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Types of Dentures

Sometimes, no matter how well we take good care of our teeth and focus on our dental health, we can still lose a tooth. Worst-case scenario, we can lose some teeth, and some people lose even the whole set due to accidents, diseases, or simply neglect their oral health.

It is regrettable, but the dental field has made progress in technology. Nowadays, it is not a problem if you want to have a new set of teeth. You can have one, not an exact tooth or set of teeth per see, but an exact model, whose function and purpose are the same. In short, you can have your teeth replaced.

Those are the purpose of dentures. To give your mouth that natural look by replacing the lost teeth. But what are dentures exactly? What are they made of, and how can they give you that natural look and have that natural feel of teeth? What are the types of dentures, and what is the one that may suit you?

What are dentures, exactly?

Dentures are dental appliances, devices you put on your mouth to serve as a replacement for your missing teeth. Also known as false teeth, they could be plastic, nylon, metal, or porcelain materials.

Replacing your missing teeth is the main reason you wear dentures. But reasons of aesthetics and simply replacing them are not the only reason you should wear dentures. Missing teeth could result in a lot of problems. Among the problems are speaking, chewing, and eating.

Sometimes, it is hard for most people to speak with missing teeth. Problems of confidence aside, they can have problems pronouncing words.

Others may have difficulty eating. They have trouble cutting meat without teeth or chewing food in general. Imagine how hard it is to chew food without teeth and having gums only. That is the problem most people without teeth face.

Hence, the need for “false teeth” or dentures. They can solve those problems. “False teeth,” in this case, might be a misnomer. Though they are only substitutes for actual teeth, the functions they perform are not. They do solve the problems we mentioned. And they can look as authentic as any other teeth.

But still, they are artificial. Unlike your natural teeth embedded in the jaw, some dentures are not. Most dentures are not attached to the bone, so they are not as stable as your natural teeth.

Types of dentures

Here are the basic types of dentures you can choose that may suit your needs.

Removable Full Dentures

Full dentures are also known as complete dentures. We call it such because they replace an entire set of teeth. You will not need complete dentures if you still have some natural teeth.

Having complete dentures means you have no other choice and have exhausted all of your options. It means you need to replace all your teeth because none already remain.

Advantages
  • Can give you that friendly smile and needed confidence
  • It greatly helps in chewing and eating
  • It makes you look younger
Cons
  • Requires consistent maintenance
  • Not stable and may move when you are eating or speaking.
  • You may develop a lisp.

Removable Partial Dentures

The most available option and the most common, Removable Partial Dentures, are for those who only miss some teeth. Like complete dentures, they can restore most functions of the teeth. It can also give you that nice, natural look and confidence.

Removable Partial Dentures consist of the missing tooth/teeth, then a gum-colored base. It has metal or plastic clasps, which keep the partial dentures in position.

It is usually the dentures you see to replace the missing teeth in the front to maintain a pleasant smile and confidence.

Advantages

  • Mainly durable due to the material
  • Easy to remove
  • Affordable mostly

Cons

  • The clasps may show or be noticed
  • Plaque build-up is possible
  • Need constant cleaning

Flexible Partial Dentures

A kind of partial denture but made of a different material. Flexible partial dentures are mainly of nylon. Most full dentures and partial dentures are of rigid acrylic or plastic.

Advantages

  • It is more comfortable because it is thinner and made of nylon.
  • It does not have any metal parts that show
  • It can give you that natural feel.
  • It can give you that confidence because it can give you that natural look.

Cons

  • More expensive than other partial dentures.
  • Not as durable as other dentures.
  • Of all the types of dentures, this one is prone to bacteria build-up.
  • Not easy to fit, unlike other types of dentures.
  • Not advisable for use by people with a history of gum disease.

Immediate Dentures

Typically, it would help if you had your gums heal before putting on dentures. You need at least a month or two, but with immediate dentures, you can wear them after your teeth extraction.

Immediate dentures, however, are so much unlike other dentures in feel and look. They do not feel as comfortable and do not look as natural as other dentures.

You will wear immediate dentures to keep that friendly smile and have that confidence as you wait for more permanent dentures, maybe partial dentures or other implants.

Advantages

  • You can wear them immediately.
  • Provide a quick fix as you wait for your permanent dentures.
  • It also helps in healing your gums after teeth extraction.

Cons

  • Only a temporary solution
  • Do not look natural
  • Easily damaged
  • Needs adjustment always

Overdentures

Overdentures are a type of dentures supported by either the remaining teeth or by dental implants. The dentures are held firmly by implant screws attached to the gums. You put the dentures on top of the implants. It makes for better stability and support for your dentures.

