Losing teeth can be a source of great anxiety. Many people who have missing dentition feel embarrassed and self-conscious about their smiles. There are many ways that patients can reconstruct their smiles, with one of the most popular methods being dentures. With permanent and removable options, some clients may have difficulty making a choice. A closer look at removable vs permanent dentures will help you decide on the type that best suits your lifestyle.
It isn’t uncommon to have questions about your dental health. At Best Impression Dental, we feel it's our job to help our patients understand their treatment options. If you’re from the Spokane County and West Plains area, call our dental office in Medical Lake, WA to schedule a consultation today. Our team is ready to help patients in Airway Heights, Cheney, Davenport, and the Fairchild Airforce Base keep their smiles straight and shining!
Replacing teeth with false inserts is a concept that has been around for millennia. Archaeological sites in Mexico and Egypt have unearthed animal and human teeth tied together with wires, possibly the first example of removable dentures in history. Even George Washington’s teeth weren’t a novel specimen of wooden dentures since complete sets made from the same material have been found dating back to 16th century China!
Thankfully, the art and science of creating false teeth have dramatically improved over time. Today dentures come in two basic types: removable and permanent. They are designed to convincingly mimic natural teeth and can be constructed to partially restore a few missing teeth or replace a patient’s entire dentition. They are a durable, safe option for people wishing to repair their damaged smiles.
People lose their teeth throughout their lives, leaving them dissatisfied with an irregular, patchwork-like smile. Patients suffer from tooth loss for a variety of reasons, and dentures provide the best treatment option for a majority of these cases. Some of the more common issues that both removable and permanent dentures can help with include:
- Facial/Jaw related injury
- Excessive tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Necessary tooth extraction
- A history of poor oral care
- Natural aging
Once you’ve decided on using dentures as a treatment plan, your doctor may discuss the differences between removable vs permanent dentures with you. Together you can see which option fits with your routine.
What to Expect
Whether you’re looking at anchored dentures or the kind that requires adhesives, the procedure for getting false teeth is very similar. Upon the initial consultation, your dentist will take x-rays and make a preliminary examination to better plan your treatment and help design the false teeth. Once a course has been laid out, the process can officially begin.
Tooth extraction may be necessary to prepare your mouth for a perfect fit. Patients choosing the anchored denture option will also need implants inserted into the jawbone. Afterward, wax molds are used to help get a comfortable and secure fit before manufacturing. Same-day dentures are usually ready by the end of your visit, and many dentists opt for temporary removable teeth that will stand-in for the final product while they are being made.
Your dentist will try to save as many of your natural teeth as possible. Partial dentures are used to repair gaps in dentition, and some patients may find they only need the top or bottom teeth replaced. Clients are then consulted for color matching, and the new dentures are generally constructed by professional technicians at an off-site lab.
The most common mental image of dentures is a set of false teeth embedded in pink gums sitting in a fluid-filled glass on the nightstand. While full sets of false teeth are common, there are other types of implements that fall into the denture family. Because they slide in and out easily, they need to be cleaned on a daily basis. The three most common types of removable dentures are:
- Complete/Full Dentures: Made from a resin cast and fitted specifically to your mouth, full dentures replace both upper and lower dentition. Because they sit loose in the jaw, special adhesives are necessary to secure them in place.
- Partial Dentures: For patients who retain some or most of their healthy teeth, a partial replacement may be all that is necessary. These are often held in place using metal clasps and don’t slip as easily thanks to being secured using existing teeth.
- Same-Day/Immediate Dentures: Unlike traditional options, same-day dentures are either constructed beforehand or are made in-house by technicians at an on-site lab. Many dentists use these as a temporary solution so patients can leave the office with a full set of teeth, but an excellent fitting set may be used for a long while.
Just like your normal teeth, dentures will wear down and become stained as the years' pass. A set can remain in good working condition for around seven years if taken care of properly. This includes nightly washings and paying attention to the foods and drinks consumed while wearing them. Even so, you can expect to enjoy your temporary dentures for quite some time.
The inconvenience of removing and washing their dentures every night is too much of a hassle for some patients. An increasingly popular alternative to traditional removable options is permanent dentures. This technique anchors false teeth into place with titanium implants, keeping them secured in place throughout your day. Since they are not removable, they can be cared for much like your original teeth.
An implant-anchored treatment can be used to replace an entire mouth full of teeth, either the top or bottom, or even make a partial repair if only a few teeth are missing. In addition, snap-in varieties are also available for clients who need a full replacement, have good bone density but seek a more natural look than traditional dentures can provide. Just like removable dentures, these can be color-matched to your existing teeth as well, letting them disappear amongst your natural dentition.
Unlike crowns or other similar procedures, permanent dentures will require fewer implants to be inserted into the patient’s jawbone. This may be a benefit for some patients who like the idea of permanent replacements but aren’t attracted to the concept of prolonged surgeries and recovery times. Fewer implants mean a quicker appointment and shorter healing times. With the right attention to daily care, they can last as long as 25 years!
There are a number of advantages that permanent dentures have over their slip-in counterparts. Even so, many patients still opt for the tried and true removable treatment for a variety of reasons. The five main differences between the two are:
- Comfort: Removable dentures are notoriously uncomfortable. Dental glues can lose their adhesion over time causing friction and sore spots on the patient's gums. Because implant anchored options cannot move, many people find them much easier to deal with. Implanted dentures also act more naturally and may even forget they have false teeth at all.
- Surgery: Tooth removal is often required for dentures, but patients seeking permanent dentures are going to need additional surgery to seat the implants in the jawbone. The extra time required for oral surgery and recovery time is enough for some to pick the less invasive solution.
- Osseointegration: Meaning the growth and strengthening of bone around an implant, osseointegration can’t occur if the patient's jawbones are not dense enough. This takes permanent solutions off of the table for some clients since the titanium implant wouldn’t seat properly and false teeth would be in danger of becoming loose or falling out.
- Bone Degradation: Using traditional false teeth can have a deleterious effect on jawbone density, too. Constant chewing pressures help stimulate bone growth, something that just can’t happen if there are no tooth roots or implants embedded in the jaw. Choosing permanent dentures helps to alleviate that issue.
- Cost: The most prohibitive aspect of dental care is cost, and budgetary concerns can have a dramatic effect on which kind of treatment you choose. Removable dentures can cost as little as $300, and patients can adjust their spending to improve their look and fit. Conversely, the price of permanent dentures can range from $1,500 to $6,000 depending on the services needed, but insurance plans may mitigate some of that cost.
There may be other underlying factors that make surgery for permanent implants impossible or that problems that make removable dentures inappropriate for your lifestyle. Discuss these benefits and drawbacks with your dentist to determine which treatment will work best with your issues.
The choice between removable vs permanent dentures is not always an easy one to make. The staff at Best Impression Dental are dedicated to helping you make the best decision for your oral health. When you come to Best Impression Dental, our staff is ready to help you decide which tooth restoration method is best for you. Contact us to book a consultation and let us help you find the best path to a shining smile and an even brighter future!