If Saturday morning cartoons have taught us anything, it’s that dentures only come in one variety: Full top and bottom sets of teeth, either soaking gruesomely in a glass by your grandparents’ bedside or chattering around on their own like a wind-up toy. Right?
Actually, dentures come in a variety of types (and are not, unfortunately, capable of autonomous movement!) Modern dentures are high-tech, custom-crafted works of cosmetic dentistry designed to precisely suit the needs of the patient. So which type of dentures is right for you?
Five Main Types of Dentures
Dentures are tooth replacements. If you need to replace one or more missing teeth, you will get a denture of some type. In general, we can divide dentures into five basic categories:
- Dental bridge (fixed partial dentures)
- Traditional partial dentures
- Traditional full dentures
- Partial implant dentures
- Full implant dentures
Partial dentures replace only some teeth in either of your arches, while full dentures replace all teeth in a dental arch. Traditional dentures rest on your gums, while implant dentures attach to dental implants. We’ll describe these dentures in more detail and describe the specific brands and styles of dentures we offer.
If you have just one missing tooth, a dental bridge may be a good option. A dental bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, secures replacement teeth to dental crowns placed over your natural teeth. The natural teeth support your replacement teeth.
The main advantage of a dental bridge is that it lets you bite and chew normally. Plus, it’s fully fixed, so you don’t have to remove it for cleaning. It’s also small–you won’t have any additional bulk in your mouth.
However, dental bridges can put the teeth that support them at risk. We only use a dental bridge when we have two good teeth to support one replacement tooth to minimize this risk. Dental bridges can be hard to clean under, and they don’t support your gums and jawbone. The disadvantages of dental bridges mean we don’t use them as much now that we have dental implants.
Traditional Partial Dentures
If you’re only missing a few teeth, you might not think of dentures at all. This stems from a common misconception that dentures only come as full sets of teeth. In reality, partial dentures are a common and affordable solution to a few missing teeth. They’re made of a few false teeth designed to sit on top of your gums and are secured to adjacent teeth using hooks or clasps.
While partial dentures may be the right solution for some people, they aren’t generally recommended. This isn’t just because they’re often uncomfortable and unattractive — it’s also because they can cause damage to adjacent teeth and even increase your risk of tooth decay. Plus, partial dentures aren’t very functional for biting and chewing. Many people prefer to simply take them out when they eat.
Traditional Full Dentures
If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, traditional full dentures are a reasonable solution. These dentures will be custom fitted to use suction to adhere to the ridge of your gums for a sturdy fit. Upper dentures include a full plate that fits your palate to provide extra security. Dentures have come a long way in the last few decades, and the best dentures, such as FOY® Dentures, are now virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. However, traditional dentures still need to be removed and cleaned often and can irritate the gums, particularly if they’re poorly fitted.
Partial Implant Dentures
Dental implants secure into your bone, similar to the way natural teeth do. These provide sturdy support for a dental bridge that can replace as many teeth as you need using one, two, or three dental implants per bridge.
Partial implant dentures look and function like natural teeth. You will be able to bite and chew normally with your partial implant dentures. These are often permanently fixed in place, but if you want to have them removable for cleaning, you have that option.
Full Implant Dentures
If you need to replace an entire arch of teeth, you can do it with implant dentures. These are full dentures that can come in many different varieties, providing different benefits as tooth replacements. We offer three types of full implant dentures at Country Club Dentistry.
Snap-In Dentures are removable full implant dentures that can secure two to six dental implants. The more implants you have, the more support you get for biting and chewing, but even a small number of implants gives you great security for these dentures.
All-on-X Dentures are full implant dentures designed to be semi-permanently attached to your dental implants. These are more secure than Snap-In Dentures and can provide more biting and chewing force.
CeraSmile® uses advanced ceramics to construct a full implant denture that looks and functions as much like your natural teeth as possible. The ceramic used in these dentures is stronger than the titanium in implants. This gives you essentially full bite force. CeraSmile® utilizes the latest principles of cosmetic dentistry to provide you with a beautiful smile that looks truly natural.
What Type of Denture Is Right for You?
Implant dentist Dr. Rod Strober can help you find the best dentures for you. He will talk to you about:
- How many teeth you need to replace
- Your functional goals
- Your cosmetic goals
- Limitations of time and budget
Using this information, you can discover the best denture to meet your needs while respecting your limitations.
Missing teeth? Call (760) 832-7915 or contact us online to make an appointment with Dr. Strober right here in Rancho Mirage.