Dentures in Santa Rosa

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 in 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 thereof. 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.

Are You Considering Dentures?

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Drs. Erlach, Anderson, Temnitzer or Bozanich to discuss options for replacing your teeth.

Call us: 707-525-1500

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.


Patient's smile before dentures
Patient's smile after dentures

“Mary presented with failing upper teeth and an unattractive upper partial denture. Dr. Temnitzer restored her function and smile with a well-fitting upper denture.”


Patient's smile before dentures
Patient's smile after dentures

“Esther presented with an unattractive upper denture and failing lower teeth. Dr. Temnitzer restored her smile with a new upper denture and implant-stabilized lower denture.”


Denture FAQ’s

What are Dentures?

Complete Dentures (or plates, false teeth, …) are replacing all teeth with a removable solution. Dentures are made of acrylic and are gum tissue supported. (For Partial Dentures see below)

Are dentures permanent?

A denture can be transitional/temporary, or it can be a treatment option as a permanent solution. Dentures are made of hardened acrylic and are to be replaced every so often, depending on wear and tear. Only diamonds last forever…

How much do dentures cost?

Cost depends on the type of denture. Further, it depends if any pre or post-insertion treatment is needed. A removable denture tends to be more of an economic way of treatment compared to a fixed or implant solution.

What are dentures made of?

Dentures are made of hardened acrylic and may contain a chrome-cobalt metal frame for more strength if needed.

What are partial dentures?

Partial dentures are removable tooth replacements that fill-in gaps and are held in place by the remaining teeth. Often, they will have a metal frame and wires that “hug” some remaining teeth for retention.

How do I clean dentures?

All dentures are best cleaned with cold water and a soft toothbrush or a denture brush. Liquid dish soap may be added to the toothbrush on dentures if needed. Do not use toothpaste as its abrasive properties may scratch the surface. Do not use dish soap in the mouth. See our Denture Care page for more info.

Are removable dentures better than teeth on implants?

Removable dentures have some advantages over fixed teeth on implants, such as cost and cleanability. However, teeth on implants have a much more “real tooth-like feel”.

How do I keep dentures from falling out?

Practice. Wearing dentures is something that must be learned and is not instant know-how. Upper dentures are designed to be held up with suction against the palate. Lower dentures are harder to keep in place because no suction, like with an upper denture, can be achieved. A patient with severe bone loss of the ridges will have an even harder time keeping them in place compared to a patient with ample remaining bone.

How long will new dentures hurt?

Dentures may be of discomfort, especially in the beginning. Once one is accustomed to wearing dentures, fewer sore spots may be expected. Dentures can be especially uncomfortable after teeth have been extracted. The constant changes in the gum surface due to healing and bone remodeling make for a lengthy denture adaptation.

Can dentures be fitted to shrinking gums and bone support?

Yes. After gum and bone volume shrinkage, the denture can be fitted to compensate for the tissue/bone shrinkage. On average, dentures must be fitted/relined every 2-5 years.

Can dentures be whitened?

Dentures and other restorations such as crowns and fillings may not be whitened like natural teeth.

Can dentures be reshaped?

There are some areas on a denture that can be reshaped to accommodate patients’ requests. Other areas on a denture are crucial and are not to be modified to maintain hold and function. Therefore, do not attempt to adjust or alter your dentures at home.

Are dentures comfortable?

Dentures are custom-made for each patient. For denture fabrication, there are several steps to have the outcome successful for comfort, esthetics, and function.

What are flipper teeth?

A “Flipper” is a temporary tooth replacement. It is a removable partial denture-like device made of acrylic without metal support. Flippers are made to temporarily replace teeth immediately after extraction until the healing of the bone has stabilized.

Will dentures look natural?

Dentures can be made to look quite natural. Tooth shade and shape will be selected together with the patient. Past photographs of the patient with natural teeth can be very helpful to recreate certain characteristics that are unique for each individual patient.

Will dentures change my face?

A denture will replace not only missing teeth but also replace lost bone structure. This can give a patient the fullness of the face back to some degree.

How much is an implant denture?

Implant supported dentures are more expensive due to the amount of work and materials that go into them. Come by for an exam and a consultation.

Are overdentures removable?

Overdentures are generally removable vs. fixed denture that is “bolted” into place.

What is the difference between implant retained and implant supported dentures?

Implant retained dentures use implants for retention and are supported by gum tissue. Implant supported dentures are worn on implants only.

How many dental implants are needed for an overdenture?

The number of implants per arch needed generally depends on the type of restoration desired (removable or fixed) and the amount of bone support remaining.