Complete dental prosthesis, also known as “dentures”:
- They are used for the replacement of all teeth (14) of a dental arch (upper or lower jaw).
- They cover a good part of the gingiva. Full dentures for the upper jaw also cover the palate and lay against it.
- They are held in place by suction (created by saliva accumulating between the dentures and the gingiva).
Benefits of dentures
- The cost of removable dentures is low compared to that of alternative treatments (e.g.: dental implants);
- The manufacturing period is much shorter than the time required to complete some other alternative treatments (e.g.: dental implants);
- Removable dentures are non-invasive treatments as no surgical procedures are required, except if dental extractions are necessary;
- A more permanent treatment plan could eventually be considered if you decide that you no longer want to wear removable dentures and if your health condition allows it. In other words, wearing removable dentures is “reversible” under certain conditions;
- Your smile (final result) is predictable by the color and the shape given to the artificial teeth so that they blend completely with the remaining dentition;
- You can remove your dentures and put them back in place;
- They can be readjusted, if needed, to ensure that they are always comfortable.
The disadvantages of dental prostheses
- Food may get lodged under the prosthesis, causing discomfort; you must then remove it to remove the debris;
- The hooks of a partial prosthesis are likely to accumulate plaque and tartar. It is therefore important to maintain good dental hygiene and continue to visit the dentist regularly;
- The hooks of a partial prosthesis may sometimes be visible, which negatively affects the aesthetics of the prosthesis in the mouth;
- The prosthesis installed in the lower jaw may be less stable than the upper jaw. This instability is caused by the smaller shape of the gum, tongue movements and insufficient saliva, which affects the suction effect necessary for the prosthesis to hold in place;
- When the prosthesis is unstable in the mouth, glue, not always easy to apply, can then be used to fix it more securely;
- You should plan an adjustment period of variable duration, which may be an average of one month or more when you wear a removable prosthesis (complete or partial) for the first time. During this time, changes in the way you eat and talk are necessary. Your taste may also be slightly altered when a denture is worn to the upper jaw due to the covering of the palate by the prosthesis;
- Gum injuries can occur if the prosthesis is not properly adjusted or if changes to the gum or jaw occur over time, such as subsidence:
- Indeed, a removable prosthesis does not strain the alveolar bone, the bone that supports the teeth and shapes the gums, so that the gums tend to resorb (disappear);
- Relining (remodeling the base) the prosthesis may then be necessary to restore the stability and comfort of your prosthesis, while ensuring that the alveolar bone does not lose too much volume.
- It can be difficult to play a wind instrument with a removable prosthesis;
- The life span of a removable prosthesis is about 5 years, sometimes a little longer, but it rarely exceeds about ten years. This requires additional costs to replace damaged teeth, adjustments to the prosthesis, relining the prosthesis or even replacing it if it is too worn:
- There are signs that the prosthesis should be replaced or repaired, so it is important to have it checked regularly by your dental health professional.
Undesirable consequences on your health can occur with a prosthesis that is too old, such as an irritated gum that hurts, digestion problems caused by a more difficult chewing, headaches, neck, earaches of all kinds and even jaw joint problems, premature aging of your face, etc.
It might be time to think about implants…
Implantology allows dentures to be supported by artificial roots (implants) that are acting as anchor points.
It would be appropriate to consider dental implants if you have the following problems:
- Dentures that move around in your mouth and cause irritation or pain;
- Difficulty to chew;
- Digestion problems;
- Gingival atrophy (bone resorption);
- Pain in the gums;
- Premature aging of the face.
An acrylic resin prosthesis that fractures cleanly and frankly and whose pieces can be replaced with precision can be repaired.
Check with your dentist.