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Full and Partial Dentures

Have you experienced substantial tooth loss? You probably already know what dentures are, as they have long been a trusted solution for replacing a significant number of missing teeth. You may not be quite aware of how successful today’s dentures are, though. Now, thanks to modern methods and materials, dentures are more comfortable and natural-looking than ever before. Dental implants offer additional stability for a partial or complete denture. Keep reading to learn more about dentures and what you can expect from this restorative option from your dentist in Longmont, CO.


What Are the Different Types of Dentures?

There are a few options available in dentures, and the one that is right for you depends on the extent of your tooth loss and how healthy your jaw bone is. Dr. Maurer will consider three options to help you achieve the most effective tooth replacement for your unique smile.

  • Partial dentures: Just like the name suggests, partial dentures are used when some healthy natural teeth still remain in the gum line. A removable one snaps into place using metal brackets affixed to the existing teeth. A partial denture will restore the natural form and function of the smile while also preventing the natural teeth from drifting out of place to fill in the gap.
  • Complete dentures: For cases of total tooth loss in the upper or lower jaw, a complete denture can come to the rescue. Natural suction keeps the prosthetic in place. A denture adhesive may be used to provide additional security for a complete denture.
  • Implant dentures: Patients who are eligible for dental implants should strongly consider this option. Nothing provides more security than an implant denture. Prosthetic tooth roots are implanted beneath the gum line and grow together with the jaw over the course of 4 to 6 months. This sturdy foundation prevents slippage of the denture and renews your ability to eat, speak, and smile with total confidence.

What Is the Process for Dentures?

Man and woman smiling outdoors

A traditional denture takes about a month to complete and will require several visits to our office to ensure the proper fit is achieved. We will take extensive X-rays, scans, and impressions of your jaw and any remaining natural teeth. From the impressions, a wax-up model is created and sent along with your treatment plan to the denture lab. A first-round denture is created and sent back to us for you to test out. This process is repeated as many times as is necessary until you have a comfortable, natural-looking denture.

Implant dentures are completed a bit differently. It may take up to a year or more to undergo the entire process. If the jaw bone is not healthy enough at the outset, you may need to have a bone graft to boost volume and enhance the chances of implant success. Once the right environment has been achieved, you will need to have the surgical implant placement -- when the gums are opened and a strategic number of implant posts are placed to provide a foundation for the prosthetic. After the dental implants have integrated, or fused together with the jaw, they can be restored with the partial or complete denture which has been crafted to match your unique facial features perfectly.


How Do I Maintain Dentures?

Complete dentures

The way you take care of your denture will also depend on if it is fixed or removable and whether or not it is retained by dental implants. Some key tips for long-lasting dentures are listed in brief below.


Maintenance for a Traditional Removable Denture

Smiling woman with apple

  • Brush the denture gently at least once a day using a denture cleanser or mild hand soap.
  • Rinse your denture every time you remove or reinsert it and also after each meal.
  • Brush and floss your remaining natural teeth and gums after each meal, when you wake up, and before you go to bed.
  • While you sleep, you should soak a denture in water or a denture solution. This allows your gums to rest and keeps the denture moist.
  • Always place a towel on hard surfaces when you clean your denture to prevent damage if you accidentally drop it.
  • Visit your dentist as recommended and do not hesitate to get in touch if you experience discomfort or slippage. A refitting may help.

Maintenance for a Removable Implant Denture

Dental bridge

  • Remove the denture and brush your teeth, the dental implants, and gums daily.
  • Clean the denture daily.
  • Soak the denture in water or a denture solution while you sleep.
  • Visit your dentist as recommended and notify us if an issue develops with comfort or fit.

How Long Do Dentures Last?

Woman on sofa making a phone call

When cared for properly, a traditional denture will typically last between 5 and 7 years before a replacement is required. This is because the jaw bone will continue shrink without the supportive root structure, which brings important nutrients to the area. You will know when it is time for a replacement because the denture won’t fit as well as it once did -- potentially causing oral sores and pain.

An implant denture will last for considerably longer than a traditional one, as dental implants promote oral health to prevent the degeneration of the jaw. While the denture will eventually need to be replaced due to natural wear and tear, you can expect it to stay functioning properly for years to come. The dental implants themselves will likely never need to be replaced. In some cases, an infection known as peri-implantitis can develop and lead to implant failure. Avoid this by keeping up with excellent hygiene habits and visiting the dentist regularly.


Contact Us Today

If you have sustained significant tooth loss, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office to discuss what is possible with full, partial, or implant-retained dentures. These options offer a natural-looking solution for significant tooth loss. Go ahead and request an appointment at Longmont Family Dentistry today!