Severe tooth loss can limit your food choices, hinder social interactions, and undermine one's quality of life. According to research, adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have an average of 24.9 remaining teeth. If you have suffered partial tooth loss, you can use partial dentures to replace the missing teeth.
Dentures come in various materials, such as cast metal, acrylic resin, and porcelain. The material you choose can impact the performance, comfort level, and durability of dentures. Thus, here are a few factors to discuss with your orthodontist when selecting the right denture material for your treatment.
Oral Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions
Are you allergic to materials such as metal and acrylic? If so, discuss this with your dentist before designing custom dentures. Oral sensitivity and allergic reactions to certain materials can cause pain, irritation, redness, and swelling of the gums. These signs can occur immediately after receiving new dentures or weeks later.
If you have a history of allergic reactions to metals, avoid materials that can trigger allergies. Doing so will protect you from oral irritation and inflammation and save you from having to plan follow-up dental visits to switch the dentures. Your orthodontist can make custom dentures using hypoallergenic materials to maximize comfort and prevent oral sensitivity.
Dentures are temporary prostheses, and they are not surgically placed in the gums. As part of your daily oral health routine, you should take out and clean your dentures, especially before bed. If you have any motor limitations or physical disabilities, removing and re-inserting dentures can be a difficult task. This is particularly true with cast metal dentures that come with metal clasps to hold the dentures in place.
If you have motor limitations, you need dentures that are easy to wear and remove. Since dentures are custom-fabricated to suit the patient's needs, your dentist can design the best ones for easy wear and removal. For example, there are flexible dentures that cling to the teeth without clasps or adhesives. They are easy to wear and remove, which can simplify use and maintenance.
Comfort and Visual Appeal
Some dentures have bulky materials that take a long time to get used to. Others cover a large portion of the mouth and feel unnatural and uncomfortable. Conversely, materials such as acrylic resin and porcelain are lightweight, which makes them incredibly comfortable. They fit perfectly in the mouth and feel more natural. Thus, you only require a few days to adjust to the feeling of artificial teeth.
Besides comfort, you also need to consider the visual appeal of your partial dentures, especially for the front and side teeth. If your dentures have metal clasps, the metal becomes visible when you smile or talk. Thus, if you want to conceal your artificial teeth, choose a material that matches the color of the teeth. There are dentures with a clear base, which exposes the gums and gives the illusion of natural teeth.
Denture Maintenance and Repair
Some denture materials are sturdy and easy to maintain, while others are fragile. The acrylic base used in the fabrication of most partial dentures can easily break on impact. Fortunately, acrylic is simple to repair and adjust, so if you drop your prostheses, your dentist can repair the damage. Also, if the dentures stop fitting tightly over time, they can be adjusted.
Partial metal dentures are sturdier and more durable than acrylic prostheses. They are lightweight and comfortable, especially for users with no allergic reactions. However, it is hard and costly to fabricate and repair metal dentures. The fabrication and repair processes can take a long time, forcing users to wear temporary restorations for a short period.
Dentures come in a variety of materials and designs. As you compare your options and evaluate your finances, keep the above factors in mind to ensure you invest in comfortable, durable, and easy-to-use partial dentures.