Dentures – Solution for Missing Teeth
People wind up with missing teeth for many reasons. Some lose multiple teeth due to acute oral trauma. In contrast, others experience tooth decay or gum disease that leads teeth to fall out over the years. Dentures offer an affordable and practical solution no matter why someone is missing multiple teeth.
In the past, dentures had a poor reputation. People often found them uncomfortable to wear and difficult to keep in place. The good news is that all of that has changed. Modern dentures are comfortable, custom-fit to each person's mouth, made from durable materials, and easy to keep in place. As a result, most people don't even notice when others wear dentures.
It's important not to fall prey to myths and misconceptions about dentures. Instead, people missing multiple teeth should read on to find out the truth. Once they finish reading, most dental patients will be happy to reach out to their dentists to discuss options and schedule an appointment for a fitting.
What Are Modern Dentures?
Let's start by answering the question, what are dentures? Denture makers design modern dentures to replace multiple missing teeth and the soft tissues surrounding them. Dentists fabricate dentures to fit a patient's mouth and can be used to replace just a few teeth, an entire arch, or even an entire mouth of missing teeth.
There are three primary dentures, but they all have a few things in common. All of them are comfortable, and all help patients chew more efficiently and speak more clearly. Modern dentures are also matched to a patient's existing teeth, if applicable, and restore a normal appearance to the person's jaw and cheeks.
From What Are Dentures Made?
Men made the earliest false teeth from uncomfortable materials like wood or animal teeth. Thankfully, denture technology has come a long way from there. These days, denture makers make dentures from durable, robust materials such as plastic, porcelain, and acrylic resin.
While manufacturers have used porcelain and plastic to make dentures for longer, acrylic resin is now the material of choice for making dentures.
Acrylic resin is more robust than porcelain, although it doesn't tend to last as long. It also adheres more securely to the base of the dentures and is easier to adjust. Plus, acrylic resin is a less expensive and less heavy material, making it more appealing to most dental patients. The only real downside of acrylic resin is that it's not as long-lasting as porcelain. As a result, dentists must replace dentures made from this otherwise excellent material every five to eight years.
The Three Types of Dentures
The decision to replace missing teeth by wearing dentures is just the first one a patient has to make. After that, it's time to schedule an appointment with a dentist to discuss the three different types of dentures, and which of them might be the best fit. The three options available are:
- Full dentures
- Partial dentures
- Implant-supported dentures
In most cases, after an initial consultation, it will be obvious what type of denture will best meet a patient's practical and budgetary needs. For example, the choice between full and partial dentures will be an easy one to make because denture makers design full dentures to replace all of a patient's teeth on one or both gum lines. In contrast, dentists use partial dentures to replace three or more missing teeth in an otherwise intact gumline.
Dentists design partial and full dentures to fit a patient's mouth. Full dentures use suction, and sometimes a temporary adhesive, to stay in place. In contrast, dentists usually fasten partial dentures to nearby teeth. Denture wearers can remove both dentures at night and for regular cleaning.
Implant-supported dentures are a bit different. For example, they're more expensive than traditional full and partial dentures. The reason is that wearing them requires surgery to anchor multiple permanent implants to a patient's jawbone before a dentist fits them. Dentists can use implant-supported dentures to replace an entire gum line or just a few teeth. Still, most dentists recommend them primarily for the lower jaw.
Implant-supported dentures can be removed, just like regular dentures. Practically speaking, the primary difference is that they're secured more tightly in the patient's mouth, offering greater stability.
How to Care for Dentures
All dentures, regardless of type, must be cleaned daily. However, dentures consisting of artificial materials instead of natural teeth don't prevent bacteria, plaque, and tartar from building up on the materials. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar build-up harm a patient's gums and existing teeth.
The good news is that cleaning dentures are easy. All a patient has to do is remove them each night, run clean water over the dentures to dislodge food particles, then brush them with a denture brush and cleaner.
It's important to avoid using regular toothpaste and toothbrushes on dentures, though, as they are much more abrasive and can wear away the materials. It's also important to rinse the dentures well after each cleaning and submerge them in warm water at night to stop the materials from drying out.
Schedule an Appointment to Learn More
Patients ready to learn more about dentures and which type might be the best fit for their unique situations can now take action by calling a dentist. The first step is to schedule an appointment for a complete exam and consultation.