Dentures are not a new idea. In fact, in one form or another, dentures have been around for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Historians believe that the earliest type of dentures were made of a combination of human and animal teeth, and date back as far as the 7th century BC. Needless to say, dentures have come a long way since then. But it should come as no surprise that even people from ancient times were looking for a way to replace missing teeth. Living without even a few teeth can be challenging, much less trying to manage with no teeth at all. Fortunately, today’s modern dental technology provides dental patients with a wide variety of options for how to replace their missing teeth. In this article, we’ll explore what types of dentures are available to people from throughout the Austin, Texas area.
Full Sets of Dentures
If you are already missing your teeth, or if you need to have your teeth extracted for some reason, a full set of dentures can be a life-changing experience – life-changing for the better, that is! Full dentures consist of an upper and lower set of replacement teeth that are typically made from either dental porcelain or acrylic and mounted on a flesh-colored base made of metal or acrylic. Today’s dentures are not only more natural-looking than ever before; they’re also more durable and more comfortable than dentures made in the past. While it’s true that most denture wearers need to use some form of adhesive to keep their appliances firmly in place, most people find modern dentures to be relatively comfortable and easy to wear. Dentures need to be removed and soaked in water or dental solution overnight. If they’re properly cared for, a good set of full dentures can last between 5 and 10 years, and sometimes even longer.
Temporary (Immediate) Dentures
This type of partial denture is made from a thin plastic or nylon material, and are much more flexible than the rigid acrylic used in conventional partial and full dentures. Flexible dentures are created to provide the ultimate comfort for the wearer. These appliances have no metal whatsoever, and they are not only much more comfortable than other appliances – they’re more natural-looking as well.
Another excellent way to replace a few missing teeth is with a fixed bridge. Unlike partial dentures, fixed bridges are not removable by the patient. They consist of one or more artificial teeth mounted onto a frame, then cemented to crowns that are placed over existing natural teeth on either side of the bridge. Although this type of bridge is somewhat more expensive than removable bridges, many patients enjoy the fact that this is a permanent appliance that doesn’t require removal and special cleaning methods – you simply brush and floss as you normally would with your natural teeth.
Over the past several years, dental implants have become an increasingly popular method of replacing one or more missing teeth. An implant consists of a metal rod that is inserted into the jawbone of the patient. Once inserted, the metal fuses with the bone tissue, creating an artificial tooth root. After that, the dentist affixes a crown to the top of the implant. The result is a completely natural-looking, incredibly durable artificial tooth that functions exactly as a natural tooth would. Many patients love the fact that having an implant is very much like getting a brand new natural tooth. And better still – they can last for the lifetime of the patient!
Implants are also used to support dentures. By strategically placing implants at various locations inside the patient’s mouth, a dentist forms what is essentially a solid support base for dentures. There are two types of implant-supported dentures available: 1) “Fixed” dentures that are connected to the implants and are not removable by the patient; and 2) “Snap-On” dentures that are removable by the patient and, quite literally, snap on and off the dental implants.
Contact Your Dentist to Learn More
There’s no doubt about it – dentures have come a long way since they were first invented all those years ago! Modern dental technology offers something for everyone, no matter what your oral health issue might be. For more information about what types of dentures are available, and to learn what would work best for you, contact your Austin, Texas dentist today and schedule an appointment.