Category Archives: Dentures

What Type of Partial Dentures to Choose: Flexible Partial Denture

Metal vs. flexible partial dentures

If you’ve already lost some but not all of your teeth but you’re not quite ready for dental implants, then you have the option of replacing your missing teeth with partial dentures. Partial denture is a set of false teeth which fills in missing gaps with material resembling your own teeth and gums. Partial dentures rely on clasps to anchor onto your remaining teeth. They can be removed to allow access to clean the partials along with your remaining teeth. The most common types of partial dentures include metal partial dentures and flexible partial dentures.

What are metal and flexible partial dentures?

Traditional metal-based partial dentures have a metal framework which sits on top of your gums. These type of dentures rely on metal clasps to anchor them onto your remaining teeth and hold them in place. Flexible partial dentures, such as valplast partials, are made from flexible plastic material. These type of dentures don’t contain any metal, instead they rely on flexible gum-colored plastic clasps to anchor them in place.

Benefits of flexible partial dentures

Not having metal in your partial dentures may sound like a good option for most denture wearers. The metal can hurt you and is definitely an eye sore as well. However, flexible partials are almost always the more expensive treatment option as well. So is the upgrade to flexible partial dentures really worth it? Lets discuss the benefits of flexible partial dentures first:

Flexible partials are more comfortable and natural feeling

When comparing a well made metal partial and flexible partial, the flexible one is almost always the more comfortable one to wear. Flexible partials are made from plastic, which is softer than metal. These partials don’t press on your gums as much. Additionally, since flexible partial dentures are somewhat expandable, the plastic clasps don’t apply as much pressure as metal clasps do. This means that wearing partial dentures is typically more comfortable than wearing metal partials.

Flexible dentures look nicer

Obviously not showing lots of metal when smiling makes a big difference in terms of looks and appearance. Flexible dentures have plastic clasps which blend in with your own gums. This makes it difficult to tell if you’re wearing false teeth or not.

Metal partials tend to show their metal when you open your mouth. This is more evident when dealing with partial dentures which replace missing front teeth. If your require clasps in the front region to stabilize your partial dentures, then you’ll show metal should you choose to go with a metal-based partial denture.

Flexible dentures are more resistant to fracture

If you’re the type that drops their stuff accidentally then a flexible partial denture is the better option for you. Flexible dentures are made from flexible plastic so they take force of impact quite well. Flexible partials rarely break in half when you drop them accidentally. On the other hand, metal partials tend to break easily whenever dropped forcibly. The bad news is that when this happens, you almost always require a new set of partials.

Flexible dentures do less damage to your remaining teeth

Flexible partial dentures don’t put too much pressure on your teeth. They have plastic clasps which are slightly expandable and more forgiving to your natural teeth. As a result, flexible partial dentures do less damage to your remaining few teeth.

Metal clasps on the other hand, hug your teeth very tightly and place lots of stress onto your teeth. You’re much more likely to lose your remaining teeth at an accelerated rate when wearing metal partial dentures as compared to flexible ones. Keep in mind that the sooner you lose your remaining teeth, the sooner you’ll require a new set. This typically makes the upgrade fees associated with flexible partial dentures well worth it.

NEXT >> What Type of Partial Dentures to Choose: Metal Partial Denture

What Type of Partial Dentures to Choose: How to Decide

Advantages of Dental Implants over Dentures

Toothless man’s dilemma: Are dentures or dental implants better for me?

You need something to replace your teeth once you lose them . You’re options are either receiving a set of dentures or placing dental implants in your mouth. Now you know that dental implants can be expensive and take a good while to complete. So what are the advantages of dental implants over dentures? Is it enough to justify their high prices in addition to how long it takes to receive them? Or should you stick with yet another denture reline and adjustment or try putting more denture adhesives for just a while longer?

Replacing all your teeth with full dentures

full denture, also known as complete denture, is a false set of teeth that replaces your own teeth. Wearing full dentures can be a bit of a hit or miss. Some denture wearers do real well with them and comfortably eat, talk and function as if it were their own actual teeth. However others find their false teeth to be loose, painful and a constant struggle to keep in place. If this applies to you, then you’ve probably been looking at other options, such as placing dental implants on your mouth instead.

