We’ve all had that story about the first time we saw our grandparents take their teeth out as a kid. Back then, our experience would have been more like a horror story, seeing grandpa or grandma’s gums where their natural teeth were supposed to be and realizing that the big, beautiful smile on their face, whenever they saw, was “not real.”

Growing up, your understanding probably never grew beyond the thought that your grandparents had “fake teeth.” Until years later—maybe even now—you realize that those “fake teeth” were dentures. But what exactly are dentures? That’s what we’ll be dealing with in this article: everything you need to know about dentures, their purpose, benefits, etc. Let’s get started.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are removable devices that replace missing teeth and the tissue surrounding them. Such loss can happen either from gum diseases or tooth decay and injury, resulting in difficulty speaking and eating. Once installed, dentures shape your facial appearance and profile and give enough definition to your facial muscles to improve the loss of speech and difficulty eating. Further, dentures help restore your smile after teeth loss, giving you that added confidence boost.

Types of Dentures

Several types of dentures exist, each varying from appearance to function. Usually, a prosthodontist specializing in mouth and teeth reconstruction determines the type of dentures best suited for you, and it’s recommended that you schedule a visit with one before choosing dentures. That being said, the two major types of dentures are Complete Dentures and Partial Dentures.

1. Complete Dentures

These are the more traditional dentures that fill up the entire upper or lower jaw to replace missing teeth. They are designed for people who have lost all or most of their teeth and want to replace them all at once. Complete Dentures could be conventional or immediate. The traditional complete dentures are often the ones that are ready to be inserted into the mouth 12 weeks after teeth removal, while immediate complete dentures are made beforehand and are placed into the mouth as soon as teeth removal is completed; this completely waves the waiting period where the user has to be without teeth.

2. Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are for people who still have some natural teeth left but have difficulty chewing. They fill up only a part of your mouth as they are used to replace just a set of teeth and not the entire upper or lower set of teeth. Partial dentures are usually made of a set of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base made of plastic, connected to a metal framework that supports the denture and holds it in the mouth. This doesn’t just enable the denture to fill up the spaces left by the missing teeth but also prevents the rest of the teeth from shifting position.

Other Types of Dentures Include:

1. Snap-In Dentures

Snap-In dentures are a unique type of dentures because they come with attachments that fit on locator receptors. This makes it easy to insert or remove the dentures at your convenience. They’re secured by dental implants and/or anchored to the present teeth, making them a type of fixed denture. Generally, snap-in dentures are used when the patient has no teeth, but there is still enough bone tissue left in the patient’s mouth region to support the denture.

2. Implant Supported Dentures

This is the best denture in cases where the patient has poor-fitting dentures because they serve as artificial roots for the patient’s missing teeth. Similar to snap-in dentures, this also involves a dental implant as it is used to provide a cushion for the dentures to be fixed. Implant Supported Dentures are a good option for secure, long-lasting, and more natural dentures.

3. Fixed Bridge Dentures

This is a more expensive type of denture than the traditional removable or fixed denture. A crown is surgically joined to each side of the patient’s remaining natural teeth with fixed bridge dentures. One major benefit of fixed bridge dentures is their firmly anchored, completely eliminating the fear of your dentures popping out by mistake.

4. Overdentures

Overdentures are a specific kind of denture made to fit over dental implants and the gums. They offer comfort as they are convenient, removable, and mostly used to replace lost upper or lower teeth.

5. Economy Dentures

These are the most cost-effective dentures available but come at the price of looking unnatural and uncomfortable when worn.

Benefits of Dentures

Dentures have numerous benefits, even though the need to use one varies from person to person. Here are a few benefits of getting dentures installed in your mouth:

  1. It helps restore and even improve your smile, which works wonders as a confidence booster.
  2. It removes the frustration of chewing with an incomplete set of teeth.
  3. Dentures are more cost-effective than teeth restoration.
  4. Dentures are highly durable and can be customized to suit individual needs and preferences.

How To Care for Your Dentures

Just because dentures are artificial teeth doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be cared for like natural teeth. Failure to do can cause bacteria to build up in the mouth and cause much harm.

Here’s how you can make sure your dentures are taken care of:

  1. Brush the dentures daily to remove any plaque or food particles that could have settled on them. Brushing could also prevent the dentures from staining.
  2. When brushing, use a soft bristle toothbrush, so the dentures don’t get scratched or damaged.
  3. Dentures should be rinsed thoroughly before brushing to remove loose debris or food particles.
  4. If you use removable dentures, keep them in a safe place covered in water when they are not in use to help prevent warping.
  5. In case of any problems with your dentures, whether they become damaged or ill-fitting, be sure to contact your prosthodontist as soon as possible.

Contact us at Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics, your Spokane prosthodontist for all things denture related. Consider nothing less than the experts to provide dentures to help you achieve that winning smile.