Are Permanent Dentures Right for You?

Happy senior couple with perfect smiles.

Losing most or all your teeth can be devastating. Tooth loss impacts your appearance, speech and food intake, which can affect your physical and emotional health. Removable dentures have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth, but now there is another option: permanent dentures.

What Are Permanent Dentures?

Traditional dentures use suction and adhesive pastes to hold them in place. They must be removed to clean and sanitize them daily, and they can slip or move when you chew, laugh, talk or sneeze/cough. Permanent dentures are prosthetic arches that are secured into the mouth.

Conventional dentures are the most affordable option for a full mouth replacement, but they have many drawbacks. They can move or even come out, which can be embarrassing for many people. Dentures can also be uncomfortable if food debris gets trapped between the gums and dentures.

With permanent dentures, you can eliminate concerns about moving or uncomfortable dentures. They can function more like natural teeth, giving you more confidence when you are in social situations. Since they are more secure, it can be easier to eat foods that can be hard with traditional dentures.

Types of Permanent Dentures

Permanent dentures are held in place by securing them to the patient’s jaw. This can be accomplished by either attaching prosthetics to existing teeth or dental implants. There are a few different options when it comes to secured dentures, varying in function and cost.

Snap-On Dentures
Snap-on or overdentures are semi-permanent prosthetic arches that attach to either teeth or implants. These types of dentures vary in design – some can be removed by the patient for cleaning while others are secured to the support devices by a dentist.
Fixed Partials
If only a few teeth need to be replaced, fixed or permanent partial dentures can be used. These prosthetic teeth can be connected to the other teeth with bridges or secured with dental implants. These are also known as dental bridges.
Implant-Supported Dentures
Instead of using the gums for support, implant-supported dentures use dental implants. Up to eight dental implants are needed for each arch, which are screwed into the denture to hold it in place. These are similar to Snap-On or overdentures but secured in place and not removeable.
Teeth-in-a-Day
One of the most popular options in permanent dentures are All-on-4 or All-on-6 options, which are often called “teeth in a day.” These full arch hybrid dentures are screwed onto implants and the procedure can often be completed in one visit, which is desirable by many patients.

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Permanent Dentures vs. Implants

Dental implants have changed restorative dentistry and the options available. These medical devices are inserted into the jawbone and can be used to replace single teeth or as support for bridges or dentures. When considering permanent dentures vs. implants, there are a few differences.

Dental implants require oral surgery to insert a metal, screw-like post into the jawbone. The implant must heal and adhere to the bone over a few months to become permanent. Once the implant fuses to the bone, dental crowns, bridges or dentures can be permanently attached to the device.

Dental implants offer many benefits for tooth restoration. They can be used to create permanent dentures that are functional and secure, appearing like natural teeth. Implants also stimulate bone growth in the jaw, which can help maintain the facial structure and appearance.

The main drawbacks to dental implants are qualifying for the procedure and cost. Patients do need to have adequate bone density to support the implant. If there is not enough bone, patients may need a bone grafting procedure, or they may not qualify for implants.

When considering permanent dentures vs. implants, cost is a big factor for many people. Implants can be expensive – it can cost a few thousand dollars per implant, plus the restoration or dentures attached to the implants. Permanent dentures attached to existing teeth can be less expensive.

Which Option Is Right for You?

For many people, the combination of dentures and implants is ideal for a full mouth restoration. Options like All-on-4 dentures and implants are cost-effective due to fewer implants needed to secure the permanent dentures. If you still have teeth in place, you may want to consider Snap-On or overdentures.
A happy woman in a dentist office watching her new dentures in a mirror.
Traditional dentures are still an option for those who do not qualify for implants or cannot afford the more elaborate dentures. It can take some time to adjust to dentures, but it is a better option than living without teeth if secured dentures are not feasible for any reason.

There are more options available than ever for replacing missing teeth, including multiple types of permanent dentures. To learn more about all the options available in dentures and dental implants, contact a restorative dentist in your area for a consultation.