Tooth loss is synonymous with the word 'dentures' and conjures up visions of grandma's false teeth fizzing away in a glass of water beside the bed. However, dental technology has come a long way since those days and you can now opt for more 'permanent' dentures. Here's a brief guide to permanent dentures:
What are permanent dentures?
Permanent dentures are affixed to your mouth using dental implants. In the past, false teeth were held in place by the remaining teeth or the gum ridges. As such they could be easily removed for cleaning or repair. Fixed dentures are held much more securely in place and can't be easily removed.
The denture 'plate' is held in place by titanium screws that are inserted surgically into the jaw. These plates can be used to replace small groups of teeth, single teeth or all of your teeth if required. Your dentist will recommend how best to proceed depending upon how many teeth you have lost and the condition of those that remain.
Advantages and disadvantages of permanent dentures
One big advantage that permanent dentures have over removable ones is that they are much more stable in your mouth. This is particularly true of bottom jaw dentures which are usually the most likely to move about when you're eating or talking. This advantage leads to greater patient confidence, and can make a massive difference to your quality of life.
Permanent dentures do not have to be removed for cleaning – you just brush and floss your teeth normally. There's no messy adhesive or strange-tasting glue to worry about either.
On the downside, if there's a problem with your permanent dentures, you can't just take them out and have them repaired or refitted as you can with removable ones. If you experience pain or discomfort with your permanent dentures, it could mean lengthy and uncomfortable treatment to resolve the problem.
Another disadvantage of permanent dentures is that they are much more expensive than removable ones and the cost varies tremendously depending on the number of teeth to be replaced. In addition, most dental insurance plans will not cover you for permanent dentures so you'll have to fund them yourself.
Permanent denture treatment involves surgery to put the titanium screws in place and there are a number of preparatory visits to the dentist required. There's also a healing period afterwards and it's usually at least six months following the surgery before the dentures can actually be fitted.
Even 'permanent' dentures may need to be replaced from time to time as they can wear down, although the foundation screws should last a lifetime.
Permanent dentures do have a number of advantages over traditional removable ones. Discuss the options with your dentist to find out what's best for you. To learn more, contact a company like Shellharbour City Dental.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.