When you are missing all your teeth or the time has come to remove what teeth you have left, there are 3 main types of dentures that might be right for you. One option is a traditional denture. This is an acrylic base with acrylic teeth that rests on the gums. Traditional dentures are typically held in by suction or adhesive. Their fit can vary greatly depending on the person’s individual anatomy.
Another option is a snap-in denture. This involves placing 2-4 implants in each arch and fitting snap attachments into a denture. Since it is now the snap-in attachments holding the denture in place, we often can shorten all the edges of your denture and sometimes, in an upper denture, remove the area that covers the roof of the mouth. These attachments greatly improve the fit and remove the need for any adhesive. You will still have the ability to take your dentures in and out yourself, making them very easy to clean.
The final option to replace an entire arch of teeth is called an all on 4 or permanent denture. For a permanent denture, we place 4 implants and permanently affix an arch of teeth to those implants. This is as close to natural teeth as we can get when it comes to replacing a full arch of teeth. You cannot take them out yourself because you need special tools to remove the screws that fix the teeth to the implants.
Partial dentures are an alternative for people missing multiple teeth that do not want dental bridges or implants. A partial denture is one piece, similar in design to a denture, with clasps or hooks that grab on to the teeth next to the areas we want to fill in. Since they are able to grab on to existing teeth, they do not need adhesive and tend to fit quite well. The more teeth we have to adequately clasp on to, the more stable your partial denture will be. While they have a much better fit than traditional dentures, they do suffer from some of the same problems. A partial denture can rock or move when eating and will cover the roof of the mouth when used to replace upper teeth. Partial dentures are also commonly used to temporarily restore a missing tooth while an implant is healing.