits-all solution. These dentures are also not as comfortable as dentures that are customized to fit your mouth. They may make talking and eating difficult and/or cause discomfort, at least until you get used to them.

When are Dentures Needed Over Implants?

Maybe traditional dentures aren’t for you. Overdentures, also known as implants, are a choice solution for many people. The advantages of dental implants are plentiful. They include the following:

  • Overdentures are generally more stable than regular dentures.
  • An overdenture helps maintain your jaw line and gives a more youthful appearance.
  • Overdentures are securely fastened to your jaw, which makes it easier to eat and talk.
  • Dental implants are made of a biocompatible titanium, which is durable and long-lasting. 

But dental implants require surgery, so dentures are a better option if you do not want to (or cannot) undergo surgery. Similarly, smokers should opt for dentures over implants because smoking can make it hard for the gums to heal and cause implants to fail.

Are Dentures Cheaper Than Implants?

Because implants require oral surgery that may or may not be covered by your dental insurance, they can be very expensive. They tend to be a lot more expensive than traditional dentures.

How to Find Affordable Dentures Near You

Talk to your dentist to discuss your options and determine the best treatment for your needs and lifestyle.

Discuss Options With Your Dentist 

Your dentist should be able to walk you through all of your denture options, as well as implant options. From there, you can make an educated decision.

Resources

“8 Signs You Might Need Dentures.” Tioga Dental & Orthodontics, 28 May 2019, www.tiogadental.com/blog/8signs-need-dentures/

“Dentures Dentist: Solutions.” Bright Side Dental, 28 Aug. 2020, brightsidedental.com/smile-solutions/complete/dentures/.

“Dentures.” Dentures - O'Brien Dentistry | University Place WA, www.obriendentistry.com/dentures

“Economy Denture Packages.” The Smile Company | Economy Denture Packages Maryland Heights MO, www.smilecodental.com/economy-dentures.php

“Fixed vs. Removable Dentures.” Dentist Grants Pass, OR - Dental Education Library, www.drhuddleston.com/library/8032/Fixedvs.RemovableDentures.html

“Overdenture Implants.” Southpointe Dental: Lincoln's Dentists, dentalsouthpointe.com/overdenture-implants/.

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Updated on: December 31, 2020
Author
AnnaMarie Houlis
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Medically Reviewed
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Dr. Erica Anand
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