Dentures, in one form or another, have been around for centuries, and dental technology has come a long way in the last few years, so it should come as no surprise that any modern dental appliance will be much improved over earlier versions. Still, there are some very distinct differences between the various types of dentures. If you choose a set of cheap dentures, you’ll find that they wear out faster, they aren’t as comfortable to wear, they don’t fit as well, and they don’t look as good as a higher quality set. So, assuming you are in a situation to choose better quality dentures, that’s exactly what you should do. What follows are descriptions of the best dentures currently available in Austin, Texas.
“Custom dentures” is somewhat of a generic term used to describe any type of traditional denture that is custom made for the patient. If you thought that all dentures were custom made, you were wrong. In fact, the less expensive varieties of dentures are one-size-fits-all, and have all of the drawbacks we mentioned earlier. Whatever type of denture you choose, any appliance that is custom-made for your mouth will feel more comfortable, fit more snugly, last longer and will look vastly better than any kind of one-size-fits-all denture. Most custom dentures are made from an acrylic resin material, which means they are not only quite durable but natural-looking as well. “Custom dentures” typically refers to traditional dentures — in other words, dentures that include artificial teeth that are affixed to a gum-colored base, that are removable by the patient, and that stay put in the mouth due to natural suction and usually with the help of some form of denture adhesive.
If the thought of wearing a pair of “metal dentures” isn’t exactly appealing, you can relax. This term is somewhat of a misnomer, because the only part of these dentures that is made from some form of metal is the base, and the metal is actually a bio-compatible medical grade alloy (as opposed to custom dentures, for example, the base of which is made from a plastic acrylic material). In some instances, an acrylic layer may be added over the top of the metal base. Using the metal alloy material in the base of dentures provides the patient with several advantages: metal dentures are extremely strong and long-lasting; they’re actually lightweight (a feature that is counterintuitive given their name); most patients agree that metal dentures feel more natural than custom dentures; and from a dental professional’s point of view, metal dentures are much easier to reline when the time comes.
Both snap-on dentures and implant-supported dentures (our final category that follows this one) utilize dental implant technology to secure dentures inside the patient’s mouth. Implants consist of a metal rod (usually titanium) that is inserted into the jawbone of the patient in the same location as a missing tooth. Over a period of several months, the metal fuses to the patient’s bone tissue, creating what is essentially an artificial tooth root. Once that is complete, the dentist affixes a porcelain crown to the top of the implant. The result is a fully functional, completely natural-looking replacement for a missing tooth. Implants have become a popular way of replacing missing teeth because of their durability, their appearance, and the fact that they can last for the lifetime of the patient. But implants can also play an important role for the denture wearer.
The first type of denture that involves implant technology are “snap-on” dentures, which are also referred to as “implant-stabilized dentures.” The first step in snap-on dentures involves the patient receiving a number of dental implants (at least four) that are strategically placed in different locations throughout the patient’s mouth. The denture itself looks like any traditional type of complete denture, but snap-on dentures are equipped with locators that are attached underneath the plate. These locators literally snap onto the implants – or, in some cases, a metal bar that is attached to the implants). So the dentures actually clip into place inside the patient’s mouth. They need to be removed at night, just like traditional dentures. But these appliances are much more stable inside the patient’s mouth – with no slipping, shifting or rocking – because the implants stabilize the appliance and hold it firmly in place. That stability is the greatest benefit of snap-on dentures. Patients can feel confident that their dentures won’t move at all once they’re firmly attached to the implants. And there’s no need to wear any type of denture adhesive.
The final category of dentures – and, arguably, the “best” available – are implant-supported dentures. Similar to snap-on dentures, implant-supported dentures involve the patient first receiving a number of dental implants placed strategically throughout the mouth. Once that is complete, the patient is fitted with a high-quality, customized dental prosthetic that permanently attaches to the implants. There is no need to remove the appliance. It doesn’t move or slip inside the patient’s mouth. And it looks completely natural. In fact, implant-supported dentures are very much like getting an entire set of brand new natural teeth. The only real drawbacks of this tooth-replacement method are the cost and the time involved in the procedure. The cost of the implants, combined with the cost of the dental prosthetic, can be prohibitive for some people. And the implant procedure itself takes many months to complete. Still, most dental professionals would agree that implant-supported dentures are the best option currently available to dental patients needing to replace their teeth.
For more information on the best dentures available in the Austin, Texas, area – and to find out which would be the best option for you – contact your dentist today. The cost involved in each different type of denture varies depending on the materials used and the fees charged by the dental provider. So you will never know which option is the right choice for you without scheduling a consultation with your dentist and discussing fees and payment options.