For many people, complete or partial removable dentures can be used to replace missing teeth and restore both appearance and function.
The loss of natural teeth greatly compromises a person’s health and wellness.
A complete denture, often referred to as a “plate” is used in cases where all the upper or lower teeth are missing, and uses the gums and bone for support.
A partial denture also fills spaces left by missing teeth, but is supported by both the gums/bone and some remaining teeth. Many traditional partial dentures have metal clasps and a metal base that is combined with pink acrylic that holds the fake teeth in place. The metal is very strong to prevent breakage.
Are you concerned about seeing metal clasps around your teeth? Have a metal allergy? Ask about a Valplast, a flexible partial denture that is very aesthetic and comfortable.
What are the downsides to dentures?
- There is a learning curve to speaking and eating with dentures. Some people also notice a lessening of their sense of taste when the roof of the mouth is covered by the “plate”.
- Over time, without teeth or implants to stimulate the bone, the jaws will shrink. This will often make the dentures loose, which will affect the function and appearance of the dentures. It may also make the jaw more fragile.
- Lower dentures are especially difficult to wear as the tongue is in the way. These dentures are often loose and accumulate food underneath more easily.
- Dentures need to be replaced or relined on average every 5 years.
What are the alternatives to removable dentures?
- Complete dentures can be supported by dental implants. The implants will help hold the dentures in place, making them both more comfortable and more functional. With implants, the dentures can still be removable, which makes cleaning very easy. Alternatively, the teeth can be “fixed” in place and cannot be removed except by the dentist.
- Partial dentures may be replaceable with fixed “bridges” supported by teeth or implants.