Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures: full and partial. Full dentures are given to patients when all of the natural teeth have been removed. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain.
What are dentures?
Dentures are prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth and can be taken in and out of the mouth easily. They consist of a plastic base that is custom-made to fit your mouth and provide a natural look and feel, as well as artificial teeth. The denture teeth are made to match the color and shape of natural teeth for a seamless appearance.
The base of the denture is made to be strong and durable. It’s typically made of either acrylic resin or a metal framework. The most common type of denture is a full set of upper or lower teeth. However, partial dentures are also available, which can replace multiple missing teeth within your own smile. This case shows a partial denture that replaces three teeth in the upper jaw that were lost to decay. In this case, the denture is anchored in place with dental implants in the bone ridge. Once the implants have healed, the denture can be secured to the posts permanently and will not come out by accident. This can provide ultimate stability and chewing function for a patient.
The materials that are used to make the dentures depend upon the patient’s needs and preferences. Acrylic resins are the most common material used to make the base. A metal framework is also an option, though this is typically reserved for patients with enough natural bone mass in their jaws to support this type of structure. Alternative materials include porcelain, a flexible nylon-based polymer, and metal-free plastic. Many patients opt for an implant-retained overdenture because of its many benefits. Implant-retained overdentures are attached to a set of dental implants in a patient’s mouth, which provide extra stability.
Regardless of what type of denture you choose, it’s important to feel confident in your appearance and the functionality of your dentures.
What materials are used to make dentures?
Dentures can be made from plastic, metal, or a combination of the two metals. The most affordable and most commonly used material is acrylic resin. This material is used because it can be tinted to closely match the color of the patient’s natural teeth. However, this material can tend to crack over time since it is less durable than metal.
Metal bases are made with either chromium or cobalt alloy. These alloys are strong and durable, but some people have an allergic reaction to these metals. Plus, the metallic color of the denture base can be distracting compared to the appearance of natural tooth enamel.
Porcelain fused to metal is another common material used in the construction of partial and full dentures since it can be both strong and lightweight.
In recent years, flexible nylon has become a popular material for partial dentures. Flexible nylon is strong, affordable, and comes in many shades that can be matched to the color of a patient’s smile. The material also flexes with the gums during chewing, which can reduce wear on the teeth.
Regardless of which type of material is used to create your denture, your dentist will customize your appliance to fit your individual needs. This includes making sure your teeth have the proper space and that the gum tissue fits securely around your appliance.
For more information on dentures or to schedule an appointment with our dentists, contact our office today!