Dentures are dental prosthetics designed to replace missing teeth. They are a structure that includes artificial teeth and gums that are designed to resemble natural teeth and gums and to replace the function of your original teeth. If you are investigating the appropriateness of dentures as a solution for your tooth loss, you probably have many questions.
The goal of this article is to briefly introduce the five main types of dentures available from a dentist in North York to help you to understand and choose between your options. For answers to any questions we don’t cover here, and to find out how this information applies to you, make an appointment with the caring staff at Underhill Dental.
What are dentures made of?
The artificial teeth in today’s dentures in North York are mainly made out of hard resin materials, unlike dentures in the past that were mainly made from porcelain or plastic materials. The “gums” that frame the artificial teeth in dentures are made of similar resin materials, or more flexible polymers designed to fit snugly onto your own gums while remaining secure as you speak, chew and swallow.
All of the materials used to make dentures near you are designed to blend naturally with your skin tone, lips, gum tissue (especially if you are wearing dentures on only one arch) and any remaining natural teeth.
Partial dentures are designed to replace multiple teeth in the same arch (jaw), whether or not those teeth are adjacent (next to each other) or isolated from each other. Partial dentures are an alternative to dental bridges that replace one or more adjacent missing teeth while being anchored on natural teeth or supported implants. Partial dentures come in two basic forms: traditional partial dentures with a metal framework that are held in place by fasteners that clip onto natural teeth; or flexible partial dentures that contain no metal and that are not clipped to teeth, but that fold-twist into place. Partial dentures are removable.
As their name implies, full dentures (also called complete dentures) replace all-natural teeth in your upper jaw, lower jaw or both. They do not clip to anything like traditional partial dentures do but remain in place on your natural gums via suction, sometimes aided by denture adhesive. Full dentures are removable.
If you have multiple teeth extracted to transition to dentures, you typically need to wait for your gums and jaw to heal before being fit with your dentures. That healing process followed by the process of creating your dentures can take up to six months. Immediate dentures are dentures that are made before your teeth are extracted and that are put in your mouth immediately after the extractions and during the healing process. They’ll eventually be replaced with a new set of more permanent dentures.
All of the types of dentures referred to so far sit directly on your gums or, in the case of overdentures, on gums and natural teeth. Implant-supported dentures are anchored into your jaw bone using dental implants. Implant-supported dentures can replace multiple teeth in an arch or all of the teeth in a single arch. Full arches of teeth can be supported by as few as four implants that replace the roots of your natural teeth and securely hold the artificial teeth in place without relying on your gums.
Which type of denture is best for you — partial dentures in North York or some other option depending on your needs — depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced; where those teeth were located; how close the gaps in your jaw are to each other; your budget; your ability to withstand surgery; and your cosmetic goals and lifestyle. To determine the best option for you, ask a dentist near you to explain the pros and cons and suitability — or lack thereof — of each of these types of dentures.