Dentures are custom-made appliances that are used to replace missing or lost teeth to improve appearance and restore oral function such as speaking, smiling, and eating. They consist of a denture base and prosthetic teeth, which are made of high strength acrylic plastic resin, customized to fit the form and structure of the patient. There are two main types of dentures, traditional dentures, and implant dentures.
Traditional dentures are dentures braced on the gum of the missing teeth and rely on the stability and suction between the denture base and the gum to function effectively. Sometimes, denture adhesive or suction is used to secure the denture properly. There are two types of traditional denture; traditional full denture and traditional partial denture. Full dentures are used when all of the patient’s teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when only some of the teeth are missing.
Pros of Traditional Dentures
- They are time and cost effective.
- They are removable and easy to clean.
- They provide beautiful aesthetics for the mouth.
Cons of Traditional Dentures
- They provide limited chewing function and can slip out of place while eating and talking.
- They need to be replaced or realigned regularly – at least every 5 years.
- They cause the jaw bone in the area where the teeth are lost to continue to shrink.
- Food can be trapped under the denture base, which may cause infection or gum disease.
Implant dentures are dentures that are held in place with a titanium dental implant. The implants are surgically placed below the gum line, where they fuse with the gums and jawbone to mimic the root system of the lost teeth.
Pros of Implant Dentures
- They offer significantly more chewing function and comfort.
- They require only minimal bone remodeling over time.
- They do not rely on jaw muscle learning.
- They are very secure and do not slip out of place.
Cons of Implant Dentures
- They are more expensive than traditional dentures.
- The dental implants may take time to heal.
- They have relatively higher maintenance cost for repair and replacement of the components.
Author: Dr. Kevin Lin
Date: April 2018