A denture (or complete denture) is a removable prosthetic device that can be used to replace all the teeth in one or both of jaws. A denture is made entirely of plastic and rests on the gum tissue. Dentures have been around for centuries, and are still a valuable and cost-effective treatment option for patients who have lost or might soon lose all of their teeth.
A partial (or partial denture) is a removable prosthetic device that can be used to replace segments of missing teeth in one or both jaws. A partial is made with plastic teeth fused to a metal framework and it rests both on the gum tissue and the remaining teeth. A partial can also be made entirely of plastic, though this is more of a temporary solution.
In many cases, implants can be used to help secure a denture or partial in such a way that it either snaps onto 2-4 dental implants or is permanently bolted to 4-6 dental implants. The snap-in version is called an overdenture and the fixed variety is called a hybrid, but both represent a huge improvement in quality of life for patients struggling with a conventional denture or partial.
Denture and Partial Specialists?
A significant portion of a prosthodontist’s specialty education focuses on the design, fabrication, and clinical procedures related to dentures and partial dentures. This training includes particular attention to how the prosthesis fits the gums for patient comfort, how the prosthesis fits the opposing teeth for chewing function, how the teeth look for a natural appearance, and how to use dental implants to help secure the denture/partial.
At Trailhead Dental, Dr. Limmer also performs a significant portion of the laboratory work related to these types of prostheses at our in-office lab, which gives him complete control over the final outcome.