I’ll bet you had no idea that when it was time for denture implants, you’d have options. Well, let us be the ones to tell you, you do!

Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. They are usually complete or partial, and within these two options are more options for design, timing, and overall fit.

So what are the options, exactly?

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are used when all teeth or most teeth are missing. Complete dentures might be conventional or immediate, depending on the patient. The teeth are all removed from the patient’s mouth and once the gum tissue begins to heal, a conventional denture can be placed. This takes about twelve weeks of healing and preparation. You can imagine that few people want to walk around without teeth for so long!

Immediate Denture

Luckily, there are immediate dentures, which are made in advance and can be placed right after the teeth are removed. Since immediate dentures are crafted before the teeth are removed, they don’t always come with a lasting fit. As the gums heal post-teeth removal, the bones and gums tend to shrink. You can assume that the immediately placed dentures will sit disproportionately to the mouth’s shifting. For this reason, they should be used only as a temporary solution while the mouth heals and gets ready for conventional dentures.

Partial Dentures

If you’re in the market for dentures, you’ve probably heard this term cast about a time or two. What is a partial denture, exactly? Partials are dentures or bridges that attach replacement teeth to a little base that is gum-colored and plastic. The plastic base is held in place by a metal framework in the mouth. Partial dentures are an excellent option when only one or a few teeth are missing.

Fixed Bridge Partial Denture

The partial’s fixed bridge system works by placing crowns on the immediately surrounding teeth and attaching artificial teeth to them. The bridge- the foundation of the system- then gets cemented into place. The fixed bridge system is effective at filling gaps between teeth, but its sturdy base also keeps the new and existing teeth in place where they otherwise might shift to occupy the space.

Precision Partial Denture

The precision partial option is a bit more natural looking, but it is removable. With precision, the attachments are internal, as opposed to being attached to the outsides of the neighboring crowns.

Should I get dentures?

Ideal candidates for dentures vary, and ultimately, it’s up to the patient. It’s important to do thorough research, understand your options within dentures and also which alternative are available for your situation.

Some patients opt for implants instead of dentures. A similar cemented framework can be used to support the implants and the teeth feel and look a bit more real. However, the procedure is typically more costly, and not all patients qualify as good candidates for implants.

Remember that getting dentures- no matter which route you take- will take time. The process will unfold smoothly if you are prepared to be patient as you work with your dentist toward your best results. Denture development usually takes a few weeks and a few appointments to your dentist. The dentist will need impressions of your jaw and measurements of your mouth, models and wax forms for the dentures, a try-in model, a final cast and then follow-ups to make adjustments.

Some habits and routines like eating and cleaning will feel different after the procedure. But like anything new in life, your dentist will walk you through the steps for adjustment and help you get used to the new teeth in your mouth.

When you’re ready to learn more about denture Coral Gables, come in for a consultation and hear about the best options for your case. We look forward to bringing you a life-long smile in 2017.