Should I Get Removable Dentures or Permanent Dentures?

Dentures have long been associated with getting older, though people of any age can suffer from tooth loss. When it comes to replacement alternatives, patients may be conflicted as to the type of false teeth that fits with their lifestyle. There are both removable and permanent denture options, and exploring their positives and negatives may help you find the best way to bring back your smile!

It’s important to make educated decisions about your health, especially when it comes to teeth. At Allred Dental, we want our patients to understand every aspect of their treatment plan, both for their comfort and peace of mind. If you’re looking for new dentures or are considering them for the first time, call us to schedule a consultation today!

woman with dentures smiling at her husband

Why Dentures?

A lot of people are ashamed of their missing teeth. It may signify poor hygiene or the onset of old age, even if that's not the case. Decay is a predominant reason for tooth loss, especially when considering that a perfect smile means decades upon decades of excellent oral care for older patients. After time, teeth wear down and become much more susceptible to cracks, breaks, and cavities. Biannual visits may stave off the damage, but sometimes loss is inevitable.

Accidents are another common reason people turn to false teeth. Facial injuries can happen at any age, and when permanent teeth become damaged there’s no substitute waiting under the gumline. Well-fitting dentures help patients recover quickly without the need to wait for complex procedures or surgeries. Even permanent options may be much less invasive than replacing individual teeth.

Gum disease is another contributing factor to tooth loss. Years of untreated gingivitis may leave teeth loose in the jaw, ready to fall out thanks to a lack of support. Such cases may require extensive work before dentures are even an option.

Facing Facts

Your teeth do more for you than simply help break down food. They provide structure and support for your jaw and cheeks. Without the support, many patients may begin to suffer from facial collapse! This occurs because biting pressure actually helps to stabilize and build your jawbone, and without that continued pressure the jaw begins to wither away.

While this is perhaps the most visible downside to missing dentition, there are a host of other benefits that lead people to look into dentures as an alternative. These include:

  • Less Restrictive Diet: With a set of false teeth, your diet can expand to foods that previously were too uncomfortable or even painful to eat.
  • Restoring Confidence: Dentures offer patients the chance to grin with a full set of pearly whites again, and a beautiful smile can brighten anyone’s day!
  • Facial Rejuvenation: Missing teeth cause cheek muscles to sag and may make patients look older. Dentures restore that support, and in turn, may create a more youthful appearance.
  • Improved Speech: While they may take some getting used to, new dentures can go a long way to help patients with their pronunciation.
  • Protect Original Teeth: Filling in spaces with false teeth distributes biting force along the entire jaw and keeps excessive wear at bay.

New dentures can have a dramatic effect on your life, helping to alleviate many of the problems people struggle with every day. Once you’ve decided on renewing your smile with false teeth, the next step is examining the differences of removable vs permanent dentures to determine which is right for you.

Preparing for Dentures

Before deciding on which type of false teeth you’re interested in, it’s important to understand the procedures involved in preparing your mouth for dentures. During the initial consultation, x-rays and examinations will help your dentist determine the best course of action. While some teeth may be healthy enough to remain, others may need immediate removal to prepare the area for dentures.

Dentists consider existing dentition and jawbone density when creating denture treatment plans.  Generally, a dentist will work hard to ensure you keep much of your existing dentition. Extractions and bone grafts may be necessary to strengthen and make room in areas where the dentures will be seated. False teeth are generally produced at another location and will be shaped and color-matched to give you a natural-looking smile.

Reasons for Removable Dentures

Countless films have gifted us with sight-gags about Grandma’s loose dentures. As funny or disturbing as comedic visuals may be, removable dentures aren’t as fickle as they are portrayed by the media. A well-fitting set of dentures can be comfortable and convenient for daily use. 

Typically, removable dentures are worn throughout your day, securing them to your gums with temporary bonding agents. Cleaning can be as simple as a quick evening brush and an overnight soak. Some of the most common types of removable dentures include:

  • Same-Day dentures are given to patients as they wait for bespoke sets to be made off-site. Even so, if they fit well such dentures can be used for some time before needing replacements.
  • A full set of false teeth replace all of the dentition in a patient’s mouth, giving them a fresh biting surface. This is an excellent option when clients are missing a majority of their original teeth.
  • Partial dentures range from a single tooth replacement to bridges of several teeth. These are anchored to surrounding healthy dentition but can be removed for cleaning.

Just like natural teeth, dentures can become stained or begin to show signs of wear. Taking care of your false teeth will help keep them in great shape for around seven to ten years. Some patients may require better fitting sets during that period as their mouths change shape over time.

The Permanent Perspective

While they sound like they can never be removed, permanent dentures usually refer to false teeth that are fixed in place and can only be taken out at the dentist's office. As opposed to removable options, permanent dentures are cleaned and maintained with the same oral hygiene practices that you use to care for your own teeth. This makes them feel much more like natural teeth, but for patients who suffered from tooth loss because of poor hygiene habits, permanent options won’t solve those issues.

While the dentures are detachable, permanent false teeth require dental implants that require surgery to install. These are anchored directly into the jaw and are not considered removable since their titanium construction lets implants fuse well to bone. Like their detachable counterparts, the dentures fitted atop implants will wear down eventually, and after around 10 years they, too, will need replacing.

A Dense Subject

One important factor you and your dentist must consider involves bone density. As humans eat, the chewing action creates pressure on teeth that stimulates the jaw bone. Each bite creates the mechanical force necessary to strengthen your jaw. Without tooth roots secured in place, the jaw will begin to deteriorate over time.

This is a problem specifically for removable dentures. Since there are teeth left in the jaw bone, all of the pressure from chewing rests solely on the gums. Without direct pressure, the bone begins to deteriorate which can create more problems in the future. Because permanent dentures use implants that are secured into the jaw, they provide the stimulation to allow bone to grow. This actually makes the anchor stronger with every bite!

Cost Considerations

One of the biggest drawbacks to permanent dentures is the cost. Generally, removable options are much less expensive since they require less intensive procedures and fewer office visits. A single implant can cost between $1,600 to $2,200 each, which doesn’t include the additional expenses of false teeth and anesthesia requirements. Since bridges and entire sets require multiple implants, the costs can quickly rise.

On the other hand, a well-fitting top or bottom set can cost as little as $650, and many insurance plans cover some of that cost. Decisions shouldn’t be made based on price alone, and some other aspects to the removable vs permanent dentures debate include:

  • Time Investment: Some patients can’t set aside large parts of their schedule for recovery time from grafting and implant procedures.
  • Surgery: Dental implants require several procedures, and those looking to avoid anesthesia or extra time at the dental office may wish to consider removable options.
  • Comfort: Removable dentures have a reputation for being uncomfortable and avoiding nightly scrubbings and gum pain is worth the extra cost for some.

During the first appointment, your dentist will review the costs, advantages, and drawbacks to each solution available to you. Allred Dental even offers in-house financing options to help you make the best choice regarding your oral health!

Amazing Smiles with Allred

If it’s time to replace your current dentures or you’re tired of living with missing dentition, contact our team at Allred Dental today. Patients in the San Marcos, Oceanside, and Encinitas, CA areas call to schedule a consultation. We’re here to help you get back your grin so you can take a big bite out of life!

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