Dentures – What types are there and when are they used?
Replacing missing teeth is essential for smiling confidently and for the health (mainly mechanical aspect) or your mouth. If you are missing teeth, dentures may be one tooth replacement option your dentist may recommend for you.
What are dentures and what are the different types of dentures?
Dentures are removable dental appliances used as a solution to replace missing teeth. They are commonly called plates, false teeth and flippers. Dentures can replace one or some teeth (partial denture) or all the teeth in either one or two jaws (full dentures). There is no one material used for making dentures. They can be made from a variety materials with different lifespans and costs.
Partial dentures can be made from a variety of materials. These include metal, acrylic and resin. All have their benefits and the best option for you may depend on how the denture is to be held in place, longevity and fee.
Acrylic dentures are made from a durable resin material. When making dentures, the acrylic makes the pink base for the gums and the tooth coloured material for the teeth. Partial dentures have metal clasps which hold on to the natural teeth and help it to stay in place. Importantly, your lips cover the metal it is generally not visible.
Dentures with a metal portion generally have the metal component at the base. Acrylic is used to makes the gums and tooth coloured material for the teeth. The metal is an alloy and will generally contain chrome or cobalt. The benefits of using a metal denture include strength, thinness and better support.
Flexible resin dentures look similar to other dentures, coming with clasps. The flexibility in the resin allows for it to be inserted and removed more easily. They are a useful appliance. However, lack of longevity compared to metal and acrylic dentures.
Full dentures are an option for replacing all the teeth on the top, bottom or both jaws. Aesthetically, they look like natural teeth with a tooth coloured shade and the look of healthy pink gums. Because the denture replaces all teeth on one arch, the way they stay in place is by resting on gums. It depends on each patient, but often an adhesive is also used to help the dentures stay in place. Through replacing all teeth in at least one arch, there are adjustments for everyone with speaking and eating.
Over-dentures are made to be inserted over damaged teeth or roots (which may not be able to be removed for particular health reasons). A variation of overdentures is implant-retained dentures. Implanted retained dentures are attached to titanium implants which have been surgically placed during a different procedure. They offer some of the best stability as the anchor points are directly in the bone.
As the name suggests, immediate dentures are inserted after teeth are extracted. The denture is fabricated before the procedure, so there is no delay in placing them in and ensures all our patients have teeth to eat, smile and talk with. Immediate dentures are often used as a temporary solution as the fit cannot be as perfect as the appliance is made before teeth are removed. With adjustments immediate dentures still often a stable solution for replacing missing teeth.