When we talk about replacing missing natural teeth, we have several options. Among them, dentures are a time-tested and cost-effective option for replacing teeth. This article contains everything you need to know about removable dentures.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable appliances which are used for replacing one or more missing teeth. Dentures rest on the jaw bone and its associated soft tissues and they rely on the neighbouring teeth and the underlying bone for their support and retention. The base of the dentures is made from a pink coloured resin to mimic the colour of the gums, while the false teeth are prepared from tooth coloured acrylic resins or dental porcelains.
These are the dentures which are used for replacing one or more missing teeth in a jaw. Partial dentures contain metallic extensions known as the clasps, which engage around the supporting natural teeth present on both sides of the missing teeth gap. Removable partial dentures are prepared from acrylic polymers or metal alloys.
These dentures are used for replacing all missing teeth in a jaw. Since there is no natural tooth available to support the prosthesis, these dentures rely solely on the underlying jaw bone and soft tissues for their retention. Complete removable dentures are prepared from polymer acrylic resins.
What are Different Types of Dentures
These are the dentures which gain their support from the neighbouring teeth and underlying bone. These dentures are one of the oldest forms of replacing missing natural teeth.
These types of dentures are supported by the healthy roots of teeth. They offer improved stability and retention, thereby improving chewing and speech efficiency.
Also, known as the implant-supported overdentures, these prostheses are supported by dental implants instead of natural teeth. These dentures can be used for partial or complete tooth replacement. Only four implants can be used to support a complete set of artificial teeth in each jaw. These dentures are known as all-on-four implants supported dentures.
Unlike the conventional dentures which require at least 3-4 sittings for their fabrication, immediate dentures are prepared before extraction of remaining teeth is planned, and they inserted immediately after all the damaged teeth have been removed.
The fabrication of conventional dentures is usually completed in 3-4 sittings. First, your dentist will perform a detailed examination of your teeth and dental hygiene and then offer available tooth replacement options. Before starting the process for fabricating the dentures, your dentist will first restore any damaged teeth or extract the ones who cannot be saved.
- Impression Making In the next appointment, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth to the lab for fabrication of your study models. These models will then be assessed by your dentist to design your dentures.
- Recording your Bite – In the next appointment, your dentist will record your “bite” with wax wafers so that your prepared dentures fit precisely according to the way your remaining teeth mate with each other. If the denture teeth are higher than the natural ones, then it can lead to temporomandibular joint disorders.
- The trial in – after recording the bite, artificial teeth will be placed, and a wax model of the denture will be prepared over an acrylic base. During the next appointment, your dentist will try-in the waxed-up dentures. If everything goes well, then the wax-up will be sent to the lab for fabrication.
During your final appointment, your dentist instructs you regarding how to wear and look after your dentures.
The process for fabrication of immediate dentures is similar, except that the prosthesis is prepared before tooth extraction is planned. The teeth which must be extracted, are also removed on the study model, and an artificial tooth is placed instead. In this way, when the teeth get extracted, the immediate dentures are placed right after the surgery. These dentures are ideal for people who don’t want to live without their teeth while their dentures are being prepared. However, immediate dentures ultimately need to be replaced with final ones after some time.
The Pros & Cons
Like all other dental appliances, dentures have advantages and some drawbacks. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of using dentures for replacing missing natural teeth.
Looking After your Dentures
It is important to keep your dentures infection free. Here are a few things which you need to take care of if you want your dentures to serve for a longer time:
- Cleaning – rinse your dentures with lukewarm water after every time you eat anything. Failing to do so can result in the accumulation of food particles on the inner surface of the dentures. It can also lead to candida infection of the oral cavity.
- Removing Dentures at Night – make sure to put them in a cleaning solution when you remove them at night before going to bed. It is not recommended to wear your dentures while sleeping.
- Eating – avoid eating hard and sticky foods with dentures; doing so may result in their dislodgement.
The cost of dentures depends upon the type of material as well as the number of teeth which need to be replaced. However, a partial denture in the US can cost between $600 and 7000. Similarly, a complete denture may cost between $600 and 10,000.
In the UK, replacing your teeth with partial dentures starts from £400, while tooth replacement with complete dentures can vary between £500-1500.
In the case of New Zealand, tooth replacement with partial dentures can cost NZ $1800-2200, while complete dentures cost around NZ 2500-4000.
Overall, dentures are a cost-effective option for replacing missing teeth which provide reasonable aesthetics and dental function. They are an ideal option for individuals who cannot afford high treatment costs with dental implants or fixed bridges.There are other alternatives to missing teeth, you can read about other treatment options available at our homepage.