Life expectancy has increased significantly past the age of retirement. In 1965, average life span was 65 years and in 1990, it was 78 years but now a healthy 65 year old person has a 50% chance of living up to 85 years and 25% chance of living up to 94 years.
For a 70 year old to ask ‘’is it worth it for me to spend money to repair my mouth at my age?’’ is not unusual but life expectancy of such a person will be more than two decades.
According to literature, tooth loss is directly proportional to age and hence millions of people worldwide wear dentures. With modern technology, materials and means of keeping them in place are changing. Hence we will introduce you to some of the different types of dentures here
Types of dentures
Partial denture: It needs to take support from the nearby natural teeth and gums for it to stay in position. To hold the partial denture in position, clasps are used to secure the denture to nearby natural teeth.
Full denture: a full denture is made when all the natural teeth are missing. It can be only top or bottom teeth or both. They generally are kept in position by the supporting gums and muscles of the mouth.
Immediate denture: As the name suggests immediate means it is inserted at the same appointment as the teeth are extracted so that you don’t have any waiting period in between.
Over-denture: It is usually sitting over and taking support from either healthy roots or dental implants.
More facts about immediate dentures
After the teeth have been extracted, the immediate dentures are placed in the mouth while you are still in the dental surgery.
- No social embarrassment
- Better aesthetics as there are natural teeth present during fabrication
- Multiple visits for adjustments- you may need to visit the dentist several times for small adjustments. As immediate dentures cannot be tested in the mouth before teeth are removed, the fit and appearance of the dentures may need to be adjusted.
- During healing, the gums shrink and the fit of the immediate denture becomes loose. It then needs relining or possibly remaking.
Disadvantages of conventional dentures
- Lack of retention or stability- The widespread use of denture adhesives is one indication of inadequate comfort and function
- Difficulty in adapting to full lower denture- A mandibular denture may move 10mm during function. Under these conditions, predetermined occlusal contacts and the control of masticatory forces are nearly impossible.
- Soft tissue abrasions and bone loss- Lateral forces may cause a horizontal movement of a conventional prosthesis and cause soft tissue abrasions and accelerated bone loss, making it necessary to continually repair and remake
- Poor speech- Conventional dentures often move vertically during chewing and other various movements which can cause clicking noises
- Poor function- Patients with conventional dentures need 1.5 to 3.6 times the number of chewing strokes as for patients with implant or tooth supported over-dentures
- Compromised aesthetics- Presence of large denture extensions result in exaggerated facial contours mainly in patients with recent extractions
Advantages of over-dentures
- Better support and stability- Since major support and retention comes from retained tooth roots or implants, it remains in place during all jaw movements
- Jaw bone preservation- The retained root or implants help to retain the height of the jaw bone as well
- Increased biting force- Patients can enjoy a wider variety of food due to better chewing ability
- Easier speech and best for “gaggers”- It reduces the amount of soft tissue coverage and extension of denture plate which in turn allows early speech adaptation and is quite helpful for new denture wearers with low gagging threshold
- Psychological advantages and quality of life- Patient has feel of added security of increased retention and fear of denture ”flying out” or “coming down” during social gatherings is overcome
- Better aesthetics- Improved support of the lips and cheeks with flanges extended only adequately for this function which also allows teeth to be of the same length as natural teeth in contrast to full fixed restorations
The 2002 McGill Consensus Statement concluded there is overwhelming evidence that restoration of the edentulous mandible with a conventional denture is no longer the most appropriate choice of prosthetic treatment. The implant supported over-denture has become the standard of care.
Note: The aim of this general information is to educate the reader about Dentures and may not essentially contain all aspects of the treatment. It would be beneficial to see us for a consultation to discuss the procedure and all of the associated complications.
Give us a call on (03) 5821 2388 to book an appointment and our dentist will be more than happy to answer all of your concerns.