Missing teeth can be a serious issue that affects your speech, your appearance, and your ability to eat. Equally important, missing teeth can also negatively affect how you feel about yourself and how you appear to others. If you want to recapture the old you and become the person you used to be, dentures may be the perfect solution for you.
Modern dentures are available in a variety of options that can maximize both your appearance and you comfort, while simultaneously restoring your ability to both eat and speak.
Here are a few of the many denture options available from your dentist. Your dentist will be able to help you chose the best denture options to both greatly improve your quality of life and help you regain your winning smile:
- A Complete Denture: This is what most people picture when they think of dentures. As its name implies, a complete denture replaces all of a patient's top or bottom teeth and is used when a patient has had those teeth removed. A complete denture consists of a removable plate, made of a pink material designed to look like the patient's natural gums, with the false teeth permanently affixed to the plate. This plate is then carefully fitted over the patient's gums. This is the most basic kind of denture. A properly fitted complete denture can change a patient's life by giving the patient the confidence that comes with having perfect, straight teeth that to the casual observer are indistinguishable from the patient's nature teeth.
- A Partial Denture: As the name implies, a partial denture is smaller or partial version of the complete denture, and is used when a patient is missing only a few consecutive teeth. A partial denture attaches to the adjacent or nearby teeth to remain in place. Your dentist will be able to match the color and tint of the false teeth with the existing natural teeth, making the partial denture undetectable to both family and friends.
- An Implant-Supported Denture: A recent innovation in teeth replacement is the implant-supported denture. This type of denture offers significant advantages to the patient in terms of appearance, durability and comfort compared to traditional denture options. Implant-supported dentures consist of two parts: false teeth mounted on a clear acrylic base, and implants or attachment studs which are placed in the jaw bone. The implant-supported dentures simply fit over the gum and click into place on the stud or attachment point, giving the dentures a firm, comfortable fit that will not loosen or fall out. This unmatched fit means that implant-supported dentures will stay in much more solidly than conventional dentures. Many of the problems associated with traditional dentures, such as irritation or sores or embarrassement may be avoided.
- Fixed Teeth with Implants New techniques often allow us to replace bad teeth with teeth fixed to the jaw with dental implants in one day. Only your dentist can take the teeth out. You can eat, talk, socialize, and date without worrying about dentures moving or loosening.
Julie C. Berger, DDS, MS is a Gettysburg dentist and board certified prosthodontist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.