Dentures, more commonly known as false teeth, are fitted to look and function like your real teeth. You may need a false tooth if a tooth has fallen out, been removed or is broken. There are a wide variety of options and types of false teeth available depending on the situation. Some false teeth are placed over existing teeth, whilst others replace the tooth entirely, and they can be made from metal, acrylic or nylon.
If you’ve been told by your dentist that you need false teeth, you might not be too sure about the best option for you. Your dentist will be able to guide you through the process and advise you on what will suit your situation best. So, what are the different types of false teeth?
Partial dentures are the most straight forward option and work when you still have some healthy teeth remaining. They are clipped around the remaining healthy teeth and can easily be removed. You might be worried about the clips being visible, however technology has advanced rapidly in dentistry and you can get ones in a tooth-coloured material, allowing them to blend in with your other teeth.
If you’ve lost all your teeth, perhaps due to an infection, injury or periodontitis, full dentures may be the way to go. This is a full set of false teeth that are attached to a plate that sits against your gums. The plates and gum fittings will be made from metal or acrylic, and won’t be visible to others. Your dentist will make sure they match the colour of your gums, and false teeth adhesive can be used to keep the dentures in place.
Removable dentures do what they say on the tin. Whilst you might have a stereotypical image of a granny who keeps losing her teeth, they can be extremely useful and are much easier to clean. However, removable dentures do have some drawbacks, as they can slip out of place whilst you’re eating, which can be irritating.
Dentists, therefore, recommend adjusting your diet slightly to avoid this from happening – cutting out foods that are too sticky, chewy or hard like toffees or hard candies. Removable dentures typically last around five years.
Flexible dentures are a popular choice as, unlike partial dentures, they do not require any clips that might be visible to others. They come in a translucent resin which matches your gums. This probably makes them the subtlest option available. Many people say they also feel more comfortable, as they are lightweight and less bulky than other options. However, they are also more expensive.
Which to choose?
Choosing a denture that’s right for you can be a difficult decision. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each. When making your choice you might consider practicality, appearance and cost. It will also depend on the health and structure of your remaining teeth. Therefore it’s important that you listen to your dentist and take on any advice he or she may offer.
If you’re concerned, make a dentist appointment at your earliest convenience.