Dr Tran Quach – what are dentures?
Dentures are a medically designed prosthetic for missing teeth that can be put in and taken out. Although dentures do take some getting used to and will never fully feel the same as your real teeth did, today’s dentures are far more natural looking and comfortable to wear than in the past.
What are full dentures?
There are two main types of dentures; full and partial. A full prosthetic is used to replace all missing teeth. In other words, if you have no teeth at all then you would require a full denture.
A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth once any remaining teeth have been removed and tissues have healed. This healing does usually take several months which means that you will be without teeth for that duration.
Immediate full dentures are placed immediately after the remaining teeth have been removed. This is after the dentist has taken measurements and models of your jaw at a prior visit. Immediate dentures are ideal because you are never without your teeth, although they will need to be relined several months after being inserted. This is because the bone that supports the teeth, reshapes itself once it has healed and usually causes the denture to become loose.
With full dentures, the flesh-coloured base will fit over your gums. The base of the top denture fits over the palate while the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue. They are held in place by suction and/or the help of an oral adhesive.
What are partial dentures?
A partial denture is when you are only missing a few of your teeth and need dentures to replace those particular gaps. A partial denture rests on a metal or a plastic acrylic framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes a crown will be placed on some of your own teeth to serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges. Partial dentures are often used instead of other tooth replacement methods when the surrounding natural teeth are not strong enough to support dental bridges or when more than one or two teeth are missing. They are fitted to the part of the gumline that they sit on and fasten onto nearby natural teeth to hold them in place. They can easily be taken out for cleaning and while sleeping.
What materials are used to make dentures?
In the past, the artificial teeth used to make dentures were created out of porcelain or plastic, but more modern dentures are usually made out of a hard resin. The materials used to create denture teeth is slightly more fragile than natural teeth and can chip or crack easily if uncared for or dropped. The material also wears down more quickly than natural teeth meaning that they will need to be replaced every five years or so.
Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions that are taken of your mouth. From there, the dentist will decide exactly which type of dentures are right for you.
There are many different types of materials that can be used to create dentures, but the three most commonly used types are as follows:
- Chrome based
- Flexible acrylic
What are acrylic dentures?
The base portion of acrylic dentures is made from a gum-coloured plastic with the required denture teeth and metal tooth clasps embedded into the plastic base.
The main difference is that with acrylic it is a plastic resin that can be fitted to your teeth and your gums but also allow for placement of any further teeth should you lose any additional teeth at a later stage. Acrylic dentures cost less than any other type and can also be used when only a temporary denture is needed. However, they do have shortcomings in terms of function, strength, durability and their effect on your natural teeth.
What are chrome-based dentures?
Chrome-based dentures offer a more durable and thinner fit, so it is often more comfortable. However, because it is metal based, the patient needs to be assessed to ensure that they have no metal allergies to be prescribed that denture.
A chrome-based or cast-metal denture is so named because the underlying metal framework is cast from metal alloy. The denture teeth and gum-coloured plastic are then added to the framework to make the complete denture. They offer strength, durability, excellent fit and retention with minimal thickness and are usually considered to be the preferred type.
What are flexible acrylic dentures?
Flexible acrylic dentures such as Valpast® offer a nice balance between acrylic and chrome in that they are made of a flexible plastic material that can also be made very thin and durable. These have the most realistic look compared to other denture types. Flexible dentures have both the base and tooth clasps made of pliable tissue-coloured plastic. Their flexible nature means that they are less irritating to the teeth and soft tissues and their flesh colour means that they are less noticeable.
Why should I wear dentures?
Dentures are not only responsible for improving the appearance of your smile but also maintaining the mouth structure by supporting the structures around the cheeks and lips. Dentures also give you the ability to eat foods that need to be chewed, allowing you to keep your diet the same as it was before. They offer the ideal solution to replace teeth that are causing serious pain and oral health issues including those with rotted roots or severe damage. Dentures allow for you to have troublesome teeth removed and replaced with a strong and beautiful alternative.
If you would like to find out more about dentures, call Bonfire Dental today on 0466 88 99 70