Dentures 101: What are Dentures?

Posted .

Dentures are not just for the elderly. We’ve all seen those movies and TV shows with an elderly person spitting out their dentures, but dentures can be useful for anyone missing teeth. These removable teeth can be a great option for anyone missing a full set of teeth or even just a few.  

What are Dentures?

Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue—they can be a complete set or a partial set. Dentures are made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. They should be cleaned every day to avoid bad breath and gum disease. The cost of dentures varies depending on size, complete or partial, and type. If you are missing multiple teeth, dentures may be a good option for you. 

Complete Dentures 

A complete set of dentures is used when all teeth are missing. Complete dentures can be conventional or immediate. Conventional sets are made after all teeth have been removed and gum tissues have had time to heal—usually about 8-12 weeks after removal. Whereas immediate dentures are made in advance and can be used directly following teeth removal—no healing time needed. 

Partial Dentures 

Partial dentures are used when there are some natural teeth still remaining in the upper or lower jaw. Partials are like a fixed bridge that replaces one or more teeth. These bridges are placed on crowns on the teeth on either side of the gaps or missing teeth. If you’re just missing a few teeth or at least have some teeth will in good shape, partial dentures are a relatively easy fix. 

Metal and Plastic Dentures 

Dentures can be made of different materials. Plastic dentures are a less expensive option because they are cheaper to make. For a partial denture, plastic sets do need to be made very carefully or they can potentially damage the teeth they are fitted against. 

Metal dentures are often made of chromium and an allot of cobalt—a much stronger option than plastic. For partial metal dentures, they are lighter weight and can easily be supported by the surrounding teeth. The base is made of metal but attached to a gum-color plastic. This is a more expensive, and usually more durable option. 

Alternatives to Dentures

If you aren’t interested in getting denture but need to replace some missing teeth, there are other options. Dental implants can be a good alternative. Implants can be used to support cemented bridges and eliminate the need for dentures. Though a costlier option, implants do feel more like real teeth. Dental implants are going in popularity, but not everyone is a good candidate for them. If you’re interested in implants, discuss options with your dentist. Dental implants can also be used to accompany dentures, offering support and stability. 

If you think dentures may be a good option for your missing teeth problem, come see us at Fort Union Family Dental. We’ll work with you to determine your best option.