We all hope our natural teeth will last a lifetime. But when this isn’t possible, dental professionals can offer a number of options to restore oral function and appearance. Thanks to advances in polymer science, the vast majority of dentures are now made with extremely high-quality, durable plastic, and are stronger, more comfortable, and more natural looking than ever before. In short, these are not your grandmother’s dentures!
A wide variety of dentures is available for individuals who are missing some or all of their teeth. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth on the upper and/or lower jaw and rest on the gums that cover the jawbone. These dentures can be made more secure when attached to one or more tooth roots (overdenture) or to dental implants (implant overdenture). Some implant overdentures can be removed by the wearer and others can be removed only by a dental practitioner.
Partial dentures replace only some of the teeth and attach to the remaining natural teeth with clasps or mechanical components known as attachments (precision and semi-precision partial dentures, also called attachment partial dentures.) Your dentist or prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in restoring and replacing teeth) will help you decide what type of denture and treatment plan are best for you.
Denture Types Denfined
Conventional dentures: Replace all missing teeth in a jaw and rest on the gum tissue Conventional overdentures: Replace all missing teeth, rest on the gum tissue, and are also supported with attachment to one or more tooth roots Implant overdentures: Replace all missing teeth in a jaw and connect to surgically placed dental implants Conventional partial dentures: Replace some missing teeth and are held in place with clasps that wrap around adjacent teeth Precision and semi-precision partial dentures (also called attachment partial dentures): Replace some missing teeth and are held in place with mechanical components called attachments
Getting your Dentures: The Process
Individuals who require extractions or implant surgery will need to wait several weeks for the mouth to heal before dentures can be placed. For some people, a temporary or “immediate” denture can be placed in the mouth on the same day extractions are performed, and worn until the permanent denture is fitted.
What to Expect: Getting Used to Your Dentures
It takes some time to get used to the feeling of dentures in your mouth, after which you should be able to comfortably eat, speak, and smile. The following is normal when complete dentures are initially placed in the mouth:
Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular method for replacing missing teeth. In this procedure, titanium supports are surgically fused with your jawbone, and act as an anchor for naturally looking false teeth. Dental implants are not only used for individual tooth replacement, but can also be used when replacing multiple teeth as an alternative to dentures.
Advantages of dental implants
Disadvantages of dental implants
Types of implants
Your dentist will be able to tell you which of the three types of implants is right for you: