Aesthetics aren’t the only reason many patients turn to dentures when they suffer with missing teeth—often patients use dentures as a means to chew food properly, protect their gums and improve speech. Dental technology offers patients a variety of denture types, they differ based on structure and design. The two most commonly used types of dentures are fixed and removable.
Until recently, most denture wearers opted for removable dentures—they are easy to maintain and, for the most part, comfortable to wear. But over time, removable dentures can become ill fitting—causing the dentures to shift in the mouth, especially while the wearer is speaking and eating. This can lead to awkward social situations—not to mention difficulty chewing certain foods. For these reasons, more patients are turning to fixed dentures.
Fixed dentures look and act the same as removable dentures, however the wearer isn’t able to remove the dentures on their own. The denture arc, whether upper, lower or full set, are stabilized through the use of dental implants, structures that act as tooth ‘roots’ to stabilize dentures for a look and feel that is completely natural.
The dental implant procedure involves placement of the implant into the jawbone using specialized tools. The patient will receive a local anesthetic, after which small incisions are made in the gum line to expose the jawbone below. The implants are then placed into the jawbone so that only the head, or abutment, is exposed above the gum line.
A metal housing is then attached to the denture arc, one will coincide with each implant placed, and the metal housings ‘snap’ the dentures onto the implants and hold them firmly in place, creating a naturally beautiful smile.
Since fixed dentures cannot be removed, they may become susceptible to inflammation and other oral problems—but regular visits to your dentist for maintenance greatly reduces the chances of that happening. Patients will find that fixed dentures are more costly than removable dentures, however the benefits of the procedure can be well worth the added cost.
If you are looking to replace missing teeth and are considering dentures, speak with your dentist today and determine if fixed or removable dentures are the best option for you.