Dentures are an option that work well for many patients who have missing teeth. They can replace one or more missing teeth and also provide a certain amount of support for the lips and cheeks in the area of the missing teeth. Denture manufacturing has progressed to the point that most modern dentures look very natural. This offers increased confidence to patients to smile and speak in public situations.
What Options are there for Dentures?
Typically, those who are looking at this treatment will find two basic options:
- Partial dentures – This solution works well for patients who still have many of their natural teeth. Partials are custom-made to replace only the specific teeth that the patient is missing. A partial is attached to a plastic base. This base fits into the mouth of the patient. In some cases, the partial is cemented directly into the patient’s mouth using other natural teeth as anchor points. For some patients, the partial dentures not only replace teeth but also provide support to keep remaining natural teeth where they belong. When the partial is replacing upper teeth, the base it is attached to will be flesh-colored and will cover the roof of the patient’s mouth. If the partial is replacing lower teeth, the base will be shaped like a horseshoe in order to leave room for the patient’s tongue.
- Complete Dentures – This option is for those who must replace all of their natural teeth. They are custom-fitted to meet the specific needs of each patient. The final product is a smile that looks very natural. Complete dentures are designed to be completely removable. It may be necessary
A cost-effective option for replacing a section of missing teeth is known as a crown and bridge. This can also be referred to as a fixed partial denture. Dental crowns and bridges are most often bonded to existing natural teeth or dental implants.
A bridge contains replacement teeth that are bonded to natural teeth that are on either side of a gap that exists due to missing teeth.
A patient should take care of a bridge or dentures just like he was caring for his natural teeth. He should brush thoroughly twice each day, floss each day, and rinse. Regular dental checkups should be scheduled every six months. By following good oral hygiene, dentures and crowns can last a lifetime.