Replacing all your teeth with dental implants

If you are serious about replacing all of your teeth with dental implants, then you have two basic treatment options to choose from. These are both excellent options which give you superior teeth to dentures:

Implant-retained bridge also referred to as All-on-fours 

An implant-retained bridge gives you a full set of dental implants with a fixed bridge sitting on top. This treatment is what most people imagine when thinking about replacing all of their teeth with dental implants. Implant-retained bridge treatment, or all-on-fours, typically takes around 6 months to a year and costs in the tens-of-thousands range.

Implant-supported denture also referred to as overdentures 

An implant-supported denture involves placing several dental implants to anchor your dentures in place and stabilize them. Keep in mind that you will still be able to take your dentures in-and-out with this treatment as opposed to all-on-fours which locks your false teeth in place. This treatment is very effective and much less expensive than an implant-retained bridge is. However since few people know about it, it’s not as popular of a treatment as it should be. Implant-supported denture treatment, or overdentures, typically takes less than 6 months to complete and costs a few thousand dollars per set.

Advantages of dental implants over dentures

For the purposes of this article, we will be comparing both dental implant treatment options as a whole and compare them to full dentures:

More stable false teeth

Receiving just a few dental implants can really help secure your false teeth in their place. Many denture wearers struggle to keep their false teeth from moving as much. Their dentures move a lot when they are eating and chewing, particularly with harder food items. Loose dentures can cut and lacerate your gums and cause repeated episodes of pain and swelling. And the older you get, the more your jawbone shrinks, causing your dentures to become looser and looser.

Dental implants, whether in the form of all-on-four or overdentures, help anchor teeth in your mouth. Having a few dental implants essentially gives you the equivalent of having a few teeth back in your mouth. It would be as if you were wearing partial dentures instead of full dentures. Which is yet another reason we prefer dental implants over dentures, especially full dentures.

In most instances, dental implants are actually even a better option than wearing partial dentures. This is because when wearing partial dentures you still have teeth remaining and have to constantly worry about cavities or teeth loosening over time. With dental implants there are no more concern of cavities or lose teeth any longer. In fact well placed dental implants last forever if placed properly and allowed to heal.

Your false teeth will be which less bulky with dental implants in place

Full dentures rely on the suction against your gums to remain in place. After all, what else is there for them to grip onto when there are no more teeth left in your mouth? As a result full dentures are made bulky to cover as much gum tissue as possible for maximum suction and retention.

With dental implants in place, your false teeth can now use these implants as anchors to secure them in place instead of relying on your gums. Your dentist can make you a much less bulky set of teeth with implants over dentures alone. This means that you can receive false teeth that are much less bulky with dental implants over dentures. No longer do you need all that excess acrylic just to hold your dentures in place:

  • Once you place dental implants, your top full dentures no longer  need to cover the roof of your mouth (palate). This means that your dentist can make you a much smaller denture and open up your palate. As a result you can eat, taste and talk much more comfortably with your upper dentures.
  • With dental implants your bottom full dentures will not be falling out when you talk or push against them with your tongue. Loose bottom dentures is extremely common and placing just a few implants can really make a difference.
Successful dental implants last you a lifetime

Well placed dental implants typically last you a lifetime. Unlike your own teeth, once dental implants are placed and allowed to successfully heal they almost never fall out of your mouth. Chances of successful dental implants failing once they’ve had a chance to properly heal is very slim. Once you receive your implants, you get to keep them for the rest of your life.

Of course problems can occur with the denture or bridge which sits on top of your dental implants. However if your dentist makes a nice bridge or denture to anchor on top of the dental implants, then you should have a nice, stable set of teeth with which you can chew just about anything. Once your dental implant treatment is completed, you no longer have to go back to the dentist every couple of years for a new set of false teeth. In fact this set may very well be the last set of false teeth that you’ll ever need!

NEXT >> Advantages of dentures over dental implants

10 Questions to help decide between dental implants or dentures

Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures (Overdentures)

Full mouth dental implant replacement options:

So long as you have a few teeth left, your dentist can make you a partial denture. Partial dentures anchor onto your remaining teeth to stabilize and hold them in place. While not your best option, they seem to work okay in most cases and hold up quite well. However, once you have no more teeth left in your mouth a full denture (complete denture) is your only option. Many people are unhappy with their full dentures and have problems with them. If you’re one of those unhappy denture wearers then you probably have been researching dental implants. There are two basic dental implant options available to you when it comes to replacing all your teeth: Implant-supported dentures or implant retained bridge. One involves a denture anchoring onto implants and the other is a bridge secured onto several implants:

Implant-supported dentures (overdentures)

One option to replace all of your teeth is known as implant-supported dentures or overdentures. This treatment involves placing several dental implants, 2 to 4 per arch, to anchor your false teeth. A denture is then fabricated which locks onto these implants and is secured by the implant in place. The denture will have a few lock and keys to attach to the implants. It will also be much smaller than your current set of dentures since it doesn’t rely on attaching to your gums any longer.

