Complete/Full, Partial, & Immediate Dentures – FAQs

Q1. Which Dentures Are Most Comfortable?

dentures for seniors, dentures, dentures for back teeth,Dentures do not require a surgical procedure like dental implants do, which makes them less invasive. The prosthetic needs to be comfortable but also functional. You should decide on the most comfortable option for you. Your dental condition, and possibly your financial priorities are both factors. Here are some different scenarios to help you make your decision.

  • Replacing one or two teeth– One or two missing teeth are ideally replaced with a bridge, especially an implant bridge in between the nearby teeth. If a denture is preferred, a flexible or a snap on denture may be a good choice. The flexible option comfortably hugs the gum contours, has a good life span, and does not cause damage to the gums. The location of the teeth also needs to be considered.
    • Molars – molars, particularly, the lower back teeth bear more stress from chewing, and flexible dentures may not always be the best fit. A bridge will do better in this case.
    • Upper front teeth or bottom teeth– Upper front teeth or bottom front teeth do not take as much stress as the back teeth by the molars. The appearance is important and partials with well-matched colors will look great and be very comfortable.
    • One or two back molars– If you need to replace the wisdom tooth, it should just be removed. This will not affect your eating abilities or smile. If two or more back molars are affected, the best choice is an implant supported prosthesis. A partial may also be a good solution.
  • Replacing a large number of teeth– If many teeth need to be replaced, a flexible partial can be considered, or an implant supported prosthesis.
  • A Complete or Full Denture– When most or all of the teeth require replacement, a complete or full denture is recommended. This can be flexible, or implant supported. Implants are more costly.

Q2. Which Are The Best Partial Dental

Partial dentures are for patients who need to replace one or two teeth.  If these teeth are molars, the best recommendation is implants, because they are able to support chewing stress, prevent bone loss, feel  natural, and have very few eating limitations.  A flexible partial or an implant supported denture is a good replacement for other teeth. Keep in mind that implants need sufficient, healthy bone in the area. The implant is supported directly by the jaw bone, almost like a normal root, so the bone needs to be healthy. Also remember, that implants take three to six months to achieve their full strength.

Q3. Why Are Dentures Kept in Water or Solution

Conventional dentures made with acrylic need to be stored in water, or a soaking solution when not being worn. Without doing this, the acrylic will dry up and warp. Warped ones will not be able to be used.  It is being wetted by saliva in the mouth, when removed, eg, at night, it must be kept wet.

Q4. How Are Dentures Supposed to Fit

Partials get their support from the close by teeth to which it is attached with metallic clasps or snaps. Flexible partials have invisible thin plastic tentacles instead of clasps. Complete or full dentures are kept in place by suction between the wet gum and it’s inner surface. The palate can also be used as a suction surface with full upper dentures. If it no longer fits, an adhesive can be used as a temporary alternative while new ones are being made.

Q5. Dentures with An Overbite. Underbite, or Crossbite

If you have a natural underbite, overbite, or crossbite, a properly made denture can fix a minor fault in your bite. However, a well fitted denture at the time of manufacture, may also develop a bite fault over time. That can occur quite often, and you do not need to need to live with it. Your dentist will can diagnose the cause and correct the problem.

Q6. When Are Dentures Recommended

A person can lose one or more teeth to disease or a high impact. But if a tooth needs to be extracted it is also suggested that a replacement is placed to restore functionality and smile. One or two teeth will usually be replaced with a bridge, but more teeth can call for a denture. It is always a good idea to consult a dentist before making a decision.

Q7. Why Dentures May Hurt

New dentures can invariably cause pain in the first few days because teeth have been removed and the gums are still sore. This will dissipate as the gums heal. These new devices will also cause an uneasiness as a foreign body in the mouth until you are used to wearing them. They will also be painful when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth, or they do not fit properly. Cracked or damaged dentures will also be painful, and so will warped ones. They can also develop problems with fitting with time as the jaw-bone shrinks. In all cases, it is best to make an appointment at the dental office so a corrective action can be taken, often in the form of a simple relining.

Q8. Partial Dentures Materials

In conventional dentistry, partial dentures are made with acrylic, with a gum colored base and teeth matching the colors of the existing teeth.  Metallic clasps are typically used, while gum colored acrylic clasps are also a possibility. Acrylic is rigid, and will dry up if not stored in water or solution. Acrylic dentures need to be relined after a period of time. A newer material is nylon which is pliable and the closest to natural gum appearance and texture, and grips the gums more efficiently. In addition, the clasps are replaced with fine tentacles that grip the nearby teeth invisibly.

