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Dentures Information: Types, Pros and Cons

Fixed partial denture bridge

Illustration of a Fixed partial denture bridge

About Dentures

Dentures, or false teeth, are prosthetic devices made to replace lost teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity.

Dentures: Types

Dentures types vary depending on what you need them for.

         Removable Partial Dentures

Removable partial dentures are for people who have lost some of their teeth on a particular arch.

         Fixed Partial Dentures

Fixed partial dentures, better known as “crown and bridge”, are made from crowns that are fitted on the remaining teeth to act as abutments and pontics made from materials to look like the lost teeth. Fixed partial dentures usually cost more than removable dentures.

         Full Dentures

Complete dentures or full dentures are used by people who have lost all of their upper and/or lower teeth..

         Natural Dentures

Natural dentures are life-like, two-tone dentures that are made of biocompatible acrylic that is strong, durable and lightweight. They are much thinner than conventional dentures.

History of Dentures

There is evidence that ceremonial sets of dentures may have been worn to cover teeth as early as 4,500 years ago but the first recognizable set of dentures discovered dates 700 B.C. By the mid 1500s, dentures finally became readily available, but were very expensive and considered a luxury only the wealthy could afford.

Early dentures were made of animal bone, or even human teeth, often taken from the dead lying on the battlefield. The first porcelain dentures emerged around 1774, and very quickly replaced other materials used in denture making.

The most famous set of dentures belonged to the first President George Washington. Washington started to lose his teeth in his early twenties because of frequent childhood illnesses that called for a medication called Calomel that permanently damages natural tooth enamel. The myth that says that Washington’s dentures were wooden is however false. He had numerous pairs made over the years, but none of them bore any traces of wood. The dentures he wore throughout his Presidency were made of several expensive materials, including both hippopotamus and elephant ivory.

The Pros and Cons of Dentures

The pros of dentures include the following:

  • Improve chewing ability
  • Provide a natural appearance
  • Improve pronunciation
  • Help self-esteem

Some people experience negative symptoms from their dentures. Some of the cons of dentures include:

  • Sore spots or loss of taste
  • Excessive production of saliva
  • Gingivitis due to accumulation of dental plaque
  • May be difficult to keep in place

Denture Problems

elderly couple smiling with denturesProblems with dentures can occur at any stage of their life cycle. No matter how careful you are with your dentures, eventually they are going to need repair. A denture repair service can fix a plate that has been broken into several pieces.

Broken Dentures

If you have a broken plate, immediately put all of the pieces in a glass of water at room temperature and get it repaired as soon as possible. Keeping the denture in water will prevent the form from shifting even more. When the dental expert fixes your broken plate, he or she will use specialized glue and tools to put the pieces of the denture together perfectly. From there, it will be adjusted so that it fits in your mouth again. If this repair job is not done expertly, the plate will not sit properly and can cause sores, difficulty eating, and trouble speaking.

New Dentures Developments

Dental care has always been a specialized science that is always adapting new technology to revolutionize dental care.

Magnetic Dentures

The newest addition to this line of dental advancements is the introduction of magnetic dental systems. Magnets placed over tooth roots or dental implants hold the dentures in position. These magnetic dentures are highly suitable for they are firm but not rigid. This makes insertion and removal of dentures quite easy even for elderly patients.

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