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Full and Partial Dentures

Table of contents

Dentures can be full or partial. Each is a removable appliance to replace missing teeth and some gum tissue. Full dentures are needed when an entire arch of teeth is missing. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Both are an affordable solution for tooth loss.

What is a Full Denture?

A full denture has a gum-colored acrylic base that might be strengthened with wire. The base supports the denture teeth. A full denture rests directly on the gums, gaining support and retention from the ridge of the jawbone that originally held your natural teeth.

What is a Partial Denture

A partial denture also has a gum-colored acrylic base supporting denture teeth. It has a lightweight metal frame, usually made from cobalt chrome, which provides additional strength and stability to the denture while ensuring it doesn’t feel too bulky. Although this denture also rests on the gums, there are clasps designed to fit around natural teeth, helping hold the denture more securely.

Some partial dentures rely on precision attachments. These are special attachments designed to look into corresponding attachments in dental crowns fitted over natural teeth. The special attachments can create a more natural-looking dental appliance than visible metal clasps around teeth.

Full vs Partial Dentures

What Is a Flexible Denture?

There is another type of partial denture called a flexible denture. Instead of a base made from acrylic, it has a base made from a flexible nylon material that is more comfortable to wear. The clasps fit around natural teeth and are made from the same material, making the overall effect more discreet.

Flexible dentures can be a good option for anyone who finds wearing a more traditional denture uncomfortable. However, they lack the stability of a full or partial denture and are only suitable in certain circumstances. They are not suitable for constructing full dentures.

What Is the Process for Having a Denture?

You will need to visit My New Jersey Dentist several times during the making and fitting of your new full or partial denture.

One common worry amongst patients is that they may be left without teeth during treatment, especially if they have failing teeth that need removal. An immediate or same-day denture can solve this problem. It is made before your teeth are removed and fitted soon afterward.

You wear the immediate denture for two or three months until the gums and jawbone have healed. It may be necessary to adjust the denture several times during the healing period, relining the fitting surface as your gums heal and shrink. During this healing period, the gums are still changing shape quite quickly, which is why we cannot make your new denture more quickly.

First Visit

During your first visit, we take dental impressions of your mouth. These are used to create more accurate impression trays, called special trays, and a wax bite rim.

Second Visit

We use special trays during your second visit to take a more accurate impression of your mouth. The wax bite rim records important measurements such as the midline of your mouth, the height between your upper and lower jaws, and the approximate position where certain teeth should be located.

We will help you select suitable denture teeth that complement your facial appearance, skin tone, and gender. Our range includes denture teeth from budget-friendly to premium quality. These denture teeth are used to create your try-in and permanent dentures.

Third Visit

Your try-in denture is created using pink wax that replicates the acrylic base and supports your chosen denture teeth. Fitting this denture in your mouth allows us to assess its appearance and functionality.

We can use the try-in denture to make final adjustments before the denture is processed and finished. If substantial changes are needed, we may need you to come and see us again for another try-in.

Fourth Visit

Your denture is now finished and ready to be fitted. We will almost certainly need to make some adjustments to get the fit precise. We may suggest a follow-up visit a week later to ensure your new denture feels comfortable or to make further adjustments.

Getting Used to Your New Dentures

Any new dental appliance takes a while to get used to, and be prepared to spend some time becoming accustomed to how it looks and feels.

Eating with Dentures

For the first few days, eat softer foods that require minimal or no chewing, such as mashed potato, pasta, oatmeal, yogurt, and softly cooked vegetables. As you get used to your denture, you can gradually introduce more foods into your diet.

Speaking with Dentures

You may initially find speaking is different, so practice speaking in front of the mirror until you feel confident.

How to Keep Your New Denture in Place

Your new denture may also move around until the muscles in your cheeks and lips have become accustomed to keeping it in place. When this happens, use your tongue to reposition it and bite down gently on both sides of your mouth.

Looking after Your New Denture

It is important to clean your dentures thoroughly, and we can give you useful and practical advice after they are fitted. You shouldn’t sleep in your denture. It must be removed overnight to give your gums a chance to recover.

  • Clean your denture over a bowl of water or a towel so that if you drop it, it will not break.
  • Use a soft-bristled denture brush to clean your denture. An ordinary toothbrush is too hard and could damage the acrylic.
  • Clean your denture using a proprietary cleaning solution or dish soap. Do not use bleach, as this will also damage the acrylic.
  • After cleaning your denture, leave it in a proprietary soaking solution overnight. It is important to keep your denture moist while out of the mouth as otherwise it could warp.

What to Do If You Break Your Denture?

Accidents can happen; if you break or damage your denture, contact us immediately. Please do not try to mend it yourself, especially do not try to glue it together. Using ordinary household glue or superglue on your denture could damage it beyond repair.

Our on-site dental laboratory can complete denture repairs quickly. You need not worry that you will be left without teeth for any length of time.

How Much Will Dentures Cost?

Dentures are very affordable, but the cost depends on your chosen teeth, the type of denture, and how many teeth it replaces. Most dental insurance will cover all or most of the cost of dentures.

How Long Will Dentures Last?

Dentures can last anywhere between three and seven years before you need to replace them. We can check their fitting condition during your regular dental exams. Over time, the fit of your denture will change and become looser as your jawbone changes shape. At this point, we may be able to reline the fitting surface of the denture to ensure it fits more securely.

