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A woman in her 50s is smiling with a cup of coffee as she understands what complete dentures are thanks to Fixodent.

6 minutes to read

Posted: 03.15.2021

What Are Full Dentures?

You’ve spent most of your existence biting through life, so why stop now? Complete dentures are here to the rescue, ready to stand in where your natural teeth once did the job (and kudos to your teeth—they really did well). But now that your natural teeth have retired it’s time for the complete denture to take over. So, what are full or complete dentures, and how can they make you more confident?

In this article:

What Are Complete Dentures?

A complete denture, also known as a full denture, takes up the whole mouth rather than just a part of it. It’s a removable device that can be used to replace missing teeth and is used by someone who has lost all of their teeth. Complete dentures are usually made from acrylic.

Types of Full Dentures

You can get different types of full-mouth dentures, so if you hear the terms premium and economy dentures, these will explain them to you to help you decide which could be best for you.

Premium Dentures

As the name may indicate, premium dentures are high-quality, removable dentures. They are made to fit accurately and comfortably and have been designed by a dentist and custom-made by a specialized dental technician. Premium dentures also customize the acrylic with various types of pigmentation to make the teeth look natural. These dentures cost more, but you get a high-quality denture that fits you perfectly, looks great, and is made with quality materials. In fact, since the denture fits better, it requires fewer follow-up visits to get it refitted or relined, so in the longer term, it could also save you money.

Economy Dentures

Economy dentures are a good choice for people looking for affordable dentures. They cost less, but they are generic and may not be the best fit or the most comfortable. Even though these dentures cost less upfront, they can rack up costs over the years as they may need more readjustments or relining due to a poor fit.

Parts of Complete Dentures

There are two parts of a complete denture:  

  • Artificial teeth. These function like regular teeth, and help you chew and bite food as you did before tooth extraction. They also restore the appearance of natural teeth. 

  • Denture base. This part of the denture acts as a foundation for artificial teeth and also restores the defective soft and hard tissues. 

Infographic showing Parts of complete dentures: Denture base: this part of the denture acts as a foundation for artificial teeth. Artificial teeth: these function like regular teeth, and help you chew and bite food.

However, since your mouth is slightly different on the upper and lower parts of your jaw, your denture will also be somewhat different.  

  • Full upper denture. This part of the denture is called the maxillary arch and features a plate covering the roof of the mouth. 

  • Full lower denture. This section is the mandibular arch and is a horse-shoe shaped denture that rests on the gum and bone tissues.

Complete dentures are great, they make your life so much easier and more enjoyable, from smiling with confidence to biting into your favorite foods. However, since complete dentures are removable, you might need something to keep them in place. That’s where Fixodent can help: Our denture adhesives keep your full dentures in place so you won’t have to worry about your dentures falling out of place while you’re out at dinner.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Full Dentures

So why complete dentures? They don’t just improve the look of your mouth (most dentures are highly realistic, so it looks like you have all your teeth) but dentures can also make you feel more confident. Not just because you look good, but dentures can help you eat and speak the way you did with your natural teeth, so you can continue with life just like before.

Advantages of Full Dentures

The pros of getting full dentures are:

Disadvantages of Full Dentures

Like with anything, there are also downsides, and dentures are no exception.

These are the cons of full dentures:

  • They require maintenance like repairs and relining.

  • The retention for lower dentures declines over time.

  • Sometimes, they can slip out of place when eating or speaking.

Full vs. Partial Dentures

You may have heard the terms full dentures and partial dentures, but you may not be clear as to the difference between them.

  • Full dentures. They take up the upper and/or lower part of the mouth and require you have all your teeth removed.

  • Partial dentures. They only take up a part of the mouth where you have missing teeth. Someone who has a partial denture still has natural teeth, which can be used to secure the partial denture in place.

Both partial dentures and full dentures are made with a flesh-colored plastic or acrylic base that’s fitted to sit comfortably on the gums, topped with real-looking prosthetic teeth. They should be removed before going to bed and cleaned every night.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Full Dentures

What is considered a full denture?

A full denture takes up your upper and/or lower half of your mouth when all the teeth have been removed.

What is the difference between partial and full dentures?

Partial dentures are used when you still have strong, natural teeth left and need a denture to fill the gap left by missing teeth. Full dentures, on the other hand, take up the whole mouth when all the teeth have been extracted.

Are full dentures better than partials?

They are different as they cater to different needs. Full dentures are suitable for those who have had all their teeth removed, while partial dentures are for those who only have a few missing teeth and need a denture to replace them.

How many teeth are in a full set of dentures?

There are 14 or more artificial teeth on the gum-colored base of a full set of dentures.

Are full dentures comfortable?

Thanks to advancing technology in dentures, they can be really comfortable and are designed to give you the feeling of natural teeth. If dentures fit well and are high quality, then they can be really comfortable. If you want some extra security and comfort, you can also use a denture adhesive.

How are full dentures held in place?

Full dentures are held in place by forming a seal with the gums. You can also get dentures that are held in place with dental implants, these are known as snap-on dentures. This is why getting the fit right is important, as dentures that fit well stay securely in place, while those that don’t, can move around.

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