Implant-retained bridge (all-on-fours)

A second option to replace all your teeth is known as implant-retained bridge or an all-on-fours. This involves placing about 4 to 8 implants per arch to anchor your bridge. A bridge is then fabricated and screwed or glued permanently on top of these implants. The term all-on-fours refers to the minimum need for four implants to secure the bridge. Although occasionally more than four implant is needed to perform this treatment.

So what benefits does each treatment option offer you? And which one works better for you?

Advantages of implant-supported dentures (overdentures)

Implant-supported dentures is basically a set of dentures anchored onto dental implants. These are the benefits that they offer you:

Implant-supported dentures (overdentures) are much more affordable than other implant treatment options

Implant treatment options are generally quite expensive as you would imagine. Implant-supported dentures typically cost several thousands dollars, ranging in between $3,500 to $5,000+ per arch. So you could get a full set of upper and lower implant-supported dentures for well under $10,000. The majority of people only receive this treatment for their lower arch which is typically the more problematic one.

On the other hand, implant-retained bridges cost several tens-of-thousands of dollars. Treatment for upper and lower arch can approach six-digits for the entire procedure. There are several reasons why implant-retained bridges are so much more expensive:

  • They require more implants as well as more expensive types of implants than implant-supported dentures do.
  • Placement of dental implants has to be very accurate and precise. The implants must be spread out and relatively parallel to one another to provide a good support for your permanent bridge.
  • Teeth fabrication process is much more difficult and costly for a bridge as compared to a denture.
Implant supported dentures (overdentures) are a much easier all around treatment option

Implant-supported dentures is a much easier all around treatment than implant-retained bridges are. Typically only very experienced and skilled dentists or prosthodontists perform this treatment as it is both complex and time consuming. On the other hand, many more dentists offer overdenture treatment due to its relative ease:

Easier to qualify for overdentures

You can qualify for overdentures even if you have very weak jawbone. This is because your dentist only needs to place a few small, skinny implants to anchor your dentures. On the other hand, all-on-fours treatment requires much greater bone presence for larger and sturdier implants.

Easier to place implants

Your dentist or oral surgeon only needs to place two to four small implants for overdenture treatment. Additionally the implants can be placed anywhere you have good enough jawbone. Usually dentists place the implants in the front region of your jaws which has better bone. On the other hand, implant-retained bridges requires larger dental implants. The implants must also be spread out evenly throughout your entire jaw. This makes it much more challenging and not everyone qualifies for this treatment.

Easier to place teeth on top of implants

Making a denture that sits on top of your implants is not that much more difficult than making a regular set of dentures. It only requires a few visits to make and is relatively straight forward. On the other hand making a bridge for implant-retained bridge treatment is very challenging. Getting the bridge to fit and look perfect is difficult work. Everything has to be performed very precisely and accurately for you to be happy with the final results. These treatments typically require numerous visits and take much longer to complete.

Repairing or replacing false teeth is much easier with implant-supported dentures (overdentures)

This is a fact that is commonly overlooked. Once dental implants are placed and healed properly they rarely cause a problem. However your false teeth, whether in the form of a denture or bridge, are susceptible to problems. They can break, lose a tooth or crack in half just like any other dental prosthesis would.

If overdentures get damaged, repairs are usually easy and straightforward. The acrylic can be glued back together or a tooth can be added to it with relative ease. Your dentist can send them to the lab to have them repaired within a few days. In fact occasionally you might even be able to go directly to the denture lab and have them fixed in one day.

On other hand, implant-retained bridges are very difficult to repair should they get damaged. Repairs are hard to do and typically take a long time. Often times a repair is not even an option and you will require a whole new bridge. This means that you may have to spend another few months redoing your entire bridge. This can be a major nuisance but unfortunately there’s not much you can do about it.

NEXT >> What are the advantages on implant-retained bridges (all-on-fours)?

8 Questions to help decide your best full mouth dental implant replacement option