8385 N. Cornerstone Drive Hayden, ID  83835
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Types of Dentures and Their Pros and Cons

Dentures for a Quick Smile!

There are different types of dentures just like there are different types of people.  The following types of dentures can be made to fit your smile and your finances.

Full Denture

A full denture replaces all the teeth on one jaw.  This usually is 12 to 14 teeth depending upon the size of the mouth.  Sometimes all the teeth are gone in both jaws.  In this case, you will need 2 full dentures, 1 upper and 1 lower.

However, there is a common case in which a person is missing all their upper teeth and still have most of their lower teeth.  In this was only 1 upper denture is needed. If there are many decayed and broken teeth or very bad gum disease an immediate full denture will be placed.

This means that impressions of the mouth are taken with the broken teeth in place, then in the laboratory dentures are made which will fit over the gums after the extraction of the teeth.

This type of denture will be put in place on the same day that the teeth are extracted.  Usually, an immediate full denture will need to be realigned in 6 months from the date of extraction because the gums shrink after they have healed.

A full upper denture is held in place by suction against the roof of the mouth.  For many people this is satisfactory. For those that find this unsatisfactory, implants can be placed into the bone with nylon snaps which secure the denture instead of just suction alone.

A full lower denture is held in place mostly by gravity.  There is little suction compared to an upper denture.  Many people dislike their lower full denture because it does not stay in place as well as the upper denture.  For this type of denture placing implants is the best solution.

Partial Denture

This type of denture replaces some but not all the teeth in an upper or lower jaw.  This type of denture is not held in place by suction. The partial denture is held in place by custom metal clasps that attach to remaining teeth.

Sometimes one or two implants may be placed to hold this type of denture more securely using nylon snaps which attach to the implants.

Flippers or Temporary Partial Denture

This type of denture is used to replace just 1 or 2 teeth for a short period of time; 6 months to 2 years.  Usually, this is while the patient is waiting for the gums to heal following extractions so that implants can be placed which will support permanent crowns.  

This type of denture is held in place by wires around the remaining teeth rather than custom metal clasps which are used in the partial denture.

Cost for Types of Dentures 

Full denture for upper and lower jaws: $2,000 each or $4,000 for both jaws

Partial denture: $1,500 per jaw

Temporary partial denture: $600

These prices are approximate, individual cases may vary depending on the treatment plan.

Caring for Your Denture

Dentures should be removed at night before you go to bed.  This allows the gum tissues to rebound after supporting a denture during the day.  During the night the denture should be placed in a glass of water after scrubbing the denture with a denture brush.  Once per week it is good to soak the denture in an effervescent rinse sure as Efferdent to remove stain and hardened build-up.  It is still important to visit your dentist regularly, at least yearly, to have the denture professionally cleaned and your mouth screened for oral cancer.

Pros of Dentures

They replace both missing teeth and missing bone and gum tissue. For some people whose faces have collapsed from excessive loss of bone, dentures will support lips and cheeks giving the face a more youthful appearance.  Crowns, bridges, and implants replace missing teeth but not missing bone and sometimes do not support the face as well as a denture.

Dentures are usually less expensive than bridges or implants.  They can be placed quicker with immediately improved cosmetic results.

Crooked teeth can now be replaced with straight ones.

Cons of Dentures

Dentures, especially the lower denture, do not stay put.  They are meant to come in and out of your mouth.  This means that they sometimes come out when you are talking, eating, or sneezing which can be embarrassing.  The human jaw can bite down which is 150 psi of force.

This is what is needed to bite through a tough piece of meat.  Dentures are held in place by air pressure which is 15 psi.  This means after you have your dentures this means that you must learn to chew with one-tenth of the force that you were once able to use with your natural teeth.

If you cannot get used to this then you will have to get implants placed to secure the dentures more firmly.  

Dentures have to be relined. The first time is approximately 6 months after the initial placement of the denture.  This reline is needed because the gums shrink quite a bit following the extraction of the teeth.  After this initial reline dentures may need to be relined every 5 to 10 years depending upon how much the gums continue to shrink.  

Dentures wear out faster than natural teeth.  This is because they are made of plastic compared to the hard enamel of natural teeth.  If they drop on the floor they will chip and possibly crack.  After 5 years or so the tops of the teeth may have worn so much that they no longer support the face adequately, which means that a new denture is needed.  

Dentures cover the roof of the mouth which means that food feels and sometimes tastes differently.  It takes sometimes weeks to months to relearn how to eat and how to talk.  

Dentures can be lost, therefore it is a good idea to have a spare set which is another expense.

Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Update

Dear Patients of Cornerstone Dental Center,

In order to better serve the community, to limit your and everyone’s potential exposure and conserve important medical resources during the Covid-19 challenge, we ask the following:

Please do not come into Cornerstone Dental Center if you have a fever (100 F or higher) or recent onset (last 2 weeks) onset of cough.
Please do not bring another person with you to your appointment unless you are a parent or guardian of the patient being seen.

We will need to take your (and your companion’s) temperature and ask a few questions before you come into our facilities.

If you believe you are ill with Covid-19 or influenza please call your primary care doctor’s office or your local urgent care rather than going in.
Testing for Covid-19 is recommended for you if you meet the following conditions:

  1. If you have a fever over 100 F and a cough, and have any chronic health conditions or are over the age of 60,
  2. If you have a fever over 100 F and a cough, and have had contact in the last 14 days with a known Covid-19 patient or recent travel to affected areas

People with mild symptoms and no underlying chronic health issues (chronic lung or kidney disease, diabetes, immune suppression are examples) are advised to STAY HOME until symptoms (cough, fever) have resolved for 72 hours.  But do call your primary care doctor’s office to find out if you need testing.  If you have shortness of breath, you should go to the Emergency Room (but call first, or have someone call for you).

The Panhandle Health District has set up a hotline if you have questions: 1-877-415-5225

Kootenai County is a strong community and we will get through this by working together to limit the spread, and to protect our medically vulnerable friends and neighbors. Thank you for helping us and each other in this challenging time.