The oral health statistics are concerning. Tooth loss among adults is a problem affecting patients of all ages, and research shows that 2.2% of American adults suffer from total toothlessness. While many factors affect our oral health, poor oral hygiene remains the number one culprit behind missing teeth. Thankfully, modern dentistry provides excellent solutions to missing teeth. However, all of them have their benefits and drawbacks, which we want to explore.
While there are many innovative solutions to missing teeth, dentures remain a popular and affordable option for those not considering dental implants. Dentures come in various shapes and types, depending on your dental needs and the number of teeth missing.
Treating Missing Teeth With Dentures
The primary function of our teeth is to bite and chew food. Teeth also affect the correct pronunciation and facial features. Sometimes, however, a situation arises when the dentist must remove the diseased tooth despite strenuous efforts and treatment. In such cases, dentures come to the rescue, supplementing the loss after the extraction procedure. Modern technology and a large selection of dentures allow us to choose the right type for our unique needs.
Benefits of Dentures
Modern dentures have exceptional aesthetics, allowing you to rock a naturally-looking smile. Missing teeth can impact the overall appearance of our face, which often seems sunken in. By filling gaps in your dentition, dentures will naturally lift your facial structure, making you look younger and fuller.
Dental implants are an alternative solution to missing teeth, but not everyone is a good candidate for the treatment. Patients with poor jaw bones or unhealthy teeth and gums might need a different approach, such as dentures.
The cleaning and maintenance of dentures is also an advantage, as dentures are extremely easy to keep in good condition. Patients wearing dentures as a way to restore lost smile need to maintain proper oral hygiene as well with the device either on the inside or outside. When taken out, you can store your dentures in a glass filled with cool water.
Downsides of Dentures
Compared to dental implants, dentures are much less comfortable to wear and require continuous adjustments and replacements, typically every three to six years. If you accidentally drop your dentures, they might easily break and you will need a replacement.
Dentures do not look as naturally as dental implants. Because it is a removable device, dentures might slip out of your mouth when talking or eating. They also make it a challenge to consume certain foods.
Your dentures will require a thorough maintenance and they need to be removed before going to bed. In addition, patients with dentures are at an increased risk for oral health problems, such as gum disease, because they make it easy for food debris to get trapped.
Partial Dentures: Pros and Cons
Partial dentures, also known as skeletal dentures, belong to the group of removable prosthetic restorations, which are used when you are missing several teeth. There are many causes of tooth loss, the most common being tooth decay and its complications. When your dentist exhausted all efforts to save your tooth, they may suggest a tooth extraction. Another reason for tooth loss is periodontal disease, especially in its advanced stages. The loss of even one tooth causes negative changes in our stomatognathic system, which is a functional complex of systems relating to our oral and craniofacial cavities. Dental prosthetics is a field of dentistry offering a whole range of possibilities to rebuild lost teeth, depending on the conditions in our mouth. One such solution is partial dentures.
A partial denture is a movable prosthetic supplement for people struggling with partial tooth loss. This denture is made for patients who still have a few teeth in their mouth, but it is impossible to rebuild the lost tissues with crowns or bridges. The construction of a partial denture consists of metal elements covered with acrylic in selected places. It includes various types of clamps that keep the device in the correct position and supporting parts, as well as hooks and latches.
Patients seeking partial dentures as a solution to missing teeth can benefit from the prosthetic device in various ways. One of the advantages of a partial denture is its low cost compared to other treatments. The overall cost will highly depend on your dental needs when restoring your smile, but it is currently the most cost-effective option. The types of materials also influence the cost of the denture, with plastic elements costing less than metal. The price of the partial denture will also depend on the number of missing teeth – the more gaps needing to be filled, the higher the overall cost of the prosthetic.
A downside to partial dentures indicated by some patients is the aesthetics of the prosthetic device, namely the unsightly metal clamps and supporting elements. In most patients, these parts are invisible to others, but in a few cases they can run into the visual zone.
Partial dentures pose a risk of plaque buildup around the adjacent teeth, which may ultimately lead to tooth decay and gum disease. For those reasons, patients should take particular care of their oral health by maintaining excellent oral hygiene and regularly visit their dentist. The metal parts of the device might cause uncomfortable and sometimes painful sores.
Another disadvantage is that losing an abutment tooth will need a replacement of the partial denture to fit the new dental requirements.
When it comes to tooth replacement options, your dentist is your best resource at finding the right solution for your oral needs and budget. While dental implants remain the best method with the highest success rate, they are not the right fit for everyone. Dental implants require strong and healthy jawbone, and if there has been a lot of bone loss, it may take a lot of time and treatments to rebuild the tissue. In addition, dental implants are more costly than dentures, which is why the latter is often patient’s first choice to restoring a beautiful smile. No matter what prosthetic treatment is used, tooth loss is a serious condition that needs prompt attention. Call us today to schedule your consultation and see what we can do for you.