When our patients at Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert are facing the loss of teeth, one of the critical decisions to consider is how to best replace them. We essentially have two choices available. On the one hand, there is the permanent solution of implants. We have blogged about implants recently, and we know that not everyone is a candidate for implants. So here, we will look at the different kinds of dental replacements that are available today.
Traditional full dentures
For patients who have lost all of their teeth, the best solution is full dentures. These are made to replace all of the upper and lower teeth. The dentures are made from acrylic, using a mold that is taken of your mouth after your gums have healed. Typically, it takes about 8 weeks of healing before your dentures can be fitted.
Full dentures sit on top of your gums and are held in place by suction. Some people might need to use a dental adhesive to keep them from moving. Adhesive also helps to keep food particles from getting under them, which can be very irritating. Full dentures should last about 10-15 years with proper care.
Partial dentures are similar to full dentures, but they only replace a few teeth. They can be made for upper and lower jaws, and like full dentures, they are removable. Partial dentures are made to anchor to natural teeth on either side of the missing teeth. The anchors are usually metal appendages that fit around the base of the adjoining teeth, firmly holding the partial in place.
While many people would have sufficient chewing power when they are only missing a few teeth, partial dentures will keep the natural teeth from moving around. They will help maintain a good bite and will look natural when they are well-made.
These partial dentures can be used immediately after extractions while your permanent dentures are being made. They take some of the pressure off of your natural teeth while allowing your gums to heal.
Normal partial dentures are made from hard acrylic to provide a long service life and strong support. Flexible dentures are a type of partial that is made from a more flexible material like nylon. Users find that flexible dentures are more comfortable to wear. They also can have a more natural appearance.
A fixed bridge uses a crown to anchor the denture, instead of using metal arms that wrap around adjoining teeth. The crown is surgically cemented to the teeth on either side of the denture. It is not removable, but it tends to be more comfortable than removable dentures. It is usually more expensive, too.
Snap-on dentures are kind of a cross between implants and traditional dentures. They are made like traditional types, and have a similar appearance. But they require posts to be surgically implanted into the jaw. The denture then snaps onto the post. Snap-ons are removable for cleaning or adjustment, and they are the most natural denture to use.
Lifetime Family Dental is your full service dental practice in Gilbert. We can help you decide which of these kinds of dental replacements is right for you, or if you are a viable candidate for dental implants. Your teeth are critical to your well-being—don’t let the cost of dentures keep you from looking and feeling your best. If your health insurance doesn’t cover dental, we have flexible payment plans and office hours for your convenience. Call us today to schedule a professional cleaning and checkup. We are confident you will leave with a smile!