In dentistry, dentures (false teeth) are used to replace missing teeth in order to restore proper chewing, gum protection, speech improvement and appearance. Dentures can be fixed or removable. Dentures affixed to implants (like All-on-4 implants) are called implant supported or implant retained dentures. Regular dentures do not rest on implants, instead they rest directly on the gums. Removable dentures can be partially removable or fully removable.
The flexible removable partial dentures (RPDs) are used for temporary (occasionly permanent) replacement of missing teeth providing a comfortable and successful alternative to traditional partial dentures.
Implant supported dentures are used when patients have lost their teeth, but they have enough bone density in the jaw to support dental implants and usually are made for the lower jar mainly because regular dentures are less stable when placed on the lower jaw. Implant supported dentures can also be used for the upper jaw.
When deciding whether to opt for removable dentures or fixed dentures, it is always a good idea to analyse the pros and cons of both types of denture.
An important advantage of removable dentures is that they can be removed at home when not used and can be cleaned thoroughly if food gets stuck underneath, which can prevent gum inflammation problems. Removable dentures are easier to adjust if needed, and are much cheaper than fixed dentures.
For long, removable full dentures were the best dentistry could offer in terms of prosthetic teeth replacement. Fixed dentures were created as a response to some of the disadvantages posed by removable dentures. Some of the cons of removable dentures include:
- Acceleration of bone loss: accelerated bone loss occurs because of the pressure removable dentures put on the bone structure that formerly held the teeth.
- Instability: because their instability in the mouth, patients are often forced to make certain compromises – take care not to chew hard food, use adhesives and pastes to secure the denture.
- Discomfort: removable dentures can be loose, which can cause discomfort and affect speech.
- Need for replacement: because of bone loss and wear over time, fixed dentures may lose their fit and may have to be replaced.
Fixed dentures are preferred over removable dentures by many patients mainly because fixed dentures feel more comfortable. Because their excellent stability, fixed dentures prevent bone loss and restore natural smile and function. Fixed dentures improve the ability to chew food, they feel much more like natural teeth, and they are less likely to get damaged over time. Held securely in with implants, with fixed dentures there is no need to use adhesives and you can forget about embarrassing denture mishaps that can occur with removable dentures (overdenture). Patients with fixed dentures have reported a significant improvement in the quality of their lives. In addition, with fixed dentures facial appearance is preserved and lost lip-support is restored. Fixed dentures have some disadvantages as well:
- Because fixed dentures cannot be removed, they are prone to inflammation and other oral problems (e.g. implant failure)
- Increased costs compared to removable dentures
It is clear from the above comparison between fixed and removable dentures that fixed dentures are indeed the best type of dentures. For a complete denture work, false teeth options you need to consult a dentist experienced in full smile restoration.