They are many types of permanent dentures available, the selection of which dictates by patient’s oral conditions and partly, by the patient’s preferences. Generally, there are categorized as:
- Partial Denture – indicated for patients who have loss some of their natural teeth.
- Complete Denture or Full Denture – indicated for patients who have loss all of their teeth.
Complete and partial denture can further be divided into those which are fixed permanently in the mouth and those which can be removed out of the mouth. Example of fixed partial dentures is dental bridges; whereas example of fixed full denture is implant supported complete denture. Of course, a patient could also opt for single or multiple tooth implants as one of the options to restore their esthetic, speech and masticatory (chewing) function.
Removable vs fixed denture
Generally, removable dentures cost is much cheaper than the implant supported denture. Furthermore, it is less invasive compared to the implant supported denture.
Removable dentures only require a few visits for the completion of the denture; whereas implant supported denture require a longer period of time for placement of screw, healing of the bone and gum tissue, before a denture can be place on the implant structure. Needless to say, an implant supported denture is more expensive. However, the stability of the denture is much more superior to that removable type.
For patient with unsalvageable front teeth who require extraction but are worrying about their appearance, there is something known as the immediate denture.
Immediate denture is issued to the patient on the day of extraction after the bleeding has been arrested. However, due to bone changes after the extraction, the denture will be loose after a few months and the denture will be modified by process known as relining or rebasing. Alternatively, a whole new denture is constructed after the bone changes have stabilized.
Caring for denture and the oral tissue
A patient with a new denture requires time to adapt to the new dentures. Since a permanent denture is a foreign object in the mouth, it is very normal for the patient to salivate excessively for the first few hours to first few days of wearing a new denture. However, as the oral tissues adapt, the excessive salivation will cease.
A removable denture should be removed out of the mouth at night before going to sleep to allow the oral tissues to rest. Unlike the fixed denture that gains its support from the implant structure, the removable type of denture lies and compressed on the oral tissue when the patient is wearing the denture. The denture should be clean with soft bristle toothbrush and soak it in the water or any denture cleansing agent to prevent drying of the denture and at the same time maintain the cleanliness of the denture.
Patient should be reminded that wearing the denture for prolonged period of time coupled with poor denture hygiene can cause fungal infection in the mouth, especially in the debilitated and poorly controlled diabetic patient.