If you’re missing all your teeth – or even if you’re just missing a few teeth – you know already what a negative impact it can have on the quality of your life overall. Obviously, it can make it more difficult (if not impossible) to enjoy many different types of food. But living with missing teeth can also negatively affect the way you speak and even change the shape of your face. That can be devastating for your self-esteem and self-confidence. For all these reasons, it’s important that you replace your missing teeth. Fortunately, modern dental technology provides many different ways to do just that. What follows are descriptions of each of the different types of dentures are available in Austin, Texas.
Full Sets of Dentures
- Conventional Dentures: If you’re missing all your teeth, of if you need to have your teeth extracted for whatever reason, a full set of dentures can quite literally change your life for the better. Consisting of a full set of upper and lower teeth, full dentures are removable appliances that are usually made from either porcelain or acrylic false teeth mounted on a base made from either metal or acrylic. Full dentures sit directly on your already-healed gums, and typically require some type of over-the-counter dental adhesive to stay put securely throughout the course of the day. Denture wearers need to remove their appliances at night for cleaning, and the dentures need to be soaked in water or a denture cleaning solution when they’re not being worn. Dentures need to be relined on occasion to make them more comfortable.
- Immediate Dentures: If you need to have your teeth extracted and choose to have a full set of conventional dentures, you’ll have to wait after the extraction procedure for your gums to heal. That can take some time, and many patients don’t want to go through the discomfort and inconvenience of living without teeth while the gum tissue heals. That’s why immediate dentures were created. These appliances are fitted directly on the patient’s gum tissue immediately after the extraction process. They are also referred to as “temporary dentures” since they are meant to be worn only until the patient’s permanent dentures are ready and the gum tissue is completely healed.
- Implant-Supported Fixed Dentures: One of the most remarkable advancements in dental technology that has become increasingly popular over the past several years are dental implants. This appliance consists of a metal rod (typically made of titanium) that is inserted into the patient’s jawbone. There, the metal fuses to the bone tissue, creating an artificial tooth root. Once that occurs, the dentist affixes an artificial tooth (typically a porcelain crown) to the top of the implant. This method of replacing a single tooth is very much like getting a brand new natural tooth since it is a permanent solution that looks and functions exactly like a natural tooth. But there are other uses for dental implants – particularly when it comes to dentures. Implant-supported fixed dentures include crowns that are permanently secured to dental implants and held in place with screws. Just as the name implies, this type of denture is “fixed” and cannot be removed. So implant-supported fixed dentures are worn all time and cared for in much the same way as the patient’s natural teeth would be. These appliances provide another huge advantage over conventional dentures: they don’t slip and slide inside the patient’s mouth but instead remain securely “fixed” in place.
- Snap-On Dentures: Another type of denture that is secured by dental implants are snap-on dentures. These appliances have removable crowns that literally snap on and off of dental implants. This means that snap-on dentures fit snugly and securely inside the patient’s mouth, but can still be removed by the patient for soaking and/or cleaning.
Partials and Bridges
- Partial Dentures: Many patients who are missing just a few teeth choose partial dentures as a way to replace those teeth. Typically consisting of porcelain crowns mounted onto a metal frame, a partial denture attaches to the patient’s natural teeth on both ends and can be removed for cleaning.
- Fixed Bridge: Another option for patients who are missing just a few teeth is the fixed bridge, which is similar to a partial denture in that it typically consists of crowns mounted onto a metal frame. But a fixed bridge cannot be removed by the patient since the appliance is permanently cemented to the patient’s natural teeth on each end.
Contact Your Dentist to Learn More
We are so fortunate to live in a time when we have many different types of dentures to choose from. Whether you need to replace all your teeth or just a few, it’s important to learn all you can about the various options and (along with your dentist) decide which is the best choice for you. Whatever you do, don’t simply live with missing teeth. To live without a few of your teeth – and certainly to live without any teeth at all – will have a negative impact on the quality of your life overall. So take the first step to replace your missing teeth today by contacting your Austin, Texas dentist and scheduling an appointment.