Exploring Alternatives to Dentures: Options for Restoring Your Smile

alternative to dentures

There are many alternatives to dentures currently available in clinics worldwide. A comparative review of each can clarify a patient’s final decision, yet it is always a wise decision to consult with a dental professional and arrive at a solution that can benefit you the most. 

In this blog, we have defined and argued some of the available denture alternatives. These will help prepare you for your future consultation with the dentist.

Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures that are not implant based – those that are described as removable dental devices are built to replace missing or compromised teeth in edentulous patients (those suffering from a lack of teeth) and get their retention from adhesives or suction- have been around for many centuries. 

A fairly modern version of them is constructed by a proficient team of technicians, which customizes them to fit inside the patient’s mouth through intricate and detailed impressions taken during a visit to the dentist and makes them using various materials, including acrylic, nylon, porcelain, resin, or metal. Traditional dentures have had a bad rep in recent years due to the exceedingly advanced alternatives that are available, such as dental implants and dentures that utilize dental implants as their primary retentive force; we have compiled many of these later on in the blog.

Types of Dentures

There are mainly two types of dentures, such as partial and complete. We have provided a brief description of each.

Complete Dentures: These are full dentures that can replace all the teeth in a patient’s lower or upper jaw area, or in some cases, even both. They are usually fitted after the gums have healed, typically after 8-12 weeks post-extraction. 

Partial Dentures: These are meant to replace a singular tooth or several teeth in one arch and acquire their retentive force using clasps attached to the remaining natural teeth. Flexible partial dentures made of plastic are also available and provide a more comfortable experience. 

Things to Consider 

Although traditional dentures have been in use for a long time and a huge population wears them, some drawbacks and things deserve due consideration with this treatment, such as the discomfort commonly reported by denture-wearers and the lack of functionality.

Although these dentures do provide a certain level of aesthetic restoration, there is a definite lack of restoration of tooth function that the alternatives provide; apart from this, there are increasingly rare situations where traditional dentures are a necessity, and there are more chances than not that you will be suitable for other treatments of this sort.

Some Alternatives to Traditional Dentures

As we mentioned before, traditional dentures are somewhat dated in modern times. Below are some of the better alternatives to this treatment.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a type of dental reconstruction that uses the retentive power of implant fixtures or posts embedded into the jawbone during surgery. A highly sought-after treatment, patients who want a considerable improvement to their traditional dentures actively seek this treatment due to its scientifically proven success rate of 90-95%. These posts gain strength from the biological process of osseointegration, which is the body’s ability to form a structural bond with a prosthesis. 

These implants are based on three structural components: the implant fixture or post itself, the abutment, and the connecting bridge between the post and the crown. The crown is the most visible part of the prosthesis and is highly customized to fit a patient’s unique characteristics.

Dental implants have the ability to restore an individual tooth or as foundational supports for dentures, such as the ‘All on 4’ or ‘All on 6’ implants, which we will discuss later. 

Implant Supported Dentures

These are similar to dental reconstructions, except that this technique uses dental implants as a foundational base for an arch of artificial teeth. Implant-supported dentures, therefore, combine the best qualities of dentures and dental implants. Due to their dependence on dental implants, they also rely heavily on using biocompatible metals, such as titanium, for the implant material and the biological process of osseointegration.

Implant-supported dentures provide a great deal of improvement over traditional dentures. They completely eliminate the often-reported issue of slipping and sliding in the mouth, and prosthesis displacement is virtually impossible with these as they are connected biologically with the bone itself.

All-on-4 Dental Implants

All-on-4 Dental Implants involve the placement of ‘all’ artificial teeth resting on ‘4’ dental implants. It is an ingenious solution that leverages the power of dental implants to make a type of denture with almost the same level of stability and retention as your natural teeth. 

These are immensely popular amongst patients who want a safe and secure solution for their edentulism that is scientifically proven to work. If you have been a wearer of traditional dentures for a long time and suffer from significant tooth loss, this could be a considerably beneficial upgrade.

Implant Supported Bridges

For patients who are suffering from partial tooth loss (or only several adjacent teeth are missing), a bridge that derives its fundamental support from dental implants, similar to the techniques mentioned above, can be a much-needed treatment. Implant-supported bridges usually require a lesser amount of dental implants (usually two, but depending on the length of the bridge) and are designed to rehabilitate the functionality and natural appearance of natural teeth. 

The choice between implant-supported bridge and implant-supported dentures comes down to the extent of tooth loss suffered, the patient’s personal preferences, and specific oral or general health needs.

Snap-in Dentures

Snap-in dentures are similar to implant-supported dentures, except for the added functionality of easy removability for maintenance and cleaning. These are also called ‘overdentures’ and are a type of removable denture that ‘snap’ onto dental implants for added secureness. 

Their design is made in a specific way, which allows them to fit over dental implants using an attachment system that allows the dentures to be securely fastened yet easily removable by the patient.

Snap-in dentures typically use two to four implants surgically drilled into the jawbone and can include ball attachments, locator attachments, or bars that connect the denture to the implants. Patients who want to remove their dentures easily can benefit the most from this technique.

Conclusion

In this blog, we discussed all the major alternatives available for people looking for treatments that better suit their situations. We described dentures and also discussed their benefits and considerations.

Suppose you seek a more personalized conversation about dentures and their alternatives. In that case, it will benefit you greatly to have a consultation with our staff, which consists of industry-leading experts with years of experience in implant technology. Feel free to visit the Oklahoma Implant Clinic in Oklahoma City, OK. Schedule your free consultation with us today to embark on a journey towards an upgraded oral lifestyle!

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