If you’re in need of complete or “full” dentures then you are not alone. It has been reported by the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry that approximately 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 178 million people are missing at least one tooth. And these numbers are expected to continue to grow in the future. Whether you are missing most or all of your teeth, have had no success with implants or had an injury resulting in tooth loss, dentures might be the best course of action for you. Keep in mind that partial dentures can be a comfortable and less invasive option for filling in one or more missing teeth.
Dentures in Today’s Modern Dentistry
Dentures not only look and feel much more real than in recent years, but patients have commented on how comfortable they are compared to years ago. Today’s dentures are typically made of acrylic and can be fabricated in a couple different ways:
- Complete Dentures – Use of complete dentures consists of both a top and bottom plate that can be fabricated in a number of ways. If a few teeth remain, these will generally be pulled to make room for the denture. The bottom denture will fit snug over the gum line in a horseshoe shape to make room for the tongue. The upper denture will cover the palate of the upper mouth to hold it firmly in place. Sometimes an implant can be used to secure dentures in place. Each individual will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Partial Dentures – Are generally a removable acrylic bridge accompanied by metal framework that fits around remaining teeth to fill in the gap. Partials are typically used when both the remaining teeth and gums are in great condition, but there are several missing teeth on either the upper or lower jaw. Many times partials are used as a less invasive or non-surgical alternative to implants after accident results in missing teeth.