A denture is a prosthetic device either fixed or removable and replaces a single tooth, multiple missing teeth or a full arch of teeth.
There are 3 different types of denture materials available and all have their own uses which vary for every Client. We use the latest Valplast flexible acrylic dentures. Valplast dentures are the most comfortable, flexible, easy to maintain dentures available. Other options available are standard acrylic and chrome dentures and we will suggest the most appropriate denture after an initial consultation.
We use dentures as more of a budget teeth replacement option to bridges and implants.
These are the most economical way to replace missing teeth and are very easy to add to. Eg 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 look very natural. Used for replacing 1, a few or all of your teeth and can be quicker to construct – sometimes can be 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. Some patients use denture glue to stick them in. Often feel bulky and can affect speech and patients 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 ones and have a better fit so are more secure. They are easier to eat with than Acrylic dentures and will move less.
Due to the material used they are more expensive to produce than Acrylic dentures, they 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/around them (but not as badly as under acrylic dentures). It is relatively hard to add teeth to later should remaining teeth be lost and they do require some sound existing teeth to be present. Construction of Chrome dentures is longer than Acrylic dentures and normally takes around 6 – 8 weeks.
Flexi-dentures (also known as ‘valplast’)
Flexible dentures are a fairly new product very similar to acrylic dentures with one important difference. Because they are flexible they can work to replace a small number of teeth and fill a gap without necessarily covering the palate.
They look and feel very much like acrylic dentures (see above) but being slightly flexible allows them to ‘pop’ into place where 2 or 3 teeth are missing but there is still a tooth 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 eg a whole lower or upper jaw so 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.