Full & Partial Dentures

When you have missing teeth, it can impact your life severely. Missing teeth can inhibit your desire to smile and affect your ability to chew and enjoy a variety of foods. If implants or bridges are not an option for you, dentures are a common way to replace those teeth. Dr. Rebecca Hartfield can design dentures for the top jaw or the bottom jaw, and they can be full dentures (all teeth are missing) or partial dentures (only some teeth are missing).   

Full Dentures

Full dentures are typically made of a pink acrylic with plastic teeth (plastic teeth are kinder to the supporting bone than porcelain teeth). The plastic denture teeth come in a variety of shades. You can choose to have the denture made with teeth that match the shade of your natural/remaining teeth or can choose to have whiter denture teeth if you prefer. Full dentures can be made for just the top, just the bottom, or both top and bottom.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures can be made of metal with acrylic or can be metal-free. Conventional partials have a metal framework, which supports the acrylic bases where the denture teeth are placed. Metal-free partials are generally made of a thermoplastic polymer or a nylon material. Partial dentures have two or more clasps that hold onto the natural remaining teeth and give the partial denture its retention. The more natural remaining teeth you have present, the better the partial can function.  

Denture Appointments  

Whether you need a full or partial denture, Dr. Rebecca Hartfield’s procedure for making the denture is very similar:

Appointment 1: An impression (copy) is made of your top and bottom jaws that Dr. Hartfield will use to build models of your mouth. Even if we are only making a top or a bottom denture, the opposing side is needed so the lab knows what they are building against. These models will be used in the remaining steps in making your denture. Dr. Hartfield makes the trial denture base in her office and everything else is made by the lab.

Appointment 2: Dr. Hartfield shapes and fits the trial denture base in your mouth.  It has wax where the teeth will be and lets the lab know where to position the teeth on your denture – for example, how long your front teeth should be and how your top and bottom jaws meet.

Appointment 3: Dr. Hartfield tries in the waxed-up denture made by the lab. At this point, the real teeth are set in place but are still in wax so changes can be made. This gives you a chance to preview how the teeth are going to look before the denture is finished and gives Dr. Hartfield a chance to determine if the top and bottom teeth are going to meet properly.

If everything looks good, then the waxed up denture is sent back to the lab to be finished. If anything needs to be changed – color, length, tooth position – Dr. Hartfield will send the waxed-up denture back to the lab to have the changes made and then do another try-in. Once you are happy with the esthetics and Dr. Hartfield is happy with the set-up, she will send it back to the lab to be finished.

Appointment 4 (or more if we did additional try-ins): This is the big day. Dr. Hartfield makes any final adjustments, and you get to wear your new denture home. Be sure to smile!

Please Call to Arrange a Denture Consultation

If you are interested in a new denture or in getting your teeth replaced, call Dr. Rebecca Hartfield at (618) 234-7100. Her staff will be happy to set up an appointment for you where you can talk to Dr. Hartfield about your concerns and she can go over all your options for tooth replacement.