Are you considering getting dentures? The good news is so are thousands of other people. Millions of people across North America have dentures of some sort. In the US alone, 500 000 people get new dentures every year.
Dentures owe much of their popularity in our society to how versatile they can be. But not all dentures are made equal – many are designed to meet different needs when it comes to oral health. If you’re curious about getting dentures, read on as we break down some key points about what they are and how they can potentially help.
What are dentures?
Dentures are artificial devices that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Dentists use dentures to fill gaps left by missing teeth, although certain factors make each procedure different.
For one, new dentures are manufactured according to the specific measurements a dentist takes with each patient. Custom measurements make it easier for dentists to fit dentures that feel comfortable and secure for a long time.
Benefits of different materials
Dentures can be made with a range of materials. Some materials provide added strength, while others create dentures that are meant to resemble natural teeth as much as possible.
According to the National Institute of Health, acrylic resin and plastic are the most in-demand material for making dentures. These materials offer patients a more cost-effective solution for tooth replacement. Acrylic resin and plastic are also the easiest to adjust, which can help dentist labs create dentures for optimal comfort.
Metal dentures are smaller than acrylic ones on average. Their size can make them easier to fit into smaller gaps while remaining strong. High-quality resin is often used to maintain a natural look, keeping smiles on the pearly side.
Porcelain is another popular material for dentures. Although they can cost a little more, porcelain dentures are strong and durable. Aesthetically, porcelain naturally resembles tooth enamel better than the other materials. Porcelain tends to be used more for full dentures, which we’ll discuss below.
Dentists consider several factors alongside the material, however.
What types of dentures are available?
Every gap left by missing teeth is unique, so not all dentures are designed to fit the same way. Luckily, anyone considering getting dentures has several options they can discuss with their practice of choice.
Full dentures are designed to replace an entire row of teeth. The procedure is more common than many people think. More than 35 million people in the US are believed to be edentulous – or don’t have any teeth. Studies estimate that around 90% of those people wear dentures.
Full dentures can protect the gums from the natural friction of moving the jaw and make it easier to chew. Restoring chewing function can help patients avoid changing their diets too much. For people who want to replace an entire row of teeth, full dentures could be beneficial.
As the name suggests, partial dentures replace the gap left by a missing tooth or a section of missing teeth. Since they don’t cover an entire row, partial dentures cost less than full dentures. Only covering the affected areas can lead to a more comfortable fit, as the surrounding areas are left alone.
There are two types of partial dentures: fixed and removable.
Fixed partial dentures (FPDs) replace the teeth in a section. Since they’re fixed, they can often feel more secure or add some stability when biting or chewing. FPDs require less maintenance because they’re set, but all dentures need as much care as natural teeth.
Removable partial dentures (RPDs) replace sections of teeth just like fixed ones. The difference is that RPDs can be taken out and put back by the wearer. Removable partial dentures can offer temporary support for patients waiting for fixed partials.
An immediate denture is a replacement meant to be fitted in the same session as a tooth removal. Tooth extractions leave a gap that may take a few weeks to heal fully. Immediate dentures can protect the area while healing occurs while making tasks like chewing easier.
Immediate dentures can also offer a confidence boost to patients who may be self-conscious after a tooth removal. Full and partial dentures can both be used as immediate replacements – what’s important is that a dentist can fit them on the same day as the removal.
Caring for dentures
Different dentures have different needs, but some best practices apply. Dentists recommend maintaining an oral hygiene routine, just as you would with natural teeth. Depending on the type of denture recommended, a dentist might give additional instructions on how to keep them in peak condition for a long time.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Vancouver to consult with, you can reach out to Gentle Dental Vancouver. Their team of professionals are committed to providing considerate and extensive care. To get in touch, find them here.