Older couple with gray hair smiling in bed together

False Teeth Options: 7 Dental Choices to Consider

As much as we would all like to keep our natural teeth well into our retirement years, the reality is that we will likely need a few of them removed and replaced with false teeth. Fortunately, in today’s world, technology has created several types of dentures to address this need.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the many false teeth options and alternatives available to you.

Different Types of False Teeth

Dentures

Dentures are different types of false teeth that are fitted to sit over your gum line and are designed to be removed at the end of each day. These plates of teeth can replace all your upper or lower teeth in what is known as a full denture. If only a few missing teeth are being replaced, something called a partial denture is used.

Dentures are commonly constructed of metal, acrylic, and porcelain. Once you get used to how they feel inside of your mouth, you will be able to smile, eat, drink, speak, and kiss with dentures with ease. Not only will you be able to do these simple tasks that may have been difficult with missing teeth, but dentures are made to look like natural teeth so no one will be able to tell that you are wearing them.

Elderly couple - woman in swing and husband talking to her

Full Dentures

Full dentures are a type of false teeth that contains fake teeth made of either plastic or porcelain that are placed onto a plastic plate. A full denture is used when you have had all your teeth removed from either your upper or lower jaw.

Full dentures fitted for your upper jaw are called uppers and those for the lower jaw are called lowers. Uppers sit on your gums and cover your palate. They are held in place by a layer of saliva that creates a suction-like force. Your facial muscles and tongue also aid in keeping uppers secure.

Lowers are different in that your gums may not be able to fully support them. Facial muscles and your tongue will assist but proper fitting dentures will always be easier to keep in place.

If your dentures are loose, you can also use a denture adhesive to help keep your dentures in place.

Immediate Full Dentures

This type of denture is made before all your teeth are removed. Once your teeth have been removed, the denture plates are placed into your mouth immediately. After this is done, you will be required to visit the dental office frequently to allow your dentist to adjust your dentures as your mouth and jawbone heal. These adjustments are meant to result in a snug and comfortable fit once the healing process has been completed.

Partial Dentures

A partial denture contains false teeth made from either porcelain or plastic attached to a plate made from nylon, plastic, or metal. The main difference between partials and full dentures is that a partial denture is used to replace only a few missing teeth rather than a complete set.

Partial dentures are designed to fit between existing teeth and typically use these surrounding teeth to stay held in place. Some partials used clips that fit overtop adjoining teeth or are made of plastic and fit between existing teeth which holds them secure.

A partial denture is often the best option if you have a missing tooth or a few teeth missing. The condition and position of your remaining teeth will impact this decision which is best discussed with your dental professional.

Bridges

Happy elderly couple holding hands

A bridge is another of the different types of dentures. As the name suggests, a bridge is used to “bridge gaps” in a row of teeth. The way a bridge works is that it contains a false tooth and two crowns on either side. The crowns are made to fit overtop the existing teeth on either side of the missing tooth.

The false tooth serves as the replacement for the missing tooth, and the crowns hold the bridge in place. Bridges are made of metal and/or porcelain.

For the crowns to fit properly, the crown of the natural teeth they will sit on has to be removed. Note that crowns generally have only about a twelve-year lifespan which means they require replacement when that time comes.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is essentially a metal rod that is inserted into the jawbone. It is usually made of titanium or an alloy of titanium. Once the rod has fused with the jawbone, which takes months to accomplish, a crown is added. The crown will look like a natural tooth and will remain in place thanks to the rod that fused to your jawbone.

Dental implants are an interesting type of false teeth in that they can be used in one of three different ways:

  • A dental implant can replace a single missing tooth.
  • They can be used to replace multiple teeth with a fixed bridge where teeth are missing. This would require an implant on either side.
  • Dental implants can be used to add support to dentures. An example would be where two or more implants are used to hold overdentures.

Overdenture

Overdentures are a type of denture that fits over the top of either teeth or implants. Overdentures are made from nylon, plastic, or metal and have the same appearance as healthy, natural teeth and gums.

After dental implants have integrated into the jawbone, a specially designed denture then snaps or clips onto the implant. This means that the dentures are not loose, however, are able to be removed when needed.

Since they snap into place, overdentures have earned the nickname of “snap-on” teeth. You may be more familiar with them by that term than by calling them overdentures.

In Conclusion

Regardless of how careful we are in caring for our teeth as we grow older, there comes a time where different types of false teeth may be required. Due to advancements in dentures over recent years, you are not restricted to just one solution. Depending on what your needs are and how many teeth you need to replace, there is a false teeth option that is sure to fit.

To be sure, discuss this with your dentist. He or she will be the best person advise you on the correct type of dentures suitable for your situation, which will help you to keep eating, speaking, drinking, and most importantly, smiling well into your future.

Top Picks