As we age, our teeth can become worn, damaged, or decayed, leading to a host of oral health issues. Dentures have been a popular solution for centuries, but traditional dentures have their limitations, including the need for regular adjustments and a tendency to slip or shift during eating or speaking. In recent years, permanent dentures have become an increasingly popular alternative, offering patients a long-term solution to their dental needs.
What Are Permanent Dentures?
Permanent dentures, also known as implant-supported dentures, are a type of dental prosthesis designed to replace missing teeth.
Unlike traditional dentures, which rest on the gums, permanent dentures are anchored to the jawbone with dental implants, providing a secure and stable foundation for the replacement teeth.
Permanent dentures are typically made from high-quality materials such as porcelain or zirconia, giving them a natural appearance that blends seamlessly with the patient’s remaining teeth.
How Do Permanent Dentures Work?
Permanent dentures are designed to be a permanent solution to missing teeth. The process typically involves a series of appointments with a dentist or prosthodontist, who will assess the patient’s oral health and discuss their treatment options.
If permanent dentures are deemed suitable, the dentist will begin the process of placing dental implants into the jawbone. These implants serve as artificial roots, anchoring the permanent dentures securely in place. Once the implants have healed and fused with the jawbone, the permanent dentures are attached to the implants, completing the process.
Types of Permanent Dentures
There are several types of permanent dentures available, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular options include:
Removable Implant-Supported Dentures
Removable implant-supported dentures are similar to traditional dentures but are held in place by dental implants rather than resting on the gums. These dentures can be removed for cleaning or repair, but are otherwise held securely in place, providing stability and comfort for the patient.
Fixed Implant-Supported Dentures
Fixed implant-supported dentures, also known as fixed bridges, are permanently attached to the dental implants, providing a stable and secure solution for missing teeth. These dentures cannot be removed by the patient, but are typically more comfortable and natural-looking than removable dentures.
All-on-4 dentures are a type of fixed implant-supported denture that use four dental implants to support a full arch of replacement teeth. This technique allows for the replacement of an entire arch of teeth with fewer dental implants than traditional implant-supported dentures.
Similar to All-on-4 dentures, All-on-6 dentures use six dental implants to support a full arch of replacement teeth. This technique offers increased stability and support for those with a greater number of missing teeth.
The Benefits of Permanent Dentures
Permanent dentures offer several benefits over traditional dentures, including:
Improved Oral Health
Permanent dentures are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth, allowing patients to eat, speak, and smile with confidence. By providing a stable and secure foundation for replacement teeth, permanent dentures also help to prevent bone loss in the jaw and reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
Permanent dentures are custom-made to match the patient’s natural teeth, providing a seamless and natural-looking smile. The high-quality materials used in their construction also make them durable and long-lasting.
Because permanent dentures are anchored to the jawbone, they offer greater stability and support than traditional dentures. This increased stability translates to greater comfort during eating, speaking, and other everyday activities.
Permanent dentures are designed to be a long-lasting solution to missing teeth, with many patients reporting a lifespan of 10-15 years or more with proper care.
Are Permanent Dentures Right for You?
While permanent dentures offer many benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. Good candidates for permanent dentures include those with one or more missing teeth, healthy gums, and sufficient bone density to support dental implants. Poor candidates may include those with advanced gum disease, insufficient bone density, or certain medical conditions that may increase the risk of implant failure.
How to Care for Permanent Dentures
Proper care and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of permanent dentures. Daily maintenance should include brushing and flossing the dentures as well as the remaining natural teeth, while professional cleanings should be scheduled at least twice a year.
Cost of Permanent Dentures
The cost of permanent dentures varies depending on several factors, including the type of denture, the number of dental implants required, and the location of the dental practice. On average, patients can expect to pay between $3,500 and $30,000 for permanent dentures.
Permanent dentures offer a long-lasting and effective solution to missing teeth, providing patients with improved oral health, enhanced aesthetics, increased comfort, and a long-lasting solution to their dental needs. If you are considering permanent dentures, it is important to consult with a qualified dental professional to determine whether this treatment is right for you.