Full Dentures

What are Full Dentures?

Millions of Americans are missing all of their teeth, but advanced dentistry offers simple teeth replacement with a complete set of dentures

Full dentures help restore the function and aesthetics that occur when teeth are missing. 

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 custom created to fit accurately and comfortably. They are designed and milled using advanced dental technology like computer-aided engineering that scans and produces well-made prosthetics. 

removable full denture lower jaw

A premium denture is more natural fitting and looking than any other type of denture because the acrylic is customized with various types of pigmentation and the artificial teeth are more aesthetic. 

A premium denture can drastically improve your dental health. Since a premium denture fits better, it requires fewer patient visits than other types of dentures. This feature is overly satisfying to the patient and dentist to reduce chair time and improve efficiency. 

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 often not the greatest option because, with so many patient appointments, it requires time and finances away from the original low cost. 

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 of the most common advantages of wearing a denture are listed below:

  • Restores eating and chewing comfortably
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence
  • Maintains a fuller, more youthful appearance
  • Allows for proper speaking
  • A durable prosthesis that can last around ten years
  • 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. 

The most common disadvantages to consider when choosing a denture include:

  • Requires maintenance like relines and repairs
  • Retention of a lower denture declines over time
  • Can slip out of place when speaking or eating
  • The need for denture adhesive can become costly

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. 

It is essential to ensure your denture is not made too big to not cause your cheeks or lips to look too poofy. 

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.

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 tasting warmer 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. 

Remember to use denture adhesive, so your denture remains in place. 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 traditionally takes numerous visits to get the fit of a denture before it is 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 you had teeth recently extracted, you could expect 6 to 8 weeks before you are fully healed. 

  1. Consultation. Your dentist will discuss the process, 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.
  3. Bite check. Once your impressions are taken, a wax build-up is created to develop your denture. It helps establish a proper bite and orientation. You can choose the shade, size, and shape of your denture.
  4. Try-in. This is an important step in the denture process. It is used to get an initial view of your denture and how it fits and looks. Adjustments can be made before the final denture is made. 
  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. 
  6. Partial Dentures vs. Complete Dentures

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 restores function and aesthetics to missing teeth. 

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 lower jaw

The main downside is if they become dislodged or if you don’t have stable adjacent teeth for the partial denture to clamp on to. 

A complete denture replaces all of a patient’s missing teeth. They sit on the gum ridge and occasionally need 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 their muscles and soft tissue of the face. Should I Get Full Dentures or Dental Implants?

Should I Get Full Dentures or Dental Implants?

There is no comparison that dental implants are the greatest solution for missing teeth. They offer a permanent, stable dental prosthetic that closely mimics 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. 

removable full implant denture

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 lower quality made materials.  

A low-cost denture can cost $300 to $500 for one arch or approximately up to $1000 for a complete set. Higher quality made 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 up to 10 years. It is important to keep your dentures clean to maintain their appearance. Remember, maintaining your denture also helps improve your oral health. 

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 

Resources

“Affordable Dentures.” DentalPlans.com, DentalPlans.com,Inc, www.dentalplans.com/dental-procedure/affordable-dentures

Thakral GK, Aeran H, Yadav B, Thakral R. Flexible partial dentures - A hope for the challenged mouth. Peoples J Sci Res. 2012;5:17–23.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6814483/

D'Souza DS, Dua P. Rehabilitation strategies for partially edentulous-prosthodontic principles and current trends. Medical Journal Armed Forces India. 2011;67(3):296–296. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0377-1237(11)60068-3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4920826/

Mericske-Stern RD, Taylor TD, Belser U. Management of the edentulous patient. Clin Oral Implants Res. 2000;11 Suppl 1:108-25. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0501.2000.011s1108.x. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11168261/

“Complete Denture.” Complete Denture - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/complete-denture

Budtz-Jörgensen E. Restoration of the partially edentulous mouth--a comparison of overdentures, removable partial dentures, fixed partial dentures and implant treatment. J Dent. 1996 Jul;24(4):237-44. doi: 10.1016/0300-5712(95)00075-5. PMID: 8783527. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8783527/

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