If you’re missing several teeth, you’re not alone. Up to 120 million Americans are missing at least one of their teeth and 36 million don’t have any at all. Missing teeth can make it difficult for you to feel confident in your smile, and it can also be challenging to enjoy your favorite foods.
The good news is that there are different denture options available to help replace your missing teeth. But what options are available and which ones are right for you? Here, we’ll dive into the differences between dentures, snap-in dentures, and All-on-4 dentures to give you a better idea about which denture options meet your needs.
Traditional dentures are one of the most popular choices for patients looking to replace their teeth. To make a denture, your dentures specialist will take an impression of your jaw and mouth. Models are made and perfected to replicate the exact color of your gums for a natural appearance and the shape of your mouth for your comfort.
Although dentures are popular, they’re not always the best choice. Dentures cover the roof of the mouth, which can dull the flavors of your favorite foods. Additionally, because dentures need to go into each and every corner of your mouth, they can sometimes be uncomfortable to wear and can even change your profile. Dentures need to be re-lined regularly to ensure they stay in great shape and prevent bone loss. Dentures are ideal for patients who are missing all of their teeth, need to have all of their teeth removed for health reasons, or are unable to receive dental implants.
Compared to traditional dentures, snap-in dentures only cover the gums, not the entire roof of your mouth. This makes it easier for patients to taste their favorite foods because the denture doesn’t cover up any taste buds. The snap-in denture is connected to the mouth with two to four dental implants. The denture is then “snapped” into the implants like buttons on a shirt.
While snap-in dentures make it easier to taste food and talk, they can still be frustrating for patients because the denture can sometimes dislodge while eating. Maintenance costs can also be somewhat high because the denture requires frequent re-lining.
All-on-4 dentures, also called All-on-4 bridges, are similar to snap-in dentures in that four implants are used to support the denture and they only cover the gums. All-on-4 bridges are one continuous bridge and they come in two types. The first type is made of titanium and is composed of three parts: a titanium bar, an acrylic gumline, and acrylic denture teeth. While this option looks great and functions well, it can wear down over time because acrylic absorbs saliva, which can make the denture difficult to clean.
The second type of All-on-4 bridge is a zirconia device. A zirconia device is very strong and is made with durable monolithic ceramic, which makes it great for patients who don’t have the time for frequent re-lining or want to make sure their denture stays in great shape for as long as possible. Zirconia devices are also completely customizable including the gums, the color of the teeth, and the shape of the teeth.
Which Dentures Are Right for Me?
Ultimately, using any type of denture is better than not having a denture at all because they all prevent bone loss in the jaw. Determining which denture is right for you depends on multiple factors including your budget, your ability to come in for re-linings, the strength of your gums and jaw bone, and your personal preference.
Be sure to talk to your local dentist at Phillips and Schmitt: Asheville Dentistry for more information about denture types and which are best for your budget. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.