Types of Dentures — What Do I Need to Know?
What Are the Different Types of Dentures, and Which Ones Are the Perfect Choice for You?
We all make it a point to care about our oral health. However, even when we’re careful, bad things can still happen. Tooth decay, traumas, and various physical injuries can all result in tooth loss. To avoid that, we can either hide our smiles or get our self-confidence back with dentures.
A few decades ago, dentures were robust and awkward. Not to mention painful! However, replacing missing teeth is no longer the hassle it used to be. Today, there are various types of dentures and dentures materials available on the market.
These new types of dentures are more durable and natural-looking than ever before, which is why they do a stellar job of making your smile picture-perfect.
What Are Dentures?
Missing teeth cause issues that go deeper than surface aesthetics. Going through life with missing teeth (or, even worse, no teeth at all) lessens our quality of life and, in some cases, our longevity.
That’s why we must care for our teeth by cleaning and maintaining them. However, sometimes we lose teeth due to:
- Trauma or injuries
- Gum and various types of dental diseases
- Improper or no oral hygiene
When our pearly whites go south, we find ourselves in need of replacement teeth. Dentures are apparatuses that replace the teeth we lost. They come in practically all shapes and sizes and are a solution to all types of teeth loss, which is why we have:
- Temporary dentures
- Permanent dentures
- Removable dentures
- Conventional dentures
- Denture implants
Depending on the type of dentures and the types of denture materials, the whole ordeal can be more or less cost-effective. However, no matter the option you go for (or need), they are all efficient.
The Benefits of Dentures
Tooth replacement has a multitude of benefits. A good pair of dentures can:
- Lower your teeth restoration costs — sometimes it’s more cost-effective to opt for dentures than to do a complete dental restoration.
- Boost your quality of life — missing teeth make it difficult and troublesome for us to chew food and talk. Dentures can bring us back to our usual selves and make our life easier.
- Build up your confidence — as mentioned, missing teeth ruin our smiles. Because we’re self-conscious, we smile less. Dentures can bring a smile back to your face and make you more confident.
What Are the Best Types of Dentures?
Although many people ask this question, there really is no easy answer. Depending on the number of missing teeth and your overall oral health situation, your dentists and dental specialists might suggest several different types of dentures:
- Snap-In Dentures
- Cantilever Bridge
- Partial Dentures
- Complete Dentures (Full Dentures)
- Immediate Dentures
- Custom Dentures
- Implant-Supported Dentures
Overall, we can divide all these types into two categories:
- Conventional, full dentures
- Partial dentures
But which one of these is the right pick for you? Well, let’s see what each of them can offer:
As the name suggests, complete, full dentures replace all the teeth you lost all at once. They are a good choice for people who have lost all their natural teeth or most of them. These dentures fit on top of the gums and are attached with a denture adhesive.
Full mouth dentures require quite a bit of upkeep. They can affect the person’s overall health, as well as the condition of the soft and hard palate and gums. What’s more, they require extensive follow-up care and maintenance.
It takes a while between your last tooth extraction and your first complete denture fitting. If you don’t want to wait that long, you can always choose immediate dentures. These dentures are positioned as soon as possible (immediately after the loss or extraction of the natural tooth).
Immediate dentures don’t have an expiration date, but they require more adjusting than conventional, full mouth dentures. Because your gums shrink and your oral musculature changes over time, these dentures might not always fit right, which is why you might have a lot of dentist visits in the future.
As the name suggests, there’s a big difference between partial and all other types of dentures (for example, full or complete dentures). Partial dentures are a good fit for people who still have some of their natural teeth left. They are artificial implements that only replace the missing teeth.
You might find partial dentures uncomfortable at first since they are removable and have two parts (the denture base and the actual tooth). However, it doesn’t take long for people to forget they are there.
Snap-on dentures have a support that anchors them to the jaw, which makes them very comfortable and convenient. Your existing teeth or dental implants will provide the support. Snap-on dentures come with locator attachments and receptors that snap onto each other (hence the name).
All dentures closely match your gum and teeth color and overall appearance. However, you might have to opt for custom dentures to get an exact match (or as close to an exact match as you can). These dentures are either top-notch porcelain ones or are made out of high-end ceramic materials. That allows the dentures to be colored into the precise shade of your missing teeth. Acrylic dentures usually can’t achieve the same effect.
Overdentures are another type of dentures that use implants to hold them in place. These sit on top of the gums and cover one or more natural teeth that are healthy. They also cover the roots of the existing teeth and the implants that keep them in place.
If you’re looking for a dentures option that’s the most secure and will ensure you keep your (artificial) teeth in your mouth at all times, then implant-supported dentures might be the right choice. When all the teeth are missing, the prosthodontist might place a number of implants into your mouth that will stabilize the dentures and keep them in place.
Implant-supported dentures aren’t just more stable. They also reduce bone loss that often follows teeth loss, and they are more natural-looking and comfortable.
What Types of Dentures Are a Good Fit for You?
Depending on the current state of your mouth, there are many options you can go for in terms of types of dentures. But remember that getting dentures is a process — more of a marathon than a sprint, really. So, discuss your options and needs with your dentist and see which dentures will make you smile as bright as you used to!
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