When you have gaps between your teeth, your words do not articulate clearly and you will have some difficulty communicating. Furthermore, chewing food becomes more challenging.
By having dentures, you fill the gaps in your teeth enabling you to communicate clearly and eat more comfortably. It also helps your self esteem when you can have a relaxed smile at the dinner table.
A denture is a removable replacement of missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available — complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, you do not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bone and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore, a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be fabricated.
There are two types of partial dentures – removable and fixed. A removable partial denture consists of replacement teeth anchored to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by a metal framework that holds the denture in place by attaching to natural teeth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. This appliance should be removed when not being used.
A fixed (permanent) partial denture (also known as a bridge) replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
Yes, dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or to support a bridge, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost is usually greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of natural teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a strong candidate for the procedure.
Come into Lakeview Dentistry and we would be happy to discuss your treatment options available to you, provide you with the pros and cons of each procedure and assist you with a dental care plan that fits your budget.