If you need to use denture adhesive to keep your denture in place, it could indicate it’s time to have it relined or remade.

What Are the Advantages of Choosing Dentures?

The advantages of choosing this solution include the following.

  1. A denture is a cost-effective solution for tooth loss.
  2. No surgery is required.
  3. It can be fabricated quite quickly.
  4. A well-designed denture is reasonably comfortable to wear, and because it is removable, it is easy to keep clean.
  5. Modern denture teeth come in various colors, shapes, and sizes and can be arranged to look natural and appealing.
  6. It may be possible to add additional teeth to a partial denture.

What Are the Disadvantages in Choosing Dentures?

Disadvantages of choosing this option include the following.

  1. Dentures can become ill-fitting after just a few years and will start to move around in the mouth.
  2. Dentures can rub uncomfortably on the gums, creating sore spots that may not heal easily.
  3. Loose dentures make it tricky to speak, and some people become self-conscious and anxious that their dentures could even fall out in social situations.
  4. Dentures can limit your food choices because they lack the biting and chewing strength of natural teeth and other tooth replacements.
  5. Denture retention can reduce significantly over the years due to jawbone resorption, which is why they become loose.
  6. Because dentures rest directly on the gums, the pressure can accelerate jawbone loss.
  7. The resulting jawbone loss can affect facial dimensions as support for the cheeks and lips diminishes.

Why Denture Wearers Still Need to See a Dentist

Seeing a dentist for preventive care is about far more than just maintaining healthy teeth. Even if you have no natural teeth remaining, it’s still important to see a dentist regularly for checkups so we can assess your oral health and ensure there aren’t any signs of other oral diseases. We also conduct oral cancer screenings regularly.

Is There an Alternative to Dentures?

Many people find partial and full dentures a good solution for tooth loss. Others find it increasingly awkward and uncomfortable to wear their denture regularly. An alternative is to consider dental implants. These can provide fixed and removable solutions, including implant crowns, bridges, and dentures.

An implant denture can be an affordable choice, clipping firmly onto relatively few dental implants inserted into your jawbone. You can remove the denture easily for cleaning, yet it remains firmly in position when in the mouth. An implant denture provides greater biting strength than an ordinary denture, making it easier to eat a wider choice of foods and feel more confident in your appearance.

Modern dentures are very different from those you may remember older family members wearing in years gone by. They can look natural, provide good functionality, and are ideal for anyone who doesn’t wish or cannot have oral surgery. However, other options are available, and we can discuss all possible choices, including costs when you visit us for your consultation.


+ What the best way to replace missing teeth?

Today, it’s easier than ever to replace missing teeth and achieve natural-looking, durable, and long-lasting results! Depending a patient’s dental needs, lifestyle, expectations of care, and budget, choices can include conventional fixed bridgework, dental implants, or removable partial and complete dentures. At the office of My New Jersey Dentist, we’ll discuss all your options in care and answer all your questions as you choose the solution that’s right for you.

+ What’s a same-day denture?

A same-day denture offers an accelerated design and fabrication process that allows a patient to go from impression taking to denture insertion in a single day.

+ What is the main benefit of an immediate denture?

For patients who don’t want to wait after having teeth extracted, an immediate denture can be inserted the same day your teeth are removed. Sometime later you may need the denture reline to address any changes in its fit once the extraction sites have completely healed.

+ What if I break my denture?

While no one wants to drop or break a partial or complete denture, accidents do happen. The good news is that in some cases, your partial or complete denture is reparable. It all depends on the extent of the damage. Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you’ve broken or damaged your denture. We’re happy to help.

+ What if the clasps on my partial have loosened?

The simple act of taking your partial denture in and out can cause certain types of metal clasps to loosen over time. When you come in for your checkup visit or contact our office for an adjustment, we’ll assess the fit of your partial and tighten the clasps for improved stability and comfort.

+ How much do partial or complete dentures cost?

While rebuilding a complete smile is a worthwhile investment, our office is sensitive to the costs involved in dental care. We customized care and will discuss which treatment options address your needs, lifestyle, and budget. How much a new denture will cost depends on the type of the prosthesis, its design, and the materials used to fabricate the supportive base, teeth, and clasps or precision attachments. Dentures that include the placement of dental implants for added retention and stability typically involve additional costs.

+ Why choose the office of My New Jersey Dentist?

At the office of My New Jersey Dentist, we provide an extensive range of dental services, including the latest and most effective methods to help patients with missing teeth rebuild complete and beautiful smiles. As skilled and experienced professionals, we recognize that every patient is different, and every smile is unique. We’re passionate about what we do and take great pride in providing personalized treatment plans while treating our patients as valued partners in care.

Page Updated on May 13, 2024 by Dr. Victoria Kushensky, DDS (Dentist) of My New Jersey Dentist
Victoria Kushensky D.D.S

My name is Victoria Kushensky. I am a general dentist dedicated to remaining at the forefront of my field. Combining compassionate care with extensive knowledge, I offer cosmetic and general dentistry services as well as advanced root canal treatments.

I earned my Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the esteemed New York University College of Dentistry. Throughout my career, I have honed my skills in various dental procedures, ensuring effective treatment for each patient’s unique needs. I prioritize patient comfort and understanding, taking the time to thoroughly explain procedures and address any questions.

More about Dr. Kushensky

My NJ Dentist: Victoria Kushensky, DDS
385 Prospect Ave Suite 304
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(201) 298-8000