Dentures


A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.

Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.

The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination of both. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodontically treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.

Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dental examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change.

Immediate Dentures

An smiling elderly woman with dentures

An immediate denture may be the best solution when complete extractions of your remaining teeth is unavoidable. An immediate denture will allow you to avoid the embarrassment of living without teeth. We will begin the preparation for this procedure before your teeth are extracted.

The first step is taking impressions of your existing teeth and gums to create accurate duplicates for placement after tooth removal. At your extraction appointment, your immediate dentures are inserted creating a natural smile you can be proud of.

What you should know about immediate dentures

In most cases, we have no way of checking the fit of the denture in your mouth prior to extraction. Esthetic compromises may have to be made is some cases to compensate for inadequate space or structural concerns.

After Extraction

Great care should be taken to follow all postoperative instructions. Your gums and bone will recede after extraction, and regular check-ups and maintenance will monitor healing and reduce problems. Temporary linings or tissue conditioners will be required to create an optimal fit and may need to be adjusted or replaced a number of times during the healing period. A permanent denture reline will be required to ensure a comfortable and an exact fit after you have completed the healing process.

  • The professionals at Weston Dental PC will advise you of the procedure that best suits your individual needs.
  • Temporary denture liners, tissue conditioner and relines are additional services that may have separate fees.
  • Consult our practice with questions about the benefits of an immediate denture.
  • Call today for a Denture Consultation West Des Moines Office Phone Number 515-222-1852.

Implant Retained Dentures

Replacing missing teeth with implant retained dentures

Usually, when you lose a tooth, it is best for your oral health to have it replaced. Missing teeth can affect your “bite” as well as your ability to speak and chew. Their loss can increase the burden on your remaining teeth and can cause muscle pain in your jaws and headaches. And of course, losing a tooth can affect your appearance. The following information reviews replacing missing teeth with an implant retained denture.

Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, some people find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. Several implant-supported replacement options are available if you are missing all of your lower teeth.

What if I’m missing all of my lower teeth?

Ball Attachment Denture

One option is to have two implants placed in your lower jaw and a denture made that snaps onto these dental implants. This option allows your lower denture to be more stable while chewing than without implants. However, there will still be movement of your lower denture, and sore spots will occur if any food particles, especially seeds, are caught under it. As with all removable replacement teeth, you still will need periodic appointments for denture adjustment.

A mouth with the lower jaw missing all of its teeth
1. Before
A mouth with the lower jaw with two implants and no bottom teeth
2. Implants Placed
A mouth with a Ball Attachment Denture latched onto the lower jaw by two implants
3. Denture Attached

Bar Attachment Denture

Another option involves placing four to six implants, depending on your jaw size or shape, into your lower jaw. After healing is complete, the implants are connected with a custom-made support bar. Your denture will be made with special internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, enabling the denture to snap firmly into place. This is called an “overdenture.” The advantage of this option is that it is much more stable than the first option and allows very little denture movement. Your denture is still removable for easy cleaning and maintenance.

A mouth that has all teeth missing on its lower jaw
1. Before
A mouth without teeth and four implants connected by a metal bar on its lower jaw
2. Implants Placed
A mouth with a Bar Attachment Denture secured onto the lower jaw by four implants
3. Denture Attached

Screw Retained Denture

A third option involves placing five or more implants in your jaw and attaching a permanent denture. Your denture is held in place by screws or clasps that secure it to the support posts or bar. It doesn’t touch the gum tissue, which allows you to clean under the denture without removing it. This denture will replace all your missing lower teeth and will not be removed except at maintenance visits. Although cleaning under your denture without removing it is more time consuming and requires more dexterity, many patients who want a permanent denture prefer this option.

A mouth that has all lower jaw teeth missing
1. Before
A mouth that has six implants and no teeth on its lower jaw
2. Implants Placed
A mouth with a Screw Attachment Denture affixed onto the lower jaw by six implants
3. Denture Attached

What If I’m Missing All Of My Upper Teeth?

A similar range of treatment options is also available for your upper jaw. However, because the bone is not as hard as that in the lower jaw, people often need more implants to support their new replacement teeth. Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.

An Implant Retained Upper Denture with its implants attached

Implant Retained Upper Denture

Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. Your denture will feel more natural. You will still have a removable denture, which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.

Implant benefits

  • Improved confidence
  • Stability during eating
  • Bone and gum preservation
  • Improved dental hygiene
  • Superior esthetics
  • Nutritional benefits

Partial Dentures

An example of a prosthetic partial dentureA removable partial denture is designed specifically to meet the needs of the patient and can replace one or more missing teeth. A natural appearance and speech clarity is restored along with the ability to eat more efficiently.

Partial Denture Types and Materials

Partial dentures are created out of a metal and acrylic composition or completely out of acrylic. A patient’s specific needs and anatomy dictate the design of the partial denture and every effort is made to construct a self-cleansing partial denture that preserves the remaining teeth and oral tissues.

Dr. Weston or Dr. Kim will design your partial denture so that the chewing forces are evenly distributed over the entire surface are of the remaining teeth and soft tissues. Changes to your remaining teeth may be recommended to help equalize these forces.

Metal partials are generally preferred as they are structurally superior. They are thinner and more hygienic than an acrylic partial. Acrylic partials are typically used as a transitional or temporary partial. Drs. Weston or Kim will consult with you to determine the appropriate partial for your situation.

Benefits of Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture may help limit movement of your existing natural teeth. They also allow you to better grind and chew food improving digestion.