The dentist can put it on the upper or lower gums. You must remove them before you sleep to clean and rest your gums.

Advantages

  • For better stability, it holds and secures dentures firmly.
  • Better than other dentures for chewing and eating.
  • More comfortable to wear than other dentures.
  • It can give you that natural look than most dentures.
  • Better than other dentures in giving you confidence.

Cons

  • You need surgery
  • More time and attention from the dentist are needed.
  • Very costly compared to wearing other dentures.
  • You may need a bone graft or sinus augmentation for denture implants.
  • Attachments may require tightening.

All-On-4 Implant Dentures

These dentures are put on your gums using four dental implants, hence the term all on four. It will replace the missing teeth in the upper or the lower gums, putting the dentures above the above implants. The dentist will put the implants into your jaw.

Of all the types of dentures, all-on-four implant dentures require the most intervention from the specialist. It is also more expensive than traditional dentures.

Advantages

  • Of all the types of dentures, this one gives you the perfect stability
  • This one also gives you the most natural look.
  • The best for confidence is no fear of dentures moving out of place.

Cons

  • You cannot remove them. Only your dentist can do so.
  • Very expensive compared to traditional and other dentures.
  • You need to follow some diet restrictions until the final procedure takes place.

Economy Dentures

They call them economy dentures because they are the cheapest, most affordable dentures on the market. They are not custom-made, meaning they are premade or generic. Since they are not custom-made, you may need dental adhesive to keep them in place.

In general, dentists and experts do not recommend economy dentures. They are known to cause more problems due to poor quality. Using them can also lead to poor oral hygiene.

People who usually buy them are those who need to have a natural, very temporary fix for their missing teeth. They are not for long-term wear or use.

Advantages

  • Inexpensive and affordable
  • You can buy it anywhere

Cons

  • Inferior quality
  • Not durable
  • It cannot give you a natural look that other dentures can, mainly due to poor quality.
  • You need dental adhesive to keep them in place.
  • Can cause more problems for your oral health.

What you need to bear in mind when choosing dentures

Here are some factors that may help you choose the best type of dentures.

What do you genuinely need?

When choosing one for yourself, the need for a particular type of dentures should be the overriding concern. The first consideration would be the set or the number of teeth you need for the dentures.

You need full or complete dentures if you have no remaining teeth in the upper or lower gums. If you have remaining teeth, then you can settle for partial dentures or the like.
The first consideration should be if you need to go for full or partial dentures. Then once you determine the need, you can break down your choice to other types of dentures.

Comfortability

Here, there are several determining factors. The comfort and design would be one, as well as the material. As we mentioned, some dentures will show metal wires, while others do not. Some are of thick material; others, like flexible partial dentures, are of thinner nylon.

The natural feel also matters to some people. As a rule, the more you go from inexpensive to expensive, the more those types of dentures have that natural feel. Whatever types of dentures you wear, the price depends significantly on the look and feel it can give you.

But of course, the comfort matters much too. As a rule, you need to go for one that can make you comfortable eating, chewing, and speaking. Or the one that cannot give you a lisp. Since dentures are wearable dental appliances, it is only natural to have certain discomfort, especially at the beginning.

But not all types of dentures have the same discomfort. Some are more comfortable than others—custom-made dentures of whatever type will always be more comfortable than generic, premade ones.

So part of dentures being comfortable to wear is for them to be the perfect fit for your mouth. For this reason, dentists do not recommend you wear types of dentures, especially those permanent ones unless your gums have healed completely. Unhealed gums may impact the impressions the dentist will make of your teeth.

It means that economy dentures are generally the most uncomfortable to wear. We can only expect that, for they are the least expensive and readily available. Since they are not custom-made, not made to suit particular gums of individuals, they feel uncomfortable and have that unnatural look.

And that is why most dentists will not recommend premade, generic types of dentures. Comfort and convenience aside, it can have a significant, long-term effect on the healing of your gums, which may affect and cause a discrepancy in creating your permanent dentures.

Immediate use

But economy dentures have the purpose of giving you an alternative, at least for the brief time being. Much like immediate dentures, you can wear them if you have no other options and you need to wait for your permanent dentures.

Immediate dentures, however, are far more suitable for anyone than economy dentures. For one, they are custom-made for every individual. And The dentist would advise you on how to wear it and how long you will need to wear it.

More than any other type of denture, Immediate dentures are the most suited for people who have recently extracted teeth. They are specifically for this purpose.

Aesthetics

The aesthetics and look also matter to many. If you want a more natural look, you can go from inexpensive partial dentures to expensive all-on-four implant dentures.

