Types of Dentures: Permanent Dentures vs. Removable Dentures

Types of Dentures: Permanent Dentures vs. Removable Dentures

If you have suffered total tooth loss in one or both of your jaws or have been told that it is imminent, researching your replacement options carefully before you commit to any one of them is important. While traditional, removable dentures were once the only option for total tooth loss, today’s dental patient can choose
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different types of dentures to better suit their needs, avoiding the hassles, discomfort and deterioration of oral health and structure that are commonly experienced by traditional denture wearers.

Oral Health and Comfort

A meaningful comparison between these two types of dentures must begin with the important differences in their level of support for oral health and structure. Bone loss is a significant issue in a toothless jaw, prompted by the absence of tooth roots, which stimulate the production of bone cells for the maintenance of the jawbone. Removable dentures, since they rest on the gum ridge, offer no protection against bone deterioration. Permanent dentures are anchored by dental implants, surgically placed in the jawbone. These tiny titanium rods integrate into the jaw like a natural tooth root and offer the stimulation necessary to prompt the natural bone maintenance process, reducing bone loss.

Another issue of concern with removable dentures is the affect that bone loss has on stability. As the jawbone shrinks away, traditional dentures loosen, leading to denture movement. That, in turn, often leads to irritation in the mouth, which can progress to open sores, callouses, and gum shrinkage, further loosening dentures and creating an oral environment that is very susceptible to infection or gum disease.

Permanent dentures eliminate that instability with precise placement of dental implants to form a secure foundation for replacement teeth. For instance, the all-on-four procedure, a cutting-edge technique in implant dentistry, uses four specialized implants to secure a full arch of replacement teeth, a process that can be completed in one surgical session and results in a level of stability and comfort that simple isn’t possible with removable dentures.

Functional Differences

Distinct differences between these two types of dentures can also be seen in oral function. Even when removable dentures are perfectly fitted, chewing efficiency and bite force are limited to some degree. This impairment makes some foods difficult or impossible to consume and can cause digestive problems, issues that are more pronounced with ill-fitting dentures. Since the upper denture covers the palate, traditional denture wearers often notice a decrease in the ability to taste foods, and instability can cause slurred speech or denture slipping or clicking during meals, conversation or laughing.

Permanent dentures, securely anchored in the jaw with the all-on-four technique, have been shown to offer substantial improvements in chewing efficiency and bite force as compared to traditional dentures. They will not interfere with one’s sense of taste, allowing greater enjoyment of foods, nor will they slip, click or inhibit the ability to speak clearly, since they feel and function like natural teeth.

Maintenance and Care

Since the fit of traditional dentures changes as the oral structure deteriorates, they will need to be refitted or replaced every five to seven years. They will require special cleaning products and often, adhesives will be necessary to keep them in place. Permanent dentures eliminate those hassles, needing only standard oral hygiene and regular dental checkups for maintenance, a routine no more demanding than taking care of healthy, natural teeth.

Other advantages of all-on-four permanent denture placement include better aesthetics. Implant-based reconstruction provides a more attractive, natural looking smile than other types of dentures, and since bone structure is preserved, will not cause that aged appearance in the face that is common to traditional denture wearers.

Learn more about how permanent dentures and the All-on-4 procedure can truly change your life. Download the free eBook, A Truly Life Changing Smile