Dentures, your low-cost solution to missing teethWe’ll do all we can to help you keep your natural teeth, but if a tooth is lost, it is imperative to replace as soon as possible, as this will prevent any remaining teeth from moving out of alignment. If you choose not to replace lost teeth, then you may begin to notice gaps developing between your remaining teeth, as they shift out of position.
You might also notice your teeth begin to bite together differently. In a healthy mouth your teeth will bite on another tooth, and the forces created are sufficient to keep them from moving out of position. When teeth are lost, the teeth opposing the missing tooth will begin to move towards the empty space. This will create problems with your bite, and will make it difficult to replace the tooth in the future.
Dentures are one way to restore badly damaged or missing teeth, and are a removable appliance that needs to be taken out each day for cleaning. There are two different types of dentures, as they can be full or partial.
A partial denture can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth. A removable partial denture is constructed with a plastic base, or for a stronger, thinner and more comfortable appliance, the base is made from metal. A partial denture is generally considered a temporary treatment, and is used prior to having a bridge or implant, but for some it is a long-term solution. For a partial denture to work well, the support teeth most be strong and healthy, as well as the surrounding gums and bone. This is because the partial denture is kept in position with metal clasps that fit around some of the remaining teeth, subjecting these teeth to quite a lot of pressure.
If all your teeth are compromised and require extracting, then you will need to have a full denture. A full denture replaces the complete arch of upper and/or lower teeth, and is constructed with an acrylic base that may be strengthened using chrome cobalt alloy. An upper denture will cover your upper palate as this will help you retain the denture, but it can feel bulky and will affect the way you are able to taste food. A lower denture rests on the bony ridge that used to support your teeth. This bony ridge will eventually become flatter as the jawbone reabsorbs, making denture retention increasingly difficult.
We will work very hard to prevent you from needing full dentures, but not everyone’s teeth can be saved. Full dentures are a cost-effective way of replacing missing teeth, but they will not function in the same way as your natural teeth. You will be less able to chew food efficiently, and will be limited in the number of foods you are able to eat. This is something that can affect your general health, and being unable to chew properly could lead to digestive problems.
If you do require full dentures then it can be worthwhile considering dental implants to stabilize them, or to replace the dentures completely with a fixed dental appliance such as a bridge.