Types Of Dentures
A Guide to Five Types of Dentures
For most of us, our knowledge of the types of dentures is quite limited. Although most of us picture dentures as being the full set that slip on over the gums, not everyone has this need. It is true that oral issues arise and in some cases all of the teeth must be removed but in some cases only one or a few are unable to be saved. In order to meet the needs of the most common tooth loss scenarios, there are several different types of dentures that one may choose from: standard, immediate, cu-sil, partial, and implant. Let’s take a look at the differences between each type of denture…
Standard dentures are the most well-known form of denture which covers the full set of top or bottom teeth. These dentures are made for people who are already missing all of their teeth in one row (either the top or bottom). The top denture will have an imitation palette that will press against the top palette of one’s mouth. This enables the denture to create the most suction possible to help the denture stay in place. Denture pastes, powders, and gels can be used as a means to glue the denture in place, however many people find that denture glue rarely offers all day support. The problem that most people have with dentures is that four, sometimes five, appointments are necessary in order to get the perfect length, fit, and color of dentures. After these appointments, the completed specifications can be sent to the lab where the dentures will be made. Because the first appointment usually occurs after the teeth have already been extracted, it can take several weeks for the complete denture set to arrive, which can seem like a terribly long time to go without chewing!
The hardest part of the typical denture process is having to wait weeks, sometimes more than a month, for the dentures to be made. Immediate dentures, or temporary dentures, allow the patient to walk into the dentist’s office with natural teeth and walk out with a pair of dentures that same day. The patient will usually have a mould taken of their teeth at a prior appointment. The temporary dentures will be made and shipped back to the dentist. Once the dentures have arrived, the patient can come in to have their natural teeth extracted. The gums will be stitched together and the immediate denture is placed on top. In addition to allowing the patient to chew food regularly, the pressure of the denture against the gums actually aids in the healing process and reduces bleeding. Immediate dentures usually turn out so well that many people keep them as a permanent set, however others feel that the immediate dentures do not look or feel as they wish and end up having a new set made after the gums have healed properly (usually around 12 months).
The cu-sil denture is a relatively new development and offers an extremely improved stability for dentures. The cu-sil denture is exactly like a standard denture only there are holes made where the patient’s natural teeth can be inserted. If the patient has even one good tooth that can be spared from extraction, the cu-sil denture can use that tooth to anchor it in place and increase the suction. This is a favored denture type because it often results in less speech difficulty and peace of mind while chewing.
Partial dentures are optimum for people who still have a few good teeth left. Many people who choose partial dentures are those who have had the back molar teeth removed but still have the front teeth, although this is not always the case. A partial denture connects to the teeth using suction against the gums and tissue as well as a small metal bar that rests against the back of the natural teeth. Partials are much cheaper than a full set of dentures and offer much more stability as they are able to use the support of one’s natural teeth instead of relying solely on suction.
Implants are the most expensive types of dentures and are usually chosen by those who only need to replace one or two crucial teeth, such as the front teeth. That being said, it is possible to have an entire set of implants, however this can cost upwards of $45,000. Implants are made of a titanium screw which is drilled into the jaw bone. After a few months the titanium will have begun to incorporate into the jaw and surrounding tissues will have grown around it. A small pole is attached to the top of the screw which pokes up from the gums. A natural-looking tooth is fitted to this pole. The end result looks extremely natural and is very sturdy. One does not have to worry about suction, speech difficulty, or ill-fitting dentures. Again, at around $2,000 a tooth, this is rarely an option for those who require an entire set of dentures.