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What are the Different Types of Dentures?

Traditional dentures.
Dental implants require taking a dental impression of a patient's remaining natural teeth.
An illustration of how a dental implant works.
Partial dentures.
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  • Written By: Karyn Maier
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2014
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Few people can say they look forward to wearing dentures someday, although many people suffer the loss of teeth as they age. Heredity, diet, and poor dental hygiene may be to blame, and tooth loss can impair speech, effect self-esteem, and lead to infections of the gum and/or loss of jawbone. There are four basic different types of dentures available: standard, removable partial, temporary, and implant retained.

While some people elect to have all of their remaining teeth removed in favor of wearing a full set of dentures, this is often not the best answer. Most dental experts recommend that people try to retain as many of their natural teeth as possible. To that end, there have been many advances made in dental cosmetics to permit integration of natural teeth, although none of them are a one-size-fits-all solution.

While appearance and comfort are certainly major factors behind which type of dentures are best for an individual, there’s more to consider. Function, for example, is of primary importance. There’s a lot to be said for a secure fit too — a person dropping his teeth into the palm of his hand is a parlor trick better left to the privacy of a bathroom. .

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Standard dentures are the obvious choice for someone who has already lost all of his teeth. The fitting process begins with impressions being taken of the upper and lower gums to make a form-fitting denture plate for each. A series of follow-up appointments are necessary to make any needed adjustments. This is important to ensure a proper fit when speaking and eating, as well as when at rest.

For those who are only missing a few teeth, it may be possible to wear a type of removable partial dentures (RPD). They are made with deliberately placed holes in them to allow stable natural teeth to push through. In fact, the surrounding natural teeth provide support and security for this type of denture fitting. They work best on the upper jaw.

Immediate, or temporary dentures, are another type of RPD, although this type often becomes permanent for some people. They are made before the natural teeth have been extracted. Once the loose or decaying teeth in question are removed, the partial is placed over the recovering gums. Often, wire is used to connect it to the nearby natural teeth, providing additional support. This type of partial denture is sometimes referred to as a flipper.

Implant retained dentures are the most durable and permanent type, and they’re also the most expensive. Implants involve placing a titanium screw into the pre-drilled gum, where it will bond to the underlying bone over the course of a few months. At this point, a post is attached to the implant to which a porcelain tooth may be affixed. Implants are an option for people who have difficulty wearing lower dentures.

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anon351716
Post 5

We are going to look into dentures for my dad and this is good to know. I had no idea there were different kinds.

Oceana
Post 4

My grandfather got cosmetic dentures, and they look so natural. He did have to wear a temporary denture for nine months after having the rest of his teeth pulled first, because the dentist said that his gums might change a little in shape.

This temporary denture looked really fake, and he was glad to get rid of it and have it replaced with natural looking teeth. His dentist took everything into account, like his facial features and the size of his mouth.

So, cosmetic dentures are custom made. It's kind of like plastic surgery for the teeth.

shell4life
Post 3

@Kristee – A full set of dentures will run into the tens of thousands. Some insurance companies will pay for part of the cost, but I doubt any would pay for all.

Also, it depends on the quality of the dentures. Some kinds cost less than others.

I know that actual implants are the most expensive. However, they also are the most secure and last the longest.

Kristee
Post 2

How much would a full set of dentures cost? Will insurance pay anything on dentures, or do you have to pay the full cost yourself?

JackWhack
Post 1

My husband didn't take care of his teeth when he was younger, and he recently had to have six of them pulled. Four of them were right next to each other, so he will need a partial denture so that he can chew food on the upper right side.

So far, he's just been eating on the one side, because we can't afford dentures just yet. We are about to get a credit card with no interest for 18 months, and then we can put the denture on it and slowly pay it off.

He still has some natural teeth, so the denture will make use of them for security. I'm just glad he didn't have to have every one of them pulled!

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