Dentures or artificial teeth are used as replacements for missing natural teeth. There are many things that can cause you to lose a tooth such as trauma to the face, tooth decay, ageing and gum disease. When the loss of a tooth is very noticeable by the remaining gap, it can make people quite self-conscious and they tend to be hesitant when smiling or speaking to people. And dentures can give them back their confidence and also help them speak and eat normally without discomfort.
There are different types of dentures and you can usually find them in fixed and removable varieties depending on your lifestyle and the state of your oral health. Complete or full dentures are used to replace your entire set of teeth. This is used as a last measure as dentists will usually try to save your natural remaining teeth as much as possible. But when there are no options left, full dentures are recommended.
This will require you to get used to them and you may develop certain speech impediments due to the thickness of the material. Sometimes you can develop a lisp. But you will be able to eat and chew as normal and restore your appearance. There are times when these dentures can slip out when you are eating or speaking so you have to get used to them.
Once all your natural teeth are extracted, you will have to wait about 2 months maximum before traditional dentures can be placed. Until then, removable immediate dentures will be placed directly after the teeth extraction. These will not be moulded to your gums so you will have some difficulty adjusting to them. And there is a lot of maintenance that is required. This is a good option for patients with sensitive teeth and gums.
However, it is a temporary solution that will help you eat and speak after all your teeth are extracted. There are also fixed partial dentures that are used to replace a few missing teeth. They can be either screwed or glued to the mouth permanently. This is more secure due to their permanent and they are also stronger than removable teeth. But you will need surgery for this and the cost will be higher compared to removable dentures.
Removable partial dentures can be used to replace teeth that are missing in the lower or upper jaw. These are false teeth attached to a gum coloured base. This is a good option for patients that cannot undergo surgery. This has an underlying metal framework which alludes to its strength and they don’t break easily. This is a cost effective option but you can only use it to replace some missing teeth. You have to be diligent about cleaning to prevent plaque build-up.
Implant-retained dentures or overdentures are held in place with dental implants. You can have these placed in the lower and upper jaw. Overdentures have more stability compared to conventional dentures but you will need to remove them every night to give your gums some rest. They have good chewing ability and are very comfortable. But you will need surgery for this which will increase treatment time. It is also quite expensive.