Q9. How Dentures Are Made and Fitted

Fitting dentures is an easy step by step process.

  • partial denture, partial dentures for seniors, denturesExamination- You will undergo a visual oral examination and an x-ray to be sure that there are no dental issues which will make them unsuitable for you. Your bite will also be examined..
  • A size and color for the teeth will be chosen.
  • Impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to the laboratory. Or, a digital impression is taken with an intraoral camera and software.
  • Try-in dentures will be checked for good fitting, bite, and smile. Small changes may be required.
  • The final prosthesis is fabricated by the lab and delivered to your dentist. The dentist fits it on you in your next appointment, and checks for proper fitting. Minor changes may be made to make sure it fits.

Q10. Dentures- What Can I Eat?

Dentures fix your oral abilities and your smile. But you cannot expect to use them like your natural teeth. You should be careful about what you eat with them to prevent damage. Here are two short lists of foods you should be cautious eating, and items you should avoid completely.

  • Foods to Be Careful with- You must avoid or be careful while eating
    • Acidic Foods: Such as citrus juices and fruits
    • Sugary foods- Avoid foods with high sugar content
    • Dehydrating Foods– Dehydration can damage the acrylic in your dentures. Avoid, liquor, tea, coffee, etc.
  • Foods to Absolutely Avoid
    • Nuts & Seeds: These can cause physical damage to them. Also avoid fruit with seeds such as guava
    • Hard-to-Chew Foods: This includes underdone steaks, pop-corn, dry fruit, etc.
    • Hard candy– All kinds.

Q11. When Should Dentures Be Relined

Dentures will sometimes need to be relined, particularly when they start to hurt while being worn. This is due to the jaw-bone shrinking (resorbing) in a natural process caused by the absence of teeth in their sockets. (Implants avoid this shrinkage). As the gum shrinks, the rigid acrylic prosthetic loosens, and becomes unusable. If it no longer fits, consult your dentist immediately.

Q12. Dentures for Seniors; After 60

At sixty, or even before, it is common for seniors to wear a full or partial denture. As one ages, physical and dental health begins to decay. Most significantly, body resistance against disease will also decrease. Many elders have Alzheimer’s disease, and will not be able to properly care for their oral hygiene. A good quarter of the senior population suffers from gum disease, which can cause tooth loss. Thus, many seniors are interested in full or complete dentures. Since weak and deficient jaw bones are common in seniors due to osteoporosis, they will be unfit for implant bridges and conventional or flexible dentures will probably be preferred.

Q13. How to Care for Dentures

Dentures need care. Good care will prolong their longevity, and make things easier for you.  The following points are useful.

  • Eating will expose them to food particles in the mouth. Always remove and rinse your dentures after you eat.
  • They are made with acrylic; hence they are very brittle. If you drop them by accident, they may break or crack. In either situation, they can not be repaired or used. Handle them with care, preferably over a towel.
  • Invariably clean your mouth after you remove your dentures. Anything left in the mouth will stay under the denture and cause infection.
  • Keep them clean by brushing them at least once a day.
  • They need to be kept in a soaking solution or clean water when they are removed at night. Not doing this will cause them to dry up and warp. This means they will no longer fit comfortably.
  • Always rinse them before putting them back in your mouth, particularly if they have been kept in a soaking solution.

Find out more about dentures here.

Q14. Are Dentures Covered by Insurance?

Yes, various insurance plans will cover dentures. But whether they are covered in your situation, and to what degree, depends on the details of your insurance plan. Before you decide on this or other (major) treatment you check with your insurer. We can also check if we can accept your insurance plan towards the cost, and to what extent.


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Zahid H. Ahmed, DDS, FICOI, FAGD

Dr. Zahid Ahmed combines current advances in dentistry with holistic health to bring patients the best possible dental care. His goal is to provide patients with personalized service, creating lasting relationships based on trust and expertise.

Dr. Ahmed received his DDS from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He has worked as an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF and maintains a position as Clinical Instructor at Stanford University. He is recognized as a Fellow in both the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (FICOI). He believes continuous learning in dentistry allows him to stay current, and provide the best possible dental care for his patients.

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