A denture is a prosthetic device which can be either fixed or removable. It replaces a single tooth, multiple missing teeth or a full arch of teeth.
There are three different types of denture materials available, all of which have their uses which vary depending on the client. We use the latest Valplast flexible acrylic dentures. Valplast dentures are the most comfortable, flexible, easy-to-maintain dentures on the market. Other options available are standard acrylic and chrome dentures. We will suggest the most appropriate denture after an initial consultation with you.
Dentures are the most economical way to replace missing teeth and are very easy to add to over time. For example, if you have one or several gaps and think that the remaining teeth may also be lost in time then an acrylic denture is one way to have the flexibility of adding teeth without breaking the bank. They can also look very natural to improve your confidence in your smile. Acrylic dentures are often used to replace one, a few or all of your teeth and can be quick to construct, sometimes even done in a single week (temporary dentures only).
Patients who have acrylic dentures often complain that they get food stuck under them so they need to be cleaned after every meal. They tend to move around during eating and do not stay firmly in place, which can be uncomfortable. Some patients use denture glue to fix them in place. These dentures often feel bulky and can affect speech. Some patients even report that they don’t taste their food as well. Upper dentures usually cover some or all of the palate.
Cobalt Chrome dentures
These are much slimmer than acrylic dentures and have a better fit, so they’re more secure in your mouth. They are easier to eat with than acrylic dentures and will move less when you’re eating or speaking.
Due to the material used, they are more expensive to produce than acrylic dentures and often need a metal clip or clasp to assist retention which has the potential to show at the side of your smile. Food can get stuck under them or around them (but not as bad as under acrylic dentures). It is relatively hard to add teeth to later should the remaining teeth be lost and they do require some sound existing teeth to be present, so they’re not suitable for every client. Construction of chrome dentures takes longer than acrylic dentures, normally taking around 6 –8 weeks.
Flexi-dentures (also known as ‘Valplast’)
Flexible dentures are a fairly new product and are very similar to acrylic dentures, with one significant difference. Because they are flexible they can be an effective replacement for a small number of teeth and fill a gap without necessarily covering the palate.
Flexi-dentures look and feel very much like acrylic dentures (see above) but being slightly flexible allows them to ‘pop’ into a place where two or three teeth are missing, but where there is still a tooth on either side of the gap.
Valplast dentures are less bulky than acrylic dentures and are a good solution for small to medium-sized gaps. They do not require metal clasps to hold them in place and the plastic blends well with the natural appearance of the gum tissue.
Valplast dentures can stain more easily than conventional acrylic dentures or porcelain teeth and can cause recession around neighbouring teeth if worn for a long period. They are not appropriate where a large number of teeth are missing e.g. a whole lower or upper jaw so they are more limited. It is very difficult to reline a Valplast denture, so if over time the bone structure changes, the whole denture would need to be rebased which involves more money and time for it to be completed.
You can find out more about Dentures on Wikipedia.