Thanks to modern technology, you no longer need to live the rest of your life with missing teeth.
Dentures can allow the full restoration of your eating habits, your smile and your facial structure. They can also help restore oral health as any remaining decaying teeth can be removed, and alignment of healthy teeth can be maintained. Dentures can even help prevent bone loss in your jaw.
If you have missing teeth, there are four main denture options available.
Full dentures are a complete set of teeth for both the upper and lower jaw. The denture for the upper jaw has an acrylic base which allows it to attach firmly against the upper mouth. The lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to allow room for the tongue.
When installing full dentures, the denturist removes all remaining teeth that are decaying and contributing to gum loss. The dentures are installed the same day, but are readjusted after several months after the gum and jaw bone have changed shape due to the healing process.
Full dentures function as a complete set of teeth and are removable.
If a patient has only a few teeth missing and the remaining teeth are healthy, then partial dentures are a great option. Removal of healthy and natural teeth is never recommended, so it is better to let them remain intact.
Partial dentures are attached to natural teeth using metal clasps. They can also be attached to crowns using precision attachments, in which case the support of natural teeth isn’t required. They fit in the spaces between remaining healthy teeth, contributing not only to better aesthetics, but also helping to maintain tooth alignment.
Flexible partial dentures
Flexible partial dentures are best for those who do not like the plastic rigidity of dentures. They are extremely lightweight, easily detachable, and affordable. They fit around the remaining teeth and fill in the gaps where teeth may be missing.
Dental implants are anchors that are inserted directly into the jaw bone, and a complete set of permanent teeth are installed on those implants.
The implants are fixed surgically, and may require more than a one visit to the denturist. Once the implants are in place, a period of six months is required for the gums to completely heal and take shape, after which the dentures are affixed to them.
Since they are not removable, implant dentures must be cared for just like natural teeth through regular brushing and flossing.
Single-tooth implants are also available to replace one or more missing teeth.