Different types of dentures differ in specifications and thus differ too in the natural look they can give you. Those that use implants, for instance, are more stable and can hold the teeth firmly into the gums. They can give you a more natural look, for they do not slide or move out of place.

In turn, those dentures can give you that confidence. That then reinforces the natural look of your teeth. If you wear them comfortably and confidently, the more the dentures will look natural, as if they are your real teeth.

And some types of dentures are just really more aesthetically pleasing than others. It may be due to the high quality of material and skills of those who made the dentures.

As we mentioned, some dentures are prone to plaque and bacteria build-up. It may give an unsavory look to the dentures. Due to the high-grade material used in making them, others are resistant to such build-up. Ultimately though, the way and the frequency of cleaning the dentures may impact the look also.

To belabor the obvious, inexpensive ones will naturally have that poor look because of poor material and quality. Expensive ones will always have that superior look because it uses high-quality materials and high-level skill and expertise in making them.

As such, generic types such as economy dentures and even custom-made immediate dentures are types of dentures that may not give you that beautiful, natural look. Those that are of high-grade material, and provide stability, can.

The dentist matters

It would be best if you had a true expert in your dental health. But this should not be just any expert, but must have known all your needs and be familiar with your dental health condition.

Having that kind of rapport with a dentist may take some time. So you must have a dentist check on your dental health regularly. It must be the case even if you do not need dentures.

If you have known the dentist for a long time, you can also know the quality and the level of expertise. Not all dentists are the same; some are more knowledgeable than others. You can only have an inkling of it if you have the dentist dealing with you regularly.

But if you have to look for a new one or deal with a dentist for the first time, you can ask and research about that dentist. You can look for relevant information about the dentist and see what he offers to the table.

Reputation truly matters, whether we like it or not. But if you research diligently, you can have a perfect dentist without spending expensively on dentures.

Taking care of your dentures

Taking care of your dentures begins with proper oral hygiene. It would be best if you took care of your oral health. It would be best if you kept your remaining teeth healthy. Brush or floss them regularly. As much as possible, do everything to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and oral problems.

As for removable dentures of whatever type, you must ask your dentist about the duration of wearing them, how long, and when you need to remove them. Removing them allows your gums to recover and rest, they say.

Removing them is the time that you can clean them. It would be best to clean your dentures regularly to prevent plaque and bacteria build-up. It will affect not only your dentures but also your overall oral health.

You need to clean your dentures the way you clean your regular teeth. You can brush them as hard as your regular teeth. But there are other ways to clean your dentures.

Among these are:

  • Brush them with soap or toothpaste before you soak them. Doing so will remove food particles trapped in the dentures.
  • You can soak them in a solution that has denture-cleaning tablets. Denture cleaning tablets are specifically for removing stains, bacteria, and other germs from your dentures.
  • It would be best if you kept them moist. You can soak the dentures in water or any denture-soaking solution overnight. Ask your dentist if you are using water. Follow the instructions faithfully if you are using a denture-soaking solution.
  • Always be mindful of your dentures if you ever remove them. Do not put them anywhere. Durable as it is when in your mouth or when you wear them, they are easily damaged when you are not wearing them. For instance, if you drop them on the floor, they may be damaged or broken.

What is the best type of dentures for you?

The best type of denture is the one that perfectly suits you. By perfect, we mean the one you genuinely need, which can give you that natural feel and look. It must be a perfect fit, very convenient, and comfortable to wear. If we add, the dentures must be durable, long-lasting, and reasonably priced.

By need, it is one that you absolutely must have. If you still have remaining teeth, you need not have complete dentures. Partial dentures of all types will not suffice if you no longer have any.

Dentures that are a perfect fit are always custom-made. They are stable and do not slide or move out of place. Therefore, generic, premade ones, like economy dentures, are not the best. Immediate dentures are temporary, band-aid solutions you can have while waiting for permanent dentures. But they have their utility and purpose.

The truly stable dentures are the ones that can give you that natural feel and look. To this may belong overdentures and all-in-four dentures. The problem is that they require invasive surgery, which might be undesirable to some, especially if other alternatives are possible.

Flexible and removable partial dentures provide such. They are not as expensive as all-on-four implant dentures but could be as comfortable and durable. If done correctly and by a skilled hand, these custom-made types of dentures could give you a natural look and feel.

Most of all, if they can function like regular teeth, allowing you to do activities without hassle, then they could be genuinely that perfect fit, the best type of dentures for you.

So it would be best if you balanced everything. The important thing is that you consult properly with your dentist concerning these matters. The dentist is still the one in the best position to know. But as we said, you must also choose and have complete confidence in your dentist.