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Dentures

Dentures

Also known as false teeth, dentures are removable prosthetic devices constructed as functional and aesthetic replacements for teeth.

Many designs are available, but predominantly there are two types of dentures on the market: complete dentures and partial dentures, depending on how many natural teeth are missing. The prosthetic device is always supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity.

Some common causes for tooth loss are related to oral flora control and developmental defects due to malnutrition and genetic defects. Related conditions affecting the teeth are:

  • Periodontal gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Dentinogenesis imperfecta
  • Trauma
  • Drug use

Dental insurance providers usually cover the dentures cost as they help patients through mastication and pronunciation, as well as improve aesthetics and self-esteem.

Complete Dentures

In this category two types of dentures can be distinguished:

  • Conventional – made eight to twelve weeks after the complete removal or the teeth, once the healing of the gum tissue has finished.
  • Immediate – they are pre-made and are usually positioned right after the removal of the teeth. Its drawback is that during the healing process bones and gums shrink, therefore the dentures require more adjustments. Immediate dentures are only a temporary solution, while conventional dentures are being made.

Partial Dentures

They consist of a replacement tooth (or teeth) attached to a gum-colored plastic base connected by a framework that holds the denture in the mouth. Partial dentures fill in the spaces left by missing teeth and prevent the remaining teeth from changing position. This dental procedure also gives the patient a natural-looking appearance.

Other alternatives for dentures are dental implants, used to support cemented bridges permanently. Obviously, the related costs are higher but they have a closer resemblance to real teeth.

Dentures – The Procedure

The complete procedure takes about five weeks and requires several appointments. The dental specialist certified to conduct the procedure is called prosthodontist, who is a dentist trained in teeth restoration and replacement techniques. Your prosthodontist will determine and recommend the best type of appliance for you.

Some general steps include:

  • Measurements are taken and space between teeth and jaw relations are calculated.
  • Model creation in wax to determine the exact pattern, position and shape of the denture. The patient tries the model several times in order to  choose the most suitable shape, colour and form.
  • The final denture is cast. Dentures are fabricated in commercial dental labs, using a combination of powders (PMMA), available in hundreds of shapes and tooth colors.
  • Final adjustments.

How Much Do Dentures Cost?

There are an increasing number of people requiring dental procedures and offers to obtain affordable dentures also seem endless. Cheap dentures can be acquired at local dental universities and at dentists’ clinics where highly-qualified recently graduated prosthodontists await patients. It is worthwhile to check government benefit programs and charity programs, as with their help even free dentures can be obtained. Full dentures cost around $500-$1200, depending on the materials used, while the price of partial dentures varies with the number of teeth replaced.