Complete vs. Partial Dentures
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Complete vs. Partial Dentures

Complete vs. Partial Dentures

Patients in need of dentures have a wide variety of options at their disposal. Dr. Paul Lounsberry, your dentist serving North Austin, can make recommendations based on the number of teeth that need to be replaced in addition to your identified treatment goals.

The two main denture categories are complete and partial. Complete dentures are appropriate when no biological teeth remain in an arch, while partial dentures can be used to fill in for a stretch of missing teeth when some natural teeth are still present.

Dr. Lounsberry can fit patients with two types of complete dentures: immediate or conventional. Patients can wear immediate dentures as soon as any remaining teeth are removed. Alternatively, conventional dentures require patients to wait for 6-8 weeks to be fitted with their appliances. This period gives the gums sufficient time to heal from the tooth extraction.

In planning for immediate dentures, the dentist will take impressions and measurements and create models before the teeth are removed. This sequence allows the denture to be crafted in advance and ready for insertion when the patient’s remaining teeth are extracted.

Immediate dentures often appeal to patients who prefer not to go toothless while their gums heal following teeth extractions. However, immediate dentures can be prone to losing their fit if the gums and jawbone shrink during healing. When this occurs, the dentures will need to be relined so that they will continue to fit the patient’s mouth.

Some patients may choose an immediate denture as an interim solution and then follow up with a conventional denture after the healing process is complete.

Certain patients may also choose yet another appliance, the overdenture, to replace absent teeth. An overdenture fits over remaining teeth and restorations and offers added stability while enhancing the entire smile’s appearance.

In comparison, partial dentures fill in a gap and fit around the remaining teeth in the mouth. Unlike a fixed permanent bridge, partial dentures can be removed. They are linked to adjacent teeth with a system of clamps or some other attachment device.

The different categories and types of dentures are suitable for different situations. If you are considering dentures, talk with Dr. Lounsberry at Balcones Family Dental to determine which approach will be the most appropriate for your specific needs.


We work closely with you and carry out research to understand your needs and wishes.