If you’ve been missing your teeth for some time now, getting them replaced can bring renewed confidence and take years off your appearance. It will feel great to have your smile back. Though no one wants to lose all their teeth, sometimes there is no other choice.
When replacing missing teeth, you basically have two options: dental implants or dentures. You may click here to visit our dental implants page and learn about that option.
When it comes to dentures, we have several options available for you:
Complete Removable Dentures
When people think of dentures, this is the type that usually comes to mind. You only need these if you are missing all of your teeth. The upper dentures are held in place by suction. The lower dentures rest on the ridge and are assisted in remaining in place by your tongue and cheeks. Though they can vastly improve your appearance, they do have limitations. In order to make a truly informed decision you need to know their downside as well.
Limitations of complete dentures:
- Your chewing efficiency will be reduced by over 50%. Of course, the better fit you are able to get with your dentures, the more efficiency you’ll have. However, even the best-fitting dentures significantly reduce your chewing ability compared with natural teeth.
- They slip around. The lower dentures are particularly susceptible to that because they merely rest on a ridge with nothing to really keep them in place. Therefore, whenever you talk or chew they will move.
- You’ll lose jawbone. This is an important limitation that needs to be carefully considered when making your decision regarding tooth replacement. Many patients are able to deal with the other denture issues, maintaining a happy standard of living. Unfortunately, this is one issue that cannot be dealt with by a good attitude and adjustment of expectations. When your teeth are removed your body begins to re-absorb the minerals in your jawbone because they are no longer needed to support the roots of your teeth. This is known as facial collapse. After about ten or twenty years, there will no longer be enough bone structure left to support your lower dentures, and other measures will have to be taken to ensure your ability to chew.
When you have several missing teeth, but still have some healthy teeth left, partial dentures are a good option. As you can see from the picture to the right, the replacement teeth are attached to a removable appliance. This appliance is attached to your remaining teeth by a framework. This picture shows a metal framework, though the type of framework can vary. We offer a couple different types of partials: flexible all-acrylic or a combination of acrylic and cast.
An overdenture is a denture made to be over either your natural teeth or dental implants. When using natural teeth, it merely rests on them, adding a little bit of stability. It is even more secure when it is made over dental implants (pictured right). Dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone. The dentures are attached to the implant with either snaps or screws. These are very pragmatic because they can directly address all the limitations that have to be dealt with when wearing complete dentures. They aid in securing the dentures to your jawbone, so not only will you no longer have to worry about your dentures falling out, but the implants help protect you from facial collapse. More implants bring increased security, but overdentures can use as few as two implants.
If you’d like to see if you are a candidate for dentures, you may request an appointment online or call (630) 892-7041