Not Your Grandfather’s Dentures Anymore
Whether you are missing a few or all of your teeth, technology now makes several denture choices available to you. Your choices range from a partial denture to replace a few teeth up to implanted, fixed bridges to replace a complete upper or lower arch of your teeth, while securely attached to the implants.
Every Situation Is Unique
Every patient is unique. That is why it is important for you to sit down with a dentist to see which treatment option is best for you.
Regular dentures, while not as good as your original teeth, can be a viable option and are usually the least expensive alternative. There are numerous advantages to dentures depending on the type of denture that is right for you. They can give you a new complete smile in as little as one day. You can have the ability to chew your food properly for better digestion, gain confidence and self-esteem, and improve your speech. With a fixed bridge or “all on four” you can actually prevent further bone loss and gain maximum chewing power as it looks and feels just like your natural teeth.
Different Types of Dentures:
Partial Dentures are used when there is one or more teeth missing and there are adjacent teeth to attach the denture to. These partial dentures are typically made with metal clasps that hook to your existing teeth; which makes them removable so you can take them out at night to allow the underlying tissue to regenerate.
Partials are usually a short term fix and will only last a few years; while the remaining teeth need to be maintained with the utmost oral hygiene to avoid further tooth loss. Another disadvantage is that bone loss will inevitably occur in the area of the missing teeth, therefore jeopardizing the health of the surrounding teeth and your gums.
Complete dentures can be immediate or conventional in nature. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be delivered at the same time as the extractions, allowing you to keep your teeth during the healing period. This is important because bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Hence, the disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they often require repeated adjustments to fit properly during the healing process. They should generally only be considered as a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
Conventional dentures are more permanent and constructed with more care and higher quality and esthetics. After the bone and gums have healed, the permanent denture can be fitted for a longer lasting fit. Most dentures need to replaced from time to time (they will not last forever!) as the changing bone and ridge of the jaw will change due to bone loss associated with the loss of teeth. The disadvantage of this type of denture is that there is a mold that fits around your gums and to the palate at the roof of your mouth using suction to hold them in place. They can be awkward at times and keeping them stable can also be a challenge.
Overdentures are 2-implant-supported dentures. These dentures snap into place, minimizing movement and therefore provide a more stable fit. This type of denture can be taken off and “snapped on” as needed. While this type of denture is supported by 2 implants and is far superior than a complete denture. There is still a bit of movement as the denture can still “rock” back in forth a bit as the two implants are placed in the front of the jaw bone.
There is typically no need for adhesives and are less expensive than the “All-on-four (or six) fixed bridge”. This method of snap on denture technology was introduced before the screw-retained fixed bridge; and there is still a need for this application and it works very well. It will still give you a considerable amount of biting strength and a lot more comfort than a complete, “regular” denture.
Fixed Denture / Fixed Bridge
The days of your grandfathers dentures can be a thing of the past! In recent years, the technology and success rate has been astounding with this type of method of replacing your natural teeth. Unlike the partial or conventional denture the fixed bridge or “all on four” is an extremely high quality, usually metal reinforced denture that is screw-retained onto either 4 or 6 implants and is “fixed” into place.
This fixed bridge should only be removed by your dentist for cleaning purposes and it creates a feel that is comfortable and very similar to your original teeth. You will once again have maximum chewing power and enjoy the feel of stability with your teeth.
The denture will not move around and is narrow, streamlined, and realistic looking as it does not have to wrap around your gums and the roof of your mouth – allowing for more taste and comfort. It provides increased comfort with less irritation of gum tissue and ends the inconvenience of denture adhesives. In addition, the implants will minimize further bone loss and keep your smile healthier and looking more natural for a long time.