More than 35 million Americans don’t have any teeth and 178 million are missing at least one tooth. 15% of the people lacking teeth have dentures made each year. Dentures are a good option to replace missing teeth at a lower cost than implants. If you have lost your natural teeth, have experienced tooth decay, injury or gum disease, getting dentures can help you improve your appearance and health.
What are dentures?
Affordable dentures are custom made removable appliances that can be taken out and put back into the mouth to replace a person’s missing teeth and surrounding tissue. There are two main types of dentures: full dentures and partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all the teeth are missing and partial dentures are used when only some teeth are missing.
How do dentures work?
A full denture consists of an acrylic base that fits over the gums with an upper denture base covering the roof of the mouth, and a lower denture shaped like a horseshoe accommodates the tongue to secure the denture from falling. A full denture is worn for most of the day acting as a replacement for the natural teeth and is removed at night for cleaning purposes. A partial denture is the same as a full denture, but clips in to the remaining teeth.
What should my dentures be made out of?
Dentures can be made out of porcelain or acrylic resin. Porcelain dentures resemble natural teeth very closely. They are easy to match to any remaining teeth and are easier for a patient to adapt to. On the downside, porcelain dentures are easy to break if dropped and can wear down any remaining natural teeth, making them a better option as a full denture rather than a partial denture.
Dentures made of Acrylic resin adhere more securely to a denture base, are easier to adjust to the position of the teeth when the jaw is closed, are less expensive than porcelain and are weightless. On the downside, acrylic dentures wear down faster than porcelain resulting in the need of replacing them every 5 to 8 years and can also cause changes in the way teeth make contact with one another
What are the different types of dentures?
- Conventional full dentures: A full conventional denture is used when all teeth are missing, or when the remaining teeth have been removed. It generally takes 4 to 6 visits. Impressions are first taken to make a diagnostic cast. Following impressions a wax rim is placed in the mouth to establish a proper bite and orientation of the teeth. A couple of weeks after the impressions and the wax bite the extraction of the teeth takes place where all the teeth are removed. After the extraction a 3 to 6 month waiting period has to happen to allow the tissue to heal. During the time the tissue is healing you will be left without teeth. However an acrylic removable partial denture called a flipper can be used while you wait for your gums to heal and dentures to arrive. A flipper is just cosmetic and does not aid in eating. Before the delivery a dentist visit will be necessary to try on your dentures. With the adequate care conventional dentures can last many years.
- Immediate full denture: Immediate full dentures are inserted the same day your teeth are removed. The dentures are made in advance. You will have prior visits with your dentist, giving them the opportunity to take measurements, extract molars, take impressions of your jaw and bite along with a wax bite. After your dentures have been made to order you will visit your dentist to try them on and following that visit, delivery will happen where the interior teeth will be extracted and the denture inserted. This will prevent you from being without teeth during the healing period. Keep in mind that you will have to have an adjustment done once the tissue shrinks and heals 6 months after the procedure.
- Partial Denture: Removable partial dentures are designed by your dentist. The partial denture will have teeth attached to a plastic base. The framework is made out of metal and clasps that connect to your remaining teeth that are used for a seamlessly natural look. Instead of clasps precision attachments can be used, they are more esthetic but costly. Keep in mind that your dentist might recommend crowns to anchor the partial denture for a better fit. Removable flexible dentures are another option that is an alternative to metal-based dentures. They are aesthetically pleasing, custom made by a dentist and removable. The flexible dentures cling to the gums and don’t require denture adhesive or metal clasps to hold them in place and the clear material allows the natural gum color to show through.
- Implant – supported denture: An implant-supported denture hooks onto implants, titanium screws embedded in the jawbone. This latching system ensures that the denture stays firmly in place, functioning like natural teeth. There are two implant dentures, removable and non-removable.
- Removable Over-Dentures: Removable over- dentures attach to conventional dental implants, mini-implants, or to a bar connected to conventional implants. These dentures are removed after meals, at night and in the morning for cleaning.
- Non-removable fixed dentures: Non-removable fixed dentures stay in the mouth all of the time. They are cared for like regular teeth by brushing and flossing daily. Though permanent, if necessary they can be removed by a dentist without damaging the implant.
Are there affordable dentures?
Dentures range in price due to the material and the type of denture, plus any additional required treatments such as tooth extractions, implants or crowns. Generally Implant supported dentures are pricier than a complete denture or a full set, and the use of acrylic resin is more affordable than the use of porcelain. There are many options and range of prices making dentures affordable for everyone. Many insurance plans cover at least a portion of cost; moreover a discount plan can save money.
How should I clean and care for my dentures?
To extend the life of your dentures, it is important to properly care and clean. Porcelain dentures require careful handling to reduce the risk of slipping or falling and prevent chipping. We recommend you follow the tips listed below to keep your dentures looking best.
- Clean dentures after eating – Remove your dentures after eating from your mouth and rinse with warm water to remove food particles. If you have permanent dentures simply brush like you normally would your natural teeth.
- Brush your dentures – After removing your dentures from your mouth, brush your dentures at least once a day with a nonabrasive denture cleanser.
- Soak your dentures – Soak your dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution overnight. To avoid weakening your dentures avoid solutions with chlorine, if you do use a solution with chlorine avoid soaking the metal attachments, to prevent tarnishing and corroding the metal.
- Rinse your dentures – Make sure to always rinse your dentures after soaking them overnight, especially if you use chemical solutions to avoid digesting any harmful chemicals.
- Handle your dentures carefully- Handle your dentures carefully to avoid bending or damaging them.
- Monitor the fit of your dentures- If you feel that your dentures have become loose, slip or you notice changes in your bite see your dentist as soon as possible. Loose dentures can cause infection, sores and irritation.
- Avoid bleach on your dentures – Don’t use products with bleach on your dentures. The bleach will weaken the acrylic or porcelain dentures and change their color.
- Avoid whitening toothpastes- Whitening toothpastes are abrasive, and can damage the delicate materials that compose dentures, shortening their longevity.
- Regular Dental Visits- It’s important to keep up with your regular six month dental visit. Whether you have a full or partial denture talk to your dentist about how often you should have your dentures professionally cleaned, examined and have your mouth checked to make sure it’s healthy.
Dentures can give you a beautiful confident smile. Jefferson Dental offers affordable dentures with several payment options accepts Medicaid, Medicare, most PPO insurance plans, and offers patients with no insurance deep discounts on treatment through our Exclusive Dental Savings Plan. We make dental care accessible with 60+ dental office locations in Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth and more!