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Loss of teeth can affect your smile, your confidence, the way you speak and eat, and also your health. Dentures are a time-tested remedy for filling the gap left by missing teeth. They are also very affordable and available in different types to suit your particular need.
Where are dentures used?
If you have lost many teeth due to periodontal disease, tooth decay, or damage, dentures may be the cheapest and best way out. Though implants can also be used in such a situation, implants require strong bone; they are also much more expensive than dentures.
When are dentures not used?
If you have lost only a tooth or two, either dental bridging or implants can solve the problem. Dentures are not necessary in such a case.
On your first visit for dentures, the dentist will examine your entire mouth and determine if you are a candidate for dentures. The loose teeth will have to be extracted or you may need treatment to get your gums in good health before the denture procedure begins.
The dentures may take about three weeks to 1.5 months and quite a few appointments before they are finally placed. Once your dentist or prosthodontist has chosen the right appliance for you, the next steps are to:
1. Take impressions and measurements of your jaw and understand how your jaws are structured and the space between them.
2. Create wax forms or plastic patterns in the exact shape and position of the final denture. You will perhaps have to try this model many times. The denture will be checked for color, shape, and fit before it is cast finally.
3. Cast the final denture.
4. Adjustments are made, if necessary
Post-denture care and precautions
- Keep your dentures clean always.
- Remove your dentures at night to rest your gums and give them a chance to come in contact with your saliva.
- Brush your dentures and soak them in a glass of cold water when you don’t have them on. Some special cleaning tablets are available, which you can add to the water when you soak the dentures.
- Always brush your dentures before putting them back into your mouth.
- If your dentures begin to collect food or get stained and you are not able to clean them by normal brushing, your dentist can do it for you.
- Go for regular dental check-ups. The dentist will check if your dentures are alright and are fitting your gums exactly as they did on the first day. The shape of your gums and underlying bone can change with time. Loose-fitting dentures can irritate your gums and cause problems with eating and speech.
Different types of dentures
Complete dentures: These replace all your teeth, upper or lower. Their comfort depends on muscle, bones, tongue, and saliva. Complete dentures can be either ‘conventional’ or ‘immediate.’
A conventional denture is worn about 2 to 3 months after the teeth have been extracted, which is usually enough time for the gum to heal.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and can be placed as soon as your teeth are removed. Hence you do not have to be without teeth during the healing period. But bones and gums shrink, especially when they are healing after the tooth extraction. So, a comparative drawback of immediate dentures is that they need more adjustments to arrive at the right fit. This is why immediate dentures are generally considered a temporary solution until the conventional dentures are ready.
Partial or Cu-Sil dentures: A removable partial denture is made of prosthetic teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. This base is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place. Partial dentures are recommended when there are one or more teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Apart from filling the gap, a partial denture also prevents further tooth decay and keeps the existing teeth from moving. A Cu-Sil denture leaves a gap here and there for the few remaining teeth to poke through without ruining the suction. It is held in place by clasps, bars or interlocking mechanisms that attach it to the natural teeth. Even a single remaining tooth can increase the stability of the denture several times over as compared to a totally toothless arch.
Types of removable partial dentures (RPD) are:
- Cast metal RPD. It is the most common type and is made of a metal framework with retainers and teeth.
- Acrylic RPD. This has a plastic framework and wire clasps, and is not meant for permanent use.
- Valplast RPD. This is made of flexible plastic, but it doesn’t require metal clasps. Gum-colored clasps made of valplace are used.
The cost of removable partial dentures depends on the material used to make it.
Removable Partial Dentures vs. Traditional Dentures
Removable partial dentures have better grip than conventional dentures, because there are a few natural teeth to hold the removable partial dentures properly. Hence, the bite is better and the denture is very stable. Traditional dentures lack these advantages, but often for an edentulous patient, they are the only option.
Implant-retained dentures: Implants are good for retaining an otherwise non-retentive denture. With just two implants, a lower denture can be installed, which would not otherwise be possible. More than two implants are required for upper dentures.
Implant-retained dentures are especially important for those who cannot wear lower dentures. When an edentulous (toothless) person ages, the bone continues to shrink and the lower ridges ultimately disappear. This makes wearing a lower denture impossible. But if there are two implants, this problem can be solved.
Mini implant-retained dentures: The standard implant procedure needs about three to six months to be complete, and only then can the dentures be placed. But with mini implants, there is no waiting period and can be placed in the lower jaw without cutting into the gums. Anesthesia is given at the site of the implant. Also, mini implants can be fitted even when there is not enough bone for a standard implant. The entire procedure (placing the implants and fitting the denture) takes about an hour. Very little or no pain and minimal post-operative discomfort are involved. Also, it’s much cheaper than using standard implants to retain lower dentures.
Plastic and porcelain dentures: The denture teeth can be made of plastic or porcelain. The latter is better aesthetically speaking. They also last longer than the plastic ones. The drawbacks of porcelain dentures are that the plastic base on which they are set will wear out faster. They may also cause some damage to the natural teeth over the years.
Dentures vs. dental bridges
Dental bridges are not advised when you have more than 2-3 missing teeth, as they cannot span that far. Also, the teeth surrounding the gap need to be strong for a dental bridge. Dentures do not have such requirements and hence suit such a situation.
Resumes of dentists
For your reference, here are the resumes of some accomplished dentists:
Dentures in the USA vs. abroad
Dentures in the US may cost from $300 – $2,500 per arch depending on your cosmetic dentist’s or prosthodontist’s fees. But anywhere in our network of dental clinics in India, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, dentures will cost you just a third of the US price, or even less.
The low cost comes with the quality of service you are used to in the US or any other developed country. Dentists at these dental tourism countries are highly qualified, experienced, and speak very good English.
They regularly handle medical tourists like you from the US, UK, Canada,etc. Hence, have no worries: a trip to either India, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, or El Salvador for dentures is the most cost-effective and smart way of bringing the confidence back in your smile.
Medical Tourism Corporation facilitates affordable dentures at many international locations including Mexico, India, Thailand, El Salvador, & Costa Rica. Fill out the free estimate request form for a free quote & more information.