Dentures are removable prosthetic devices custom made for the replacement of missing teeth and surrounding tissues to restore a person’s appearance and oral functions. The dentures can either be a full denture, used when all the teeth are lost, or a partial denture which is used in instances where only some of the teeth are missing.
Unlike dental bridges, which are essentially permanently fixed to the bone and teeth, the dentures are prosthetic appliances which attach to a supporting structure and can be removed for cleaning, at night, or whenever so desired by the patient.
Bright White Dental Centre offers two basic types of dentures:
- Complete Dentures
- Partial Dentures
Full or complete dentures are for those patients who have lost all of their natural dentition in either the upper or the lower jaw, or both. This type of denture covers the upper and lower gums. Like other dental appliances which replace missing teeth, the dentures help a patient maintain their facial aesthetics, shape as well as a patient’s self-esteem and confidence.
Partial dentures are an alternative option for patients who have lost some of their teeth but are unable to afford dental implants or bridges. Removable partial dentures are held in place with the help of the remaining natural teeth as well as the gums. They may be made of metal or acrylic (plastic).
There are various benefits and advantages of investing in dentures for any patient with missing teeth. These advantages include improved appearance and increased functionality amongst various others. Some of the prominent benefits of dentures are:
- Cosmetic benefits: Dentures replace the missing or damaged teeth filling in the gaps, preventing further shift, providing adequate support for the structural integrity of the face and jaw as well as boost the patient’s self-confidence
- Monetary benefits: Dentures are the least expensive option for replacing missing teeth. Other prosthetic alternatives such as dental bridges or implants are far costly options for some patients and they require a much more extensive treatment.
- Functional benefits: Dentures are the perfect solution for the replacement of missing teeth because they help restore proper functionality of the mouth. Dentures offer a range of functional benefits such as allowing them to eat the foods they want as well as improve the facial structure and speech.
- Dentures are preferred by some patients because as they are removable and are far easier to clean than other dental alternatives. What’s more, dentures, with proper care and maintenance, typically last between five to ten years.
Dentures have been the saving grace for many patients around the world; however, as advancements in dental technology take place, it is apparent that there are more than a few disadvantages of this particular prosthetic appliance. Some of the most prominent drawbacks of dentures include:
- Depending on the type of denture a patient gets, a patient needs to visit the dentist several times for the proper fitting of a denture. It is a lengthy trial and error process.
- There is a long adjustment period associated with the use of dentures. The majority of patients complain about the comfort and fit of the denture itself when they first begin to wear them.
- In addition to the initial awkwardness associated with the use of dentures, some patients also experience frequent periods of irritation and oral sores which may be caused by grinding, clenching or chewing on food. As learning to eat with dentures is a feat in itself for most patients, this can be particularly bothersome.
- Dentures require a lot of care to ensure comfortable functionality. They need to be frequently cleaned and soaked in water. Moreover, dentures are fragile and a patient needs to learn how to properly insert and remove them in order to prevent damaging them.
- Dentures eventually require adjustment as the facial structures, the mouth and the jaw change shape over the years. Sometimes they may even need to be completely replaced.