What Are the Top Alternative Options for Dentures?

Health

What are dentures?

Dentures are false teeth, best explained as customised dental fixtures used to replace damaged or missing teeth. They can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Since they are custom-designed, they are made to fit the contours of the user’s mouth perfectly. However, dentures are not permanent fixtures; they can be removed. 

A typical denture consists of two parts, a plate that fits over the gums and the artificial teeth. The artificial teeth are usually made of porcelain or acrylic resin and match the original teeth’s size, color and texture. Porcelain is the stronger of the two materials and closely matches real teeth, and is therefore costlier. Acrylic resin is lower priced and not as strong as porcelain. 

What are the disadvantages/problems with dentures?

Though dentures have been around for a very long time, they are not quite that practical. They have quite a few drawbacks –

  • They lack the natural look that dental implants provide.
  • Cleaning them can be quite a messy affair they have to be removed to be cleaned.
  • They have to be removed before going to bed.
  • Occasionally, dentures do not sit firmly on the gums; they shift, making eating and talking a problem.
  • Certain food types cannot be eaten with dentures on; such as sticky foods, hard foods, tough meats and food with small pieces. 
  • Dentures increase the risk of gum disease, as bacteria forms in the food that gets trapped under them.
  • They need to be replaced every 3-6 years; dental implants, on the other hand, have a longer life of approximately 20 years and more.
  • Dentures are fragile and will break if they fall on a hard surface.
  • Partial dentures used to replace single teeth can weaken adjoining natural teeth. 

Alternatives to dentures

Today the dental market is flush with several options for dentures and false teeth. These alternatives provide a better cosmetic appeal, are sturdier, comfortable and replicate original teeth. These include –

  • Dental Implants
  • Overdentures
  • Resin-bonded Bridge
  • Tooth-supported Fixed Bridge

Dental Implants

Dental Implants replace the root of a damaged or missing tooth/teeth. They are fitted through a surgical procedure wherein the dental implant is fitted into the jawbone and allowed to blend with the jawbone, over some time. To put it simply, it is an artificial tooth root, which replaces the root of the affected teeth/tooth, providing a base where a replacement tooth or bridge can be fixed. 

Dental implants give a firm foundation for the replacement tooth, which can be permanent (fixed) or detachable. Dental implants in Kochi are popular across the country as highly advanced and best rated dental solutions. They are made to fit the natural teeth perfectly. There are several other advantages to dental implants, for example –

  • Natural appearance: Dental implants can easily be mistaken for real teeth; they look and feel the same. And, since the implants fuse with the jawbone, they provide better strength and become permanent.
  • Better fit: They fit better, and unlike dentures, they do not slip, making it easier to form words and speak. 
  • Greater comfort: They do not cause soreness, discomfort or inconvenience. And as they are permanent fixtures, they can stay on in the mouth, unlike dentures which have to be removed to maintain oral hygiene.
  • Easier eating: Dentures often slip, especially when food is being chewed on, causing the user inconvenience and embarrassment. Dental implants act like natural teeth, letting the user eat as they usually would and eat all kinds of food without pain or discomfort.
  • Confidence booster: Dental implants do not hinder the user in any way. Their natural look and feel allow the user to smile, laugh and talk with confidence.
  • Enhanced oral health: Natural teeth are left intact and not reduced for fitting dental implants. The adjacent teeth are left unaltered and are not used to support the implant, the way a tooth-supported bridge does. With the natural teeth being undamaged, they last longer. Moreover, implants do not collect food debris and have enough space between adjoining teeth to allow proper flossing and brushing.
  • Toughness: Dental implants are tough and last for a long time from twenty years up to a lifetime
  • Convenience and comfort: Being permanently fixed to the jaw bone they eradicate the bother to remove them, the way one would with standard dentures. Also, there are no messy adhesives to deal with

Overdentures

The best dental clinic in Kochi also offers overdentures treatment. Overdentures are similar to dental implants in that they are inserted into the root of the tooth. However, they are best suited for individuals missing several or all of their pearly whites.

They provide an excellent fit and comfort in comparison to conventional dentures. While they look natural, they also feel natural in the mouth. 

Resin-Bonded Bridge

The resin-bonded bridge is used where a single tooth is to be replaced. The procedure is simple and does not require grinding of adjacent, healthy teeth. It involves the use of ‘wings’ that are affixed unto the teeth on either side. The disadvantage with resin-bonded bridges is that they are not as sturdy as the other alternatives, and need to be replaced often.

Tooth-supported Fixed Bridges

The tooth-supported fixed bridges procedure is used to restore a single tooth. It necessitates the grinding of the adjacent teeth, so they provide support for the tooth bridge. These fixtures are not as sturdy as dental implants and usually need regular care and maintenance.

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