Dentures Types Costs Alternatives Care Insurance Implants

Dentures Types Costs Alternatives Care Insurance Implants


When a person loses teeth, they may experience various problems. They may become less confident in their smile and have difficulty speaking and eating certain foods. Dentures are custom-made appliances that replace missing teeth and restore lost appearance and oral functions.

Dentures can be full or partial.

  • A full denture is used when all teeth are missing.
  • A partial denture is used when some teeth are missing.

What are the types of dentures?

The types of dentures include:

  • Complete Dentures: Made of a colored plastic base that replicates gum tissue and supports a full set of plastic or porcelain teeth. They can be held in place by forming a seal with the gums or by attaching to dental implants.
  • Partial Dentures: Made with a plastic base or a metal framework that supports the missing teeth. They are held in place by clasps and rests adapted around the natural teeth. Plastic partial dentures have been used as temporary replacements, but durable and flexible alternatives have been developed.

How are dentures made?

After a tooth is extracted or lost, the socket fills with bone and the gum tissue heals and changes shape. A conventional full denture is made about 8 to 12 weeks after teeth extraction or loss.

The process starts by taking impressions of the oral tissues that will support the denture. Models are created from these impressions, and the dentures are built and fitted in the patient’s mouth. Several adjustments may be necessary during the first month after the denture is delivered.

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An immediate denture can be made before teeth extraction, but it requires more adjustments during the healing stage.

Are there alternatives to dentures?

Missing teeth can also be replaced with bridges and implants.

  • Bridges: Replace missing teeth by placing crowns on teeth next to the space and attaching a fake tooth to both crowns. Bridges can only replace two to three missing teeth in a row.
  • Implants: Metal posts inserted into the bone of the jaw that can replace single or multiple teeth, providing a more natural appearance.


Will dentures affect appearance, eating, and speaking?

Dentures can restore a person’s appearance and be virtually undetectable. Initially, it may take time to adjust to wearing and using dentures. Eating and speaking require practice, but they become easier over time. Dentures are generally worn during the day and removed at night to relax the oral tissues. Dentures should be handled with care, cleaned daily, and placed in a container with water or denture cleaner when not being worn.

Should denture adhesive be used?

Denture adhesive can be applied to enhance stability and retention but should not compensate for a poorly fitting denture.

Are dentures affordable?

Denture prices vary widely, with a set of dentures costing at least a couple thousand dollars.

Does dental insurance cover denture costs?

Most dental insurance companies cover some or all of the cost of dentures, making them more affordable.

How long do dentures last?

If cared for properly, dentures should last a minimum of 5 years. Regular dental checkups can help maintain the fit of the denture.

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Minor denture repairs can usually be done within 1 to 2 days. Denture repair kits can be purchased to fix minor issues, but it is best to contact a dentist for proper denture repair.

"Restoring your smile with dentures." Journal of the American Dental Association. 143.5 (2012): 528.

American Dental Association. "Dentures." Mouth Healthy. 2013.

Carr, Alan B. and David T. Brown. McCracken’s Removable Partial Prosthodontics. 11th ed. Mosby, Inc.

Grasso, Joseph E. "Denture adhesives: changing attitudes." Journal of the American Dental Association 127.1: 90-96.


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