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Types of Dentures and Which is Best for You
If you have lost some or all of your teeth, you will almost certainly find that the way that you use your teeth has been adversely affected. Some patients find that they need to change the way in which they eat, while others will notice that the way that they pronounce sound is altered. Unsurprisingly, missing teeth can have an impact on your confidence in your smile too, particularly if the gaps are near the front of your mouth.
Tooth loss is extremely common, but fortunately, this means that time and effort has been placed into finding solutions for this issue and dentures remain one of the most popular and effective ways of replacing teeth. There are also a number of different denture options available.
What are the different types of dentures?
The design of dentures has evolved considerably since its inception, and today’s dentures are much more modern, discreet and comfortable. There are also several different types of dentures that patients can choose from.
This is the style of denture that most people are familiar with. They involve an entire arch of prosthetic teeth that have been placed into a flesh-colored mold that sits over the top of the gums and is held in place using special denture adhesive. Dentures for the upper arch also have a plate that sits across the roof of the mouth to give them greater stability. Meanwhile, dentures for the lower arch are horseshoe-shaped to allow room for the tongue to move freely.
Both the mold and your prosthetic teeth are entirely custom for you, created in the shape, size, and shade needed to look as natural as possible once the denture is in place. Unsurprisingly, traditional dentures are recommended for those patients who have lost most of or all of the teeth in their upper and/or lower jaws.
Another thing to be aware of about traditional dentures is that they must be removed at night so that you can clean them. This involves brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as placing them in a glass of water mixed with cleaning solution overnight. This helps to keep them in tip-top condition and free from bacteria which could compromise your oral health.
As you may have guessed from the name, partial dentures are designed to fill a gap in your dental arch that has been created by missing teeth. These teeth, like those that are missing in a complete denture, may have fallen out or been extracted due to trauma or disease.
Partial dentures are comprised of the necessary number of prosthetic teeth attached to a small mold that sits over your gums. Although partial dentures can be held in place using some adhesive, they are feature clasps which attach onto natural teeth, giving the device greater stability. Some partial dentures have a metal framework, while others are made almost entirely of acrylic.
As with complete dentures, your partials will also have to be removed so that they can be cleaned and soaked. Your dentist will be able to show you the best way of detaching and reattaching your device.
Implant-supported dentures are the newest variety of dentures. Their overall design is the same, but rather than being attached to the gums using adhesive, they are instead attached to metal posts that have been surgically implanted into your jaw. Depending on whether you are having a full or partial denture, you will need between two and eight implant posts. Their location will be pre-determined using x-rays and other images of your mouth and jaw, to ensure that they are placed in such a way that there is no disruption to any major nerves or other surrounding structures. Once in place, the bone in the jaw regenerates around the posts, giving them stability and strength.
One thing to bear in mind about implant-supported dentures is that you will need to allow time for the implants to heal. During this time, you will be fitted with a generic temporary restoration.
Implant-supported dentures are the preferred option of many patients since:
- They are more stable and secure than conventional dentures, which can slip and slide around despite being attached with adhesive.
- They are more comfortable than conventional dentures since they don’t move.
- They are permanent and can only be removed by your dentist.
- They can be cleaned very easily since they don’t need to be removed.
- You can eat whatever foods you want to without worrying that your denture will break or come out.
Deciding which is the best denture for you isn’t always easy, but our expert dental team would be happy to assist you in making this important choice. We can review your individual situation and make a recommendation based on your personal requirements.
To find out more about types of dentures, or to schedule your confidential consultation to discuss your suitability for a specific type of denture, please contact our office.