5 Ways to Choose the Right Dentures for You
Most people know that dentures are false teeth that can be used to replace missing natural teeth, but did you realize that there are multiple types of dentures? If you want to replace one or more teeth missing due to gum disease, tooth decay, or facial injuries, you should take the time to learn about your options before deciding what type of dentures to request.
While all dentures are designed to make it easier to eat and speak regularly, they’re not all ideal for every situation. You can find five ways to choose the right dentures for you below that will help to ensure a perfect fit every time.
1. Learn About Your Options
There are many types of dentures, but you may not be a good candidate for all of them. The first step towards deciding what type of tooth restoration will work best for you is to learn about your options. They include:
Also known as full dentures, complete dentures are removable prostheses designed to replace an entire bottom or top arch. Complete dentures are a good fit for some people, such as elderly patients and younger patients who have lost all of their teeth as a result of severe tooth decay or acute injuries. However, most dentists consider them a last resort because full dentures do not prevent bone shrinkage and they can cause bite issues and speech impediments.
Fixed Partial Dentures
Referred to by some as implant-supported bridges, fixed partial dentures (FPDs) use a patient’s existing teeth as abutments, providing support for the prosthesis. FPDs are stronger and more secure than removable dentures, so they provide a better bite, improved aesthetics, and longer protection for your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, they’re also more expensive than removable partial dentures and the abutments used to fix them into place will be at higher risk of tooth decay.
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures (RPDs) are commonly recommended to patients who are not good candidates for implant-supported bridges. If you choose RPDs, you could get either a cast partial denture or an acrylic partial denture at your initial appointment. Acrylic partial dentures are only considered a temporary solution, though, because long-term use can cause gum recession.
Also called overdentures, implant-retained dentures use dental implants as abutments instead of natural teeth. They’re designed to replace multiple teeth or entire arches and offer greater stability than traditional full and partial removable dentures. Not all patients are good candidates for implant-retained dentures, though, as the metal posts used as abutments can only be inserted into healthy jawbones.
Same-day dentures are temporary prostheses used to replace a patient’s teeth immediately after extraction until the gums can heal. Both conventional immediate dentures and interim immediate dentures should only be worn for short periods while waiting to implement more permanent solutions.
2. Consider Allergies
Some people suffer from allergies to the metals and acrylic agents used in many types of dentures. If you fall into this category, you’ll have to make sure your fixed removable dental prostheses do not contain materials that could irritate your gums or trigger an allergic reaction. Ask your dentist about flexible dentures.
3. Understand Your Needs
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the different types of dentures out there and have determined whether any of them can be ruled out immediately due to allergies, you should take the time to evaluate your unique needs and preferences. Before your consultation, you’ll want to figure out:
- How many teeth the dentures will replace.
- How soon you need the new dentures.
- How much maintenance you’re willing to undertake to keep your dentures clean and in good shape.
- Whether you would prefer fixed or removable dentures.
Getting a basic understanding of your needs can help you narrow down your list of options. For instance,
4. Determine a Budget
Dentures aren’t cheap, but they don’t need to break the bank, either. If you have dental insurance, you should speak with a company representative to determine what kinds of dentures are covered under your plan.
In most cases, dental insurance covers 50% of the cost of getting dentures, which can make it easier to budget for this major procedure. However, dental plans also have annual coverage limits, and they can be less than the cost of getting dentures. If you have dental insurance and you’re working on a tight budget, you should let your dentist or prosthodontist know so that you can get help finding tooth replacement options you can afford.
If your dental insurance plan has a low annual coverage limit, you may want to wait until the beginning of the next coverage limit, especially if you’ve already had other restorative dental work done. If you don’t have dental insurance at all, you may want to look into discount plans that can cover part of the costs. Unlike insurance, discount plans have no waiting periods or annual coverage limits.
5. Schedule a Consultation With a Professional
It’s wise to give a little bit of thought to what kind of dentures you would prefer and how much money you can afford to spend on them as soon as you realize it’s time to replace your missing teeth. Unfortunately, though, things aren’t always as simple as you might think. Even if money is not an object and you have no allergies, you may not be a good candidate for every type of denture. The final step to finding a solution that will fit both your needs and your budget is always to schedule a consultation with a dentist or prosthodontist who can help.
Get the Smile You Deserve
Missing teeth can get in the way of living your best life. They make it hard to chew and speak clearly, cause jawbone degradation, and may leave you ashamed to show off your smile. No matter what type of dentures you use to replace those missing teeth, you can expect to get the smile you deserve when you work with a qualified dental team.