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what are dentures

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are prosthetic teeth that can quickly and dramatically make a difference in your smile. Depending on a patient’s situation and personal needs, dentures can be a permanent or temporary solution to missing teeth. Providing instant smile restoration and significant improvements to the way you smile, speak, and eat, dentures can be life-changing.

Quite honestly, dentures can be but are not always the best permanent tooth replacement option; however, there are often the simplest and least expensive.  Many patients get dentures as a temporary solution while they are waiting for dental implant surgery or permanent restorations. Others will choose dentures as their final tooth replacement solution. VCCID has an in-house denturist in Metrotown who can design custom dentures that fit your smile. 

Prosthetic Teeth 

Whether you have complete or partial tooth loss, dentures can help restore your necessary chewing and eating abilities. Dentures are meant to look and act like real teeth. They are removable and custom-moulded to fit snugly in your mouth, over top of your gums. Whether you have experienced tooth loss due to age, injury, infection or an accident, dentures are the fastest, surgery-free way to restore your smile.

Dentures can appear incredibly lifelike and are virtually indistinguishable from your real teeth. Some might disagree and admittedly a few past patients have told me that they felt dentures looked very fake. They certainly can and a lot depends on how we “set up the teeth”. Many things can be done in making and arranging the teeth to make them look very natural.   

Denture Materials  

Modern dentures are tooth-like in colour and designed to closely match the size, shape and tone of your existing teeth. Dentures have come a long way throughout history. Original dentures over 100 years ago were actually made out of materials like ivory and gold. In the more recent past,  denture teeth were made out of porcelain, and the base (pink portion) was made out of acrylic. The reason for using porcelain teeth was because the material had better esthetics than the alternative acrylic teeth.

Today, however, both the denture bases and the teeth are often made out of acrylic resin. This is a type of plastic. The acrylic teeth are a lot more esthetic than in the past and they have other advantages such as adhering better with the acrylic base portion of the denture. 

Sometimes the base of the denture can include a metal substructure – this is particularly common in partial dentures. The metal is used to improve strength, stability and can improve the retention (i.e. keep the dentures in place). 

Additionally, dentures can also be made out of a different type of plastic called Valplast, which is nylon-based and incredibly flexible. 

How are Dentures Fitted? 

Dentures are made by a denturist or dentist who carefully works with the shape and size of the prosthetic teeth in order to create the perfect look and fit for your smile goals. Traditionally dentures are made by first taking impressions of your teeth, gums and bite. These moulds are then used to make plaster models of your teeth and gums; then we use these models upon which to create your custom dentures. There are often several steps in the process and each has to be verified for fit and accuracy. Once made, your dentist will check to ensure they fit and can make adjustments as needed. 

Today with the introduction of computers, scanners and 3D printing, another method to make dentures is to take digital scans of your teeth and gums. With these computerized scans, some of the steps can be done digitally, although just like with traditional impressions the fit and accuracy still have to be verified clinically.

Do Dentures Feel Like Regular Teeth? 

Just like a new pair of shoes, a new denture may take some getting used to, but after wearing them regularly, any feeling of “newness” goes away. In some cases, adjustments may have to be made to make them completely comfortable. 

Unfortunately, dentures are not as stable as natural teeth because they essentially sit on the gum tissue with very little to hold them in place. Most patients do find there is a natural suction that helps to stabilize them; the tongue also helps to keep them stable while eating and speaking. However, the stability and security of your dentures are very much dependant on the size of the bony ridge of your jaw remaining under the gums.

These ridges are what helps to keep your denture from moving around by providing stability. Over time the bony ridges tend to atrophy and shrink in size and the stability of the dentures decreases correspondingly. Once a person gets to this state, they often need a special adhesive that works like glue to keep them from moving or falling out. 

Partial dentures are often more stable and more comfortable as they utilize some natural teeth to hold them in place via clasps or clips which fit snugly around the remaining teeth.  

Who is a Good Candidate for Dentures?

Any patient who is missing teeth is a good candidate for dentures. Dentures can replace a full mouth of teeth, a partial area, or even a single tooth. Dentures are a versatile tooth replacement option. 

Dentures are excellent options for those looking for a fast method of tooth replacement. They can be used to fill a single tooth gap or an entire mouth of teeth, which makes them incredibly versatile. 

Benefits of Dentures 

  • No surgery required 
  • Instant esthetic results 
  • Looks realistic and natural 
  • Better chewing & eating ability 
  • Cost-effective 

Different Types of Dentures 

There are three main types of dentures:

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are the classic full set of dentures. These dentures are removable and fit comfortably in a patient’s mouth. They are for patients that are missing all of their teeth and they are a quick and effective way to restore eating and speaking capabilities for patients suffering from extensive tooth loss. Complete dentures are secured to the patient’s gums, often via a safe adhesive.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are meant to help when a patient is only missing some, but not all, of their teeth. Like complete dentures, partial dentures are also removable and must be taken out and cleaned daily. 

Implant Retained Dentures 

Implant retained dentures are very similar to dental bridges. They are effective for patients missing several teeth in a row, or all of their teeth. They are a permanent form of denture that is more stable than removable dentures. Implant retained dentures require 4-6 dental implants to be installed in a patient’s jaw. These implants then support a denture that is installed on top of the implants and screwed into place. Implant retained dentures provide more control for patients with permanent tooth loss, and in some cases, they do not have to be removed overnight. 

Cost of Dentures

Dentures are a good option for those looking for an affordable form of tooth replacements. They can range in price from $900-$1500 for standard full or partial dentures. In some cases patients have existing implants where the denture snaps onto the implants themselves, overcoming all the issues of looseness and dentures falling out. These implant-retained dentures are typically a bit more expensive, up to ~$2400.  

Denture Cleaning and Care 

Unlike permanent forms of tooth replacement, dentures must be removed every night for cleaning. Just like with real teeth, you can take care of your dentures by brushing with regular toothpaste to ensure they are clean and free of bacteria. When you’re not wearing your dentures – like overnight – you can place them in a glass of water to keep them moist. 

Visit VCCID for Dentures in Metrotown 

VCCID can assist with custom full, partial or implant-retained dentures. Our in-house denturist will create dentures that are perfectly fitted to your smile. Contact us to book your consultation today.

Do You Need Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments?

There are many ways cosmetic dentistry can improve a person’s life. If you’re interested in seeing what these procedures can do for you,

contact us at (604) 434-0248.

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