What Are Dentures?
Dentures are commonly known as ‘plates’ or ‘false teeth’, are oral / dental prostheses that replace missing teeth.
How Many Types Of Dentures Are There?
There are two main types of dentures:
- Fixed dentures – These are implant-supported and require surgically placed dental implants. The denture is fastened to the implants with screws. The implants themselves are placed in the jaw bone. These dentures are typically made out of the same acrylic as removable dentures, but can also be made out of zirconia, porcelain, or metal fused to porcelain. The latter is also considered a full-arch implant-supported bridge. The cost of fixed dentures is significantly higher than removable dentures due to the increased complexity, risks, multiple procedures, and implant surgeries. The cost will be significantly more than $10,000 and can be as high as $100,000 or more especially if a full upper/lower set is performed and completed by a prosthodontic specialist. The most obvious advantage of fixed dentures over removable ones is that they are almost like having natural teeth.
- Removable dentures – these are the most popular and most common types of dentures. When most people think of dentures, they are most likely to be thinking about removable ones. There are four main kinds of removable dentures:
- Complete dentures – these replace all the upper or all the lower teeth. A set of complete dentures will replace the upper AND lower teeth. The upper denture is usually more stable and retentive because it creates suction with the roof of the mouth, and covers more surface area. The lower denture is horseshoe-shaped, and gets dislodged more frequently, and is more unstable during function (chewing, talking, etc.).
- Partial dentures – these replace one or more of the teeth in an arch and are anchored by the surrounding existing teeth in the same arch. They can be made out of acrylic, or metal and acrylic.
- Implants – retained complete dentures – these involve two or more dental implants which provide retentive support by allowing the denture to ‘snap in’. The mechanism usually involves a male cap that is attached to the implant and protrudes from the gums which snaps into the female housing in the denture (insert photo). There are also cases where a titanium bar may be incorporated.
- Hybrid partial denture – involves a removable denture that utilizes existing natural teeth AND implants to retain and stabilize the denture. These types of dentures are particularly useful when most or all the missing teeth happen to be on only one side of the arch. In this case, the implant(s) can be used to support the denture on the side with fewer or no teeth (insert pic).d