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Updated on September 29, 2022

Full Dentures

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What are Full Dentures?

Millions of Americans are missing all of their teeth. Luckily, advanced dentistry offers simple teeth replacement with a complete set of dentures. Full dentures help restore the loss of function and aesthetics that occurs with missing teeth.

Whether you are missing teeth for health reasons or because of gum disease or tooth decay, a full denture can help improve your quality of life. 

Types of Full Dentures

There are two types of full dentures available, including:

1. Premium

Premium dentures are the highest quality removable denture because they are made to fit accurately and comfortably. They are designed by a dentist and custom-made by a specialized technician in a dental laboratory.

removable denture NewMouth

A premium denture fits and looks better than any other type of denture. This is because the acrylic is customized with various types of pigmentation and the artificial teeth are more natural-looking. 

A premium denture can drastically improve your dental health. Since a premium denture fits better, it requires fewer follow-ups than other types of dentures. This feature is great for both the patient and dentist to reduce chair time. 

2. Economy

Economy dentures are an affordable option for people who are looking for a quick, cost-effective replacement for teeth.

They are generic and are not always the best fit or comfortable. They may require several patient visits for relines and adjustments to achieve a comfortable fit. 

These dentures are not the best option since they usually require more time and money due to their poor fit.

Pros and Cons of Full Dentures

There are several benefits of getting a full denture. A full set of dentures can restore someone’s confidence and ability to eat comfortably. 

Some advantages of dentures include:

  • Restores eating and chewing comfortably
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence
  • Maintains a fuller, more youthful appearance
  • Allows for proper speaking
  • Cost-effective teeth replacement  

Like any treatment, there are always some downsides. While a denture is a great option for many people, it also can cause problems over time. 

Disadvantages to consider when choosing a denture include:

  • Requires maintenance like relines and repairs
  • Lower denture retention declines over time
  • Can slip out of place when speaking or eating

Will Dentures Make Me Look Different?

Dentures will help restore your appearance.

When teeth go missing, it causes a sunken-in appearance or aged look. A denture can help support the facial muscles, including the lips and cheeks, by supporting your jawbone.

However, a denture cannot completely replace the volume lost by tooth loss and bone resorption. Some people will report a slight change in appearance, but with a well-made denture, most are happy with a relatively youthful look. 

According to Dr. Khushbu Aggarwal, one of NewMouth's in-house dentists, "it is important to give your dentist feedback while they are making your dentures. For example, you can share old photographs of your smile to help your dentist pick the mold of your new teeth. Or, you can bring your spouse or friend to your try-in visit for a second opinion."

Will Dentures Change How I Eat and Speak?

A denture may temporarily change the way you eat and speak. It will improve an edentulous smile, but it may take time to get accustomed to.

Initially, eating with a new denture and replacement teeth may feel awkward. You need time to adjust to eating with your denture, as it can change the way you chew and taste. 

Many denture wearers report it is more difficult to sense the temperature of foods and drinks because of the acrylic base against the palate. You will become comfortable over time and know what foods you feel safe eating. 

It is beneficial to chew in small bites on both sides of your mouth. Begin with softer foods, and once you feel more confident, you can try chewing crunchy or harder foods. 

Speaking may be difficult with new dentures because it is essentially a foreign object in your mouth. Just like braces, it takes time to get used to. 

Take time by practicing speaking with your denture to get the correct sounds, and it will soon become second nature.

How Long Does it Take to Make Full Dentures?

A denture can take several weeks to fabricate, depending on the dental laboratory. It also usually takes multiple visits to get a denture to fit correctly before being processed.

Sometimes people need remaining teeth extracted, and an immediate denture is used until your gums heal, and you can get a permanent denture. 

If your teeth have been extracted recently, you can expect anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months before you are fully healed. Below covers the various steps completed at each appointment:

  1. Consultation. Your dentist will discuss the process and fees and ensure you are a good candidate for a denture. 
  2. Impressions. Impressions are taken to get a mold of your mouth where reproduction can be used to design and create the denture. Either a traditional putty impression is used, or advanced scanning technology is utilized to get the imprint of your mouth. Depending on the dentist, this visit may be broken up into two appointments in order to fabricate custom trays instead of using stock trays.
  3. Bite check. Once your impressions are taken, a wax build-up is created. This helps establish a proper bite and orientation. You will also choose the shade, size, and shape of your prosthetic teeth during this appointment.
  4. Try-in. This is an important step in the denture process. At this point, your denture is still in wax, but you can evaluate the teeth, bite, and overall feel. Adjustments can be made at this stage until you're happy with the appliance. Then, it is sent for final processing.
  5. Final fitting. Once your denture is processed, it is fitted and adjusted as needed. You may need to return if there are any sore spots in the next few weeks for adjustments. 

Partial Dentures vs. Complete Dentures

Removable dentures are personalized and can replace a few teeth or an entire set. Both have several benefits for patients because they are cost-effective and restore function and aesthetics.

A partial denture is an option when a patient still has a few stable, natural teeth. There is a pink acrylic base attached to a metal framework with artificial teeth. A removable partial is convenient as it can be removed to clean the appliance and brush your natural teeth easily. 

removable partial denture NewMouth

A complete denture replaces all of a patient’s missing teeth. They sit on the gum ridge and occasionally need treatment (such as a reline) to fit securely. A complete denture helps restore a person’s ability to eat, laugh, and smile. 

Traditional dentures are a great solution to restore vertical dimension to a person’s appearance and help maintain the muscles and soft tissue of the face. 

Should I Get Full Dentures or Dental Implants?

Most dentists will agree that implants most closely mimic natural teeth. However, many people may not be eligible for dental implants because of bone loss, health conditions, or finances. The average cost of a full arch implant-supported denture is significantly more expensive than a removable full set of dentures. 

fixed implant denture NewMouth

If you are missing one or both arches, it may be best to get a full denture as a stepping stone to dental implants. Some people prefer a full denture to get used to a new prosthetic before investing in implants. 

How Much Do Full Dentures Cost?

Dentures can range in cost depending on the materials and type of denture chosen. An economy denture will be much cheaper than a premium denture because of the lower quality of the materials.

An economy denture can cost $300 to $500 for one arch or approximately up to $1000 for a complete set. Premium dentures have an average cost of $2,000 to $4,000 per denture or about $4,000 to $8,000 for a full denture set

Are Dentures Covered by Insurance?

Many insurance plans will cover a portion of dentures. The patient pays the remaining balance. Insurance plans will vary. Therefore, it is essential to discuss any out-of-pocket costs before treatment.

Typically, patients with dental insurance can expect to pay between $250 to $2000 per denture or $500 to $4000 for a complete set

How Long Do Full Dentures Last?

A well-maintained denture can last many years. It is important to keep your dentures clean to maintain their appearance. Having clean dentures also minimizes the risk of fungal infections in the mouth.

Other ways to improve the longevity of your dentures include:

  • Schedule routine dental visits
  • Dentures are fragile; be careful to avoid dropping them
  • Rinse your dentures with warm water after eating and drinking
  • Clean your mouth after removing your dentures
  • Soak your dentures overnight with denture cleaner
  • Avoid using abrasive products on your dentures 
  • Don't leave dentures out in the sun, as they can warp
  • Keep your dentures away from pets
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on September 29, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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