There are several ways to replace your missing teeth, and with dentures, there are numerous types to choose from — each made from different materials and serving unique purposes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in five adults aged 65 or older have lost all their teeth. Living without teeth can severely impact a person’s health and emotional well-being. That’s where dentures come in — they can replace missing teeth, restoring your smile and allowing you to speak and chew normally. But since there are many different types of dentures, here’s what you need to know about each.
The seven different types of dentures
Research has shown that people were replacing their teeth with some form of dentures since 2500 BC. Dental prosthetics have advanced greatly since then, with many types of dentures now available for various needs. Typically made of acrylic, nylon, or metal, dentures can replace all or just a few lost teeth.
Here’s a rundown of the seven different types of dentures you may encounter:
Full or complete dentures. You’ll need a full or complete denture set if you’re missing all your teeth. Complete dentures can be removed for cleaning.
Partial dentures. Missing only a few teeth? A partial denture can fill the gap. A pink or gum-colored base attached to a metal framework secures the device in your mouth. A partial denture can also be removed for cleaning.
Flexible dentures. Made of thinner materials like nylon, flexible dentures fit the gums more comfortably than removable partial dentures. Because no metal is used, flexible dentures are less noticeable than partial dentures but come at a higher cost.
Temporary dentures. Also known as immediate dentures, temporary dentures are fitted immediately after your teeth are extracted. Temporary dentures give you a normal appearance while you wait for your permanent dentures.
Fixed bridge. Unlike a removable partial denture, a fixed bridge is permanently secured to a crown placed over a natural tooth on either side of the bridge.
Implant-supported fixed dentures. Like a fixed bridge, implant-supported fixed dentures are secured to dental implants inserted into the jaw bone.
Snap-on dentures. Removable crowns attached to dental implants allow the wearer to snap the dentures on and off.
You have dentures. Now take care of them!
While natural looking, your dentures are not as durable as your natural teeth. Even so, they can last up to 10 to 15 years with proper care. To extend the life of your dentures, follow these tips:
Clean daily. Bacteria and plaque can collect on your dentures just as they would on your natural teeth, damaging your gums. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least once daily, but don’t use regular toothpaste that can scratch your dentures. Gently brush the dentures with specially formulated toothpaste, cleaning all parts of the device. And don’t neglect your gums! A gentle brushing can stimulate blood supply to the gums and keep them healthy. Always floss between your remaining teeth if you have partial dentures.
Soak overnight. Soaking your denture overnight in a mild soap or solution helps maintain their shape and keeps them fresh. If the dentures dry out, they can break easily. Never submerge in hot water, which can warp the dentures.
Treat your dentures carefully. When cleaning your dentures, place a towel beneath the appliance, or clean over a sink. That way, if you accidentally drop the dentures, they won’t break.
See your dentist regularly. Wearing dentures doesn’t mean you can skip your regular dental appointments. These visits allow your dentist to look at your gums and assess your oral health. Your gums and bone structure change over time, so your dentures may not fit as securely as they once did. To get a more comfortable fit, your dentist can adjust your dentures or fit you with a new set.
You don’t have to live with missing teeth
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Norman, Oklahoma, location today! Our highly trained dentists can fit you with the perfect set of dentures. Don’t live near our Norman, OK, office? Find one of our other locations near you.
550 24th Ave. S.W.
Norman, OK 73069