At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we believe your teeth should last for your whole life. Experience tells us, however, that with accidents, illnesses, poor diet or careless oral hygiene, many people lose teeth over the course of their lifetime. When that happens, lost teeth need to be replaced with prosthetics, commonly called dentures. There are two basic types of prosthetics available with today’s technology: removable or permanent (fixed) dentures. There are major differences between them that you should know about—differences that can affect your health and your pocketbook. Read on to learn more about removable vs. fixed dentures.
Removable dentures are either partial or full sets of false teeth. They are practical replacements for missing natural teeth, and they are removable for cleaning and sleeping. It used to be that removable dentures were the only kind available. In fact, your grandparents may have kept their dentures in a glass of water by the bed at night. That’s what we’re talking about here. As fascinating as they may be for young children to see, they have several drawbacks.
They offer the ability to eat solid food, but over time, they can contribute to bone loss in the jaw. The pressure of the dentures on the jawbone accelerates the natural process of the body to reabsorb bone when teeth are lost. As bone is lost, the face changes shape. This means the dentures need to be periodically adjusted to fit properly again.
Ill-fitting or loose dentures can be uncomfortable, especially when food particles work their way between the denture and the gums. Many dentures also require a daily application of adhesive to keep them in place. Few things are more embarrassing than having dentures fall out when eating or speaking.
Permanent/fixed dentures (implants)
Modern dental implants came into use in the 1970s, and have been growing in popularity and refinement ever since. They answer all of the problems that removable dentures create.
Rather than exacerbating bone loss, implants actually strengthen and increase the bone structure. Posts are surgically inserted into the jaw. They are made from titanium metal. The living bone fuses to the titanium in a process called osseointegration. It is a similar process to bones knitting together after a break.
With implants, there is bone growth rather than loss. The dentures never need to be adjusted. They are fitted permanently to titanium posts. They feel and act just like your natural teeth. You can eat all the foods that you like without worrying about slippage or irritation.
Cost and convenience
Permanent dentures have been decreasing in cost over the years. While they are initially still more expensive than removable dentures, they never need to be replaced or remade. Over a few decades, that can make a big difference financially.
Many implant recipients experience greater self-confidence, especially if they have previously had removable dentures. Implants look and feel more natural, and require no more maintenance than natural teeth. In fact, cavities, root canals and crowns are a thing of the past with implants.
The choice is yours
At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we can make removable dentures in a few weeks. With implants, the process is more complicated and can take several months to complete. Let us know if you have any more questions about removable vs. fixed dentures. When you’re ready to set up an appointment, we can discuss scheduling and options for payment. Whether you elect to go with removable or permanent dentures, Lifetime Family Dental is ready to make your smile the best it can be!