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A Guide to the Types of Denture Options
Dentures are those “false teeth” seen floating in a glass of water in movies. They are an artificial replacement for the teeth and gums that have been lost due to old age, an accident or oral health problems.
The different types of dentures
Dentures are either complete or partial. Complete dentures are for people who are missing all of their teeth while partial dentures are for people who still have teeth. Dentures can also be fixed or removable.
Complete dentures are designed to replace an entire set of teeth. They fit precisely over the gums and the jawbone and are made specifically for each individual. Depending on individual circumstances, complete dentures can be made and put in right away, or delayed due to the extraction of teeth to fit the model.
To create the dentures, a dentist will have to take precise measurements, impressions, or molds of the patient’s mouth. During the waiting period, the gum and bone heal from the extraction and a temporary denture is used. When the denture is finished being made, it is fitted into the mouth and the fit and appearance is assessed for flaws. After this, the denture is perfected and given to the patient for use.
Pros of complete dentures
- All of the patient’s teeth will look the same
- They can be removed for cleaning
- They support the lips and cheeks
- They boost confidence
Cons of complete dentures
- They can become loose or fall out
- They may need adjustments or replacements over time
- Fear of them slipping out or coming loose
Partial dentures are used to fill in the space of a missing tooth or teeth. These dentures are attached to neighboring teeth using special clips or clasps which are made of metal, gum or tooth-colored materials.
To create these dentures, a mold is made in order to create a partial denture suited to the shape and size of the patient’s mouth and teeth. These are easily removable and replaceable and can even replace teeth that are on another side of the mouth.
Pros of partial dentures
- They are able to bridge gaps between missing teeth
- They do not usually require the extraction of other teeth
- They are easily cleaned
Cons of partial dentures
- Metal clasps or clips may be visible when speaking
Immediate dentures, as the name suggests, are dentures that are made in advance of a tooth extraction and given to a patient immediately. These dentures can be either complete or partial and completely removes the wait time many patients suffer through after getting an extraction.
Pros of immediate dentures
- There is little to no wait time
- They are removable
Cons of immediate dentures
- They may have to be replaced after the gums and jaw heal
- They may slip out
- They are not an option for everyone
Flexible dentures are an alternative to partial dentures. They are less bulky and require no adhesives or metal clasps. This type of denture is also much more comfortable, does not impede speech and blends in with the natural color of the gums. The only real drawback is that they are more expensive.
Implant retained dentures
Implant retained dentures are a new and improved version of complete dentures. Instead of fitting on top of the gum, these dentures are surgically fused into the jawbone using titanium metal roots. When the implant is fused, the dentures are secured atop them using a ball or bar to snap them into place, hence the name “snap on/in dentures”
These dentures are much more aesthetically pleasing and look completely natural. Despite the fact that they are removable, they are much more stable than their alternatives and patients tend to be much more confident with this option.
Pros of implant retained dentures
- They are more secure and stable
- They are less bulky
- They do not have to be removed for cleaning
Cons of implant retained dentures
- They require surgery to be implanted
- They are more expensive than other options
Fixed partial dentures
Otherwise known as a crown and bridge, fixed partial dentures are an alternative to the removable partial denture and are able to bridge gaps between teeth. They are more expensive than removable partial dentures and can only be removed by a dentist.
Pros of fixed partial dentures
- They are more secure
- They do not need to be removed for cleaning
- They are comfortable
Cons of fixed partial dentures
- They are expensive
- One bridge and crown cannot bridge gaps in multiple locations
- Some drilling may need to take place
Dentures are not a permanent solution and can last from anywhere between five to ten years. Be mindful of all options and weigh them carefully before making a decision.
If you still have questions, give us a call today. We’re happy to help in any way that we can.
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