Losing multiple teeth or even a single tooth for that matter is never a pleasant experience. From the time the news is delivered to you by your dentist to the actual point when teeth are finally taken out, the entire experience is stressful to most people.
When will I get my teeth back? That’s the next question that goes through everyone’s minds. Will I have to wear dentures? Will it make me feel old? Will they fall off when I’m talking or eating? These are some of the common questions patients ask.
In spite of the poor reputation and negative connotations that dentures carry, they still remain an important option when it comes to replacing teeth especially if multiple teeth are missing.
Currently, there are two basic types of dentures available.
1. Plastic dentures (professional term: Acrylic dentures)
An acrylic denture is the most “old-school” form of the denture family. These are relatively easy to construct, cost-effective and allows for fairly easy modification over the patient’s lifetime. They are however bulky and tend to interfere with speech and taste as a result.
2. Metal-based dentures (professional term: Cobalt-Chromium dentures)
Metal-based dentures, on the other hand, are cast as a single piece (similar to a cast-iron skillet for example) and as a result, tend to fit better and feel more secure when worn. Being metal, they can initially feel a little heavy but most patients adapt to this change fairly easily. Unfortunately, these advantages come with a few drawbacks. The most important one being that subsequent modifications such as adding new teeth tend to be challenging and in some circumstances almost impossible. Owing to the specific skill-set required by the dental laboratory to produce these dentures, they usually cost more.
How can I choose the most suitable denture option for me?
- Has your dentist talked about the advantages and disadvantages of both denture options with regard to your specific situation?
- Is this denture a “short-term” procedure? If more teeth are to be removed, a plastic denture may give you more flexibility in the future.
- Have you had poor experiences with plastic dentures before? If so, a metal-based denture may be worthwhile.
- If you are having trouble with loose full-dentures (ie. a whole upper/lower set of teeth), perhaps titanium implants may offer a solution for you.
A quick note on “implant-dentures”
Titanium implants have revolutionised dentistry over the last 40 years ever since the first one was placed on a human volunteer in 1965. They are now our first choice of treatment when it comes to replacing missing teeth.
Implants have also significantly improved the lives of many people who have to wear full dentures. If your gums have “shrunk” due to age or due to a dental infection, full dentures tend to be very uncomfortable and more often than not, loose. This in turn prevents many people from chewing comfortably (meats for example) and fully enjoying their meals.
Placing 2-4 implants and in turn converting a “regular” full-denture to what is professionally known as an “implant-supported denture” significantly alleviates most of the above-mentioned issues.
If you are unsure about what option is the most suitable for you, seeking the opinion of a dental healthcare professional can help to address your concerns. An experienced dental professional would be able to give you the pros and cons of the different denture options available and assist you in making an informed choice as to what suits you best.
Speak to our friendly staff to arrange a professional consultation today, or book an appointment with our dentists now.