What are complete dentures? Who needs them?

Close up Beauty teeth

Complete dentures are artificial teeth along with the denture base and designed to restore the appearance and teeth functionality. In addition, they also help with occlusion, oral function, and word pronunciation.

How do complete dentures work?

The dental base of complete dentures is the foundation of artificial teeth and is used to restore soft and hard tissues. When a person with complete dentures eats food, the biting force is exerted from artificial teeth through the denture base to the oral mucosa and bone tissues.

As tooth support cannot be obtained, the denture base covers a bigger area of the oral mucosa, compared to removable partial dentures. Unlike removable partial dentures, there is no need to use connectors with complete dentures because there is no necessity of space to install a major connector onto the complete denture and minor connectors are not used because of the absence of any healthy abutments.

Hence, complete dentures retain their position by sub-pressure and adherence to the underlying tissue. Sub-pressure is exerted only if the complete denture’s base is attached closely to oral mucosa and a quality peripheral seal is applied.

Do complete dentures remain stable in the mouth?

Before a dentist prescribes complete dentures, they assess the effects of oral hard and soft tissues on the retention ability. Otherwise, dentures may not remain stable if there is large tuberosity, sharp bone apexes, or hyperplastic oral mucosa. Sometimes, an oral operation is also needed to resolve such issues before applying complete dentures to increase the retention of complete dentures in the mouth.

Retention of complete dentures is reduced significantly if:

  • Jawbone has been absorbed and become narrow and flat
  • The initial elasticity and thickness are substantially reduced in oral mucosa

In such cases, additional implants might be used to ensure that complete dentures remain in their place.

How long do complete dentures last?

Usually, complete dentures are made of composite resins. However, due to their low strength and poor aging properties, they don’t last for long.

Improved properties are available in complete dentures that are made of metal materials, such as pure titanium or titanium alloy denture bases. However, they are more expensive and that’s why complete dentures made of composite resins are more popular.

Another alternative is to use complete dentures with a base made of composite resin but reinforced by prefabricated metal meshes or metal wires embedded inside the resin. This alternative is considered a good compromise between price, quality, and longevity.

Who needs complete dentures?

Complete dentures are recommended when all teeth are missing in a person. So, it is suitable for only those people who have lost most or all of their teeth. One can have a complete denture on the upper or lower jaw or both.

Getting complete dentures on time is essential because bones and gums can shrink over time, adding complexity to the treatment. The complete denture that is fitted right after teeth removal is called an immediate denture. And the full denture that is fitted after the healing period is called a conventional denture.

If you or someone in your family has lost all of their teeth due to aging, an accident, or some disease in Valdese, book an appointment to see if complete dentures in Valdese are the right solution to restore appearance, functionality, and smile.

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