Dentures are used for replacing weak or lost teeth. They are available as a full or partial set depending on the number of missing teeth. In this article, we cover the types of dentures available for teeth restorations.
Types of dentures
Full dentures are designed to replace the complete set of teeth on a dental arch. Dentures created for the upper jaw have a flesh-colored acrylic base that covers the roof of the mouth and gum to create suction and hold the prosthetic teeth firmly. Full dentures for the lower jaw are similar, but the acrylic base has a horseshoe shape so it will not cover the tongue.
Before placing full dentures, the dentist will extract any remaining teeth. The jawbone will respond to this procedure and adjust over time. To create a perfect fit, the dentist may need to wait a few months before taking the mouth’s measurements, which will be used to request full dentures from the manufacturer. Before the permanent dentures are ready, the patient will be given a temporary option. Afterward, the dentist will fit the dentures according to the reshaped jawbone.
If only a few teeth are lost, partial dentures can fill the space. Partial dentures can be connected to the natural tooth through binding metal clasps. The crowns help the partial dentures fit correctly and with precision.
As the name implies, implant-supported dentures are connected to implants inserted into the jawbone. These implants protrude through the gums and hold the dentures in place. The dentist inserts implants surgically and allows some time to fuse with the jawbone. The benefit of implant-supported dentures is that they offer better stability than other types of dentures, especially for the lower jaw.
This type of dentures can be either ball-retained or bar-retained. In the latter, a thin metal bar will be connected to two to five implants in the bone. Clips or other forms of attachment are usually used to make the connection. Ball-retained dentures, otherwise known as stud-attachment dentures, typically comprise sockets that sit on ball-shaped connectors on the implants. Implant-supported dentures have a better appearance and prevent jawbone resorption, which is a common occurrence in other types of dentures.
An ideal patient for this type of denture must have healthy gums, enough bone mass and excellent oral hygiene. If the jawbone mass is not enough, bone graft surgery may be required to rebuild the bone.
Caring for dentures
All types of dentures require routine cleaning to prevent oral health problems and ensure the durability of the dentures. If you have a full or partial denture, remove and clean it every day. Brush your teeth, gums and palate with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Many denture options are available to restore the appearance and function of your teeth. Your dentist will advise you on the best option based on your condition. With proper care and maintenance, the dentures can survive many years of use.
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