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Dentures are prosthetic teeth that replace missing teeth or broken teeth. People of all ages and with various needs use permanent and temporary dentures.
You may need dentures for a variety of reasons, such as if you’ve had an oral injury that knocked out your teeth or if you have trouble eating foods due to especially weak teeth.
You may also need dentures from neglecting your dental care, which could result in tooth decay, periodontal disease (advanced gum disease), and other oral diseases.
Or, dentures might be necessary if you have a medical condition that causes you to have missing teeth or a missing portion of your jaw.
Whatever the reason, dentures can give you a new, beautiful smile and boost your confidence.
Most dentures are removable, but there are various types of dentures to choose from. Different dentures may be better-suited for your lifestyle. A general dentist or prosthodontist can talk through your options and get you a set of dentures.
The different types of dentures available include the following:
Full dentures are ideal for people who are missing all of their natural teeth or those who have had some or all of their natural teeth removed.
Full dentures are typically put in only after the patient’s gum tissue has healed from tooth removals, which can take several months.
Immediate dentures are placed directly after a patient’s teeth have been removed.
They are used as temporary dentures for cosmetics and function until the patient is ready for a permanent set. During the first few months of use, immediate dentures will require multiple adjustments to sit comfortably in the mouth.
Overdentures, which are also called an implant-supported denture, are held in place on top of your gums by dental implants. The dentist or oral surgeon will place the implant screws into the jawbone to allow for greater stability of the denture.
Partial dentures replace some permanent teeth that are either missing or have been removed.
These kinds of dentures consist of false teeth and an acrylic, gum-colored base or metal framework. The base is attached to two or more clasps that hold the new dentures in place. They’re often considered a removable alternative to dental bridges.
Economy dentures are the most affordable dentures available. Dentists typically do not recommend economy dentures because they can be uncomfortable, hurt your mouth, and lead to poor oral hygiene.
All dentures can be partial or complete.
Complete dentures are, of course, best for people who are missing all of their teeth or who have many damaged and weak teeth that need to be removed.
Partial dentures work well for others who are only missing a few teeth or those who have just a couple of broken or weak teeth. Partial dentures are also less expensive.
Many people will opt for a removable partial or full denture as a stepping stone to an implant retained denture. Implant retained dentures are more costly. However, they are a great permanent solution for those with missing teeth.
You have the choice of removable dentures and permanent dentures. With removable dentures, there are many benefits:
You may choose permanent dentures over removable dentures for other reasons, including the following:
The most affordable dentures are removable, economy dentures. They are affordable because they are a one-size-fits-all solution. These dentures are also not as comfortable as dentures that are customized to fit your mouth. They may make talking and eating difficult and/or cause discomfort, at least until you get used to them.
Maybe traditional dentures aren’t for you. Overdentures are another option for many people.
The advantages of implant-supported prostheses are plentiful.
They include the following:
There are a variety of medical conditions that may preempt you from having implants placed. Speak to your dentist about your specific case.
Dental implants require surgery, so dentures are a better option if you do not want to (or cannot) undergo surgery. Similarly, smokers should opt for dentures over implants because smoking can make it hard for the gums to heal and cause implants to fail.
Because implants require oral surgery that may or may not be covered by your dental insurance, they can be very expensive. They tend to be a lot more expensive than traditional dentures.
Talk to your dentist to discuss your options and determine the best treatment for your needs and lifestyle.
Your dentist should be able to walk you through all of your denture options, as well as implant options. From there, you can make an educated decision.