As we age, dental care becomes increasingly important, and sometimes this involves the use of dentures. Dentures come in a variety of styles, depending on the number of missing teeth you need to replace. Partial dentures can be used to replace a few teeth, while complete dentures can be purchased to replace the entire upper or lower set. There are expensive porcelain dentures and more affordable plastic varieties. Consult your dentist to have a custom-made set of dentures created specifically for your mouth.
Partial dentures are used in cases where the patient has only a few missing teeth. They can be either removable or fixed in place. Removable partial dentures are held in place by clips. This type of denture set is far less stable than the fixed variety, but it can be much easier to find affordable dentures that are removable.
A crown and bridge set is another form of partial dentures that may be used if the patient has only a few missing teeth. In this arrangement, a bridging tooth is placed into the gap left by the missing tooth and the connecting crowns are attached to the neighboring teeth. To keep the dentures from moving, firm adhesive is used to cement the entire assembly in place.
Complete dentures are used when the entire set of teeth is missing. Complete dentures can be made for either the upper or lower set of teeth, or a full set may be needed if all teeth are gone. Dentures are usually made of either plastic or porcelain. Porcelain dentures will last longer and resist stains better, but are more expensive. Plastic is still a quality material to use for affordable dentures.
Once you have determined which type of dentures you need, there are three major things to consider. The support, retention and stability of the dentures and adhesive are crucial to their function and your comfort. The buccal shelf is crucial in supporting the main weight of the dentures, with the palate playing a lesser role. Larger flanges on the dentures will keep them in place and provide better support. Be sure to choose a denture manufacturer that uses a border molding process to maximize the extension of the flanges.
For greater stability, you want dentures that will maintain contact with the edges of the mouth. This gives the adhesive more surface to bind with and keeps your dentures securely in place. Retention is important because you do not want your dentures to fall out at an inappropriate time. Larger flanges and moldings provide more area to stick to the adhesive and will keep your dentures in your mouth longer.