All dentures serve the same purpose – to replace missing or weak teeth to restore normality to the mouth in terms of looks and functionality.

However, many people mistakenly believe that dentures replace a full set of teeth, but there are actually several different types of dentures depending on how many teeth are removed or missing.

Here we describe the differences between full and partial dentures but for a more detailed explanation, we recommend you schedule an appointment at a reputable denture clinic.  There, the professional dentist or prosthetist will conduct a full oral examination so that you get carefully considered recommendations on the right option for you.

Full dentures

Complete dentures replace the full set of teeth.  These sit firmly on top of the gum and need to be expertly made so that they look natural and fit comfortably.

Full dentures can be fitted to your upper arch (maxillary) and your lower arch (mandibular).  The false teeth on the upper arch sit on a flesh-coloured acrylic base that covers both the gums and the upper palate whilst dentures for the lower arch sit on a removable horse-shoe shape device which allows the tongue to move freely.

Temporary dentures can be fitted immediately after teeth have been extracted which can be a great help in overcoming any embarrassment or anxiety about missing teeth.  These can be worn quite comfortably while you wait for the jawbone and gums to react to the extractions.  It can take up to 12 weeks for your mouth to heal, shrink and reshape completely before the full dentures can be aligned and fitted properly, but your new smile and self-confidence will be worth the wait.

Partial dentures

A partial denture is worn to correct gaps when only a few teeth are missing.  Generally, these teeth are fitted to a metal or plastic base which is attached to the adjacent natural teeth with a clasp.  As with full dentures, partial dentures are convenient and easily removable.

Partial dentures prevent other teeth from shifting out of position so they can play an important role in maintaining the correct alignment of your mouth.

Over dentures

It’s also possible to get an over-denture which is placed over any remaining teeth or teeth roots that haven’t undergone root canal treatment.  The denture is held in place by the remaining teeth or dental implants.

It takes around six weeks for your dentures to be made and depending on the type of dentures you’re having, will involve a number of appointments.  As a general indication, full dentures can take 5-6 appointments, partial ones usually take 2 or 3 and immediate ones usually only require one or two sessions.

For full and partial dentures, several impressions of your jaw will be made and a wax model of the denture created.  The dental professional will then adjust this model to fit perfectly and thereafter, the final product is created and relined to fit your mouth.

If you are missing teeth for any reason and want expert advice about partial or full dentures in a friendly, caring environment, come and talk to us at Discount Dentures.   Our denture clinics in Perth and Joondalup are staffed by highly experienced professionals and we offer a wide choice of denture products and services including general dentistry, emergency dentures, new dentures, denture repairs, tooth whitening and smile makeovers.

We’d be delighted to answer any of your questions, so please get in touch with our denture clinics in Perth and Joondalup by calling 08 9300 2332.