People lose their teeth for many reasons: periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), old cavities that have never been repaired, and years of poor dental hygiene. When dentures are being considered as an alternative to implants, there are a few different choices:
- Partial dentures: When a person loses several of their teeth, an impression can be made of the mouth and a set of teeth can be created to match the size, color and shape of your original teeth. This partial denture can then be attached to your natural teeth securely. The benefit of partial dentures is that they will maintain the spacing between your remaining teeth, which prevents your bite from becoming collapsed as the remaining teeth in your mouth will move to fill the space left by the extracted teeth. This will help to avoid TMJ (temporamandibular joint problems), which can cause jaw and head pain, ear aches and difficulty when trying to open and close your jaw.
- Overdentures: These are dentures that fit over remaining teeth that are in the mouth but may be short or damaged.
- Full dentures: Full dentures are the choice to make when all the teeth have been pulled and the appropriate amount of time has been taken for the healing process to be complete. The time between the extraction of any teeth and the impression needed to create the dentures leaves you with no teeth at all for a short time, but the end result is worth it.
- Immediate dentures: Sometimes dentures can be placed in the mouth the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. After gums have healed, the dentures can be re-lined to fill the gap between the gums and the dentures that has formed after tooth removal.