dentists in edinburgh

Replacing Missing Teeth

Replacing missing teeth, part 1: Dentures

 

This blog series will discuss the most common methods for replacing missing teeth and making them look good and work well to help our patients’ smiles.

For many patients who are missing a small number of teeth, dentures are now a secondary option because of the advances being made in the field of dental implants and bridgework. However, in the right situations, dentures can offer a life-changing improvement to patients who are experiencing problems when eating or who shy away from social interaction after losing some or all of their teeth. They are an important option to consider for patients who…

  • Need to replace several failing or missing teeth.
  • Have a medical condition which makes implant treatment unfeasible.
  • Want to avoid the higher costs of implant treatment.
  • Would be better able to clean a removable appliance than one which is fixed in place.

 

 

Acrylic (plastic) dentures

  • The simplest and cheapest option.
  • Can be used for partial dentures (replacing one or more teeth), or complete dentures (replacing all the teeth in the upper or lower arch).
  • The pink acrylic base can be customised to achieve a great aesthetic outcome when the patient smiles.
  • The patient and dentist can discuss and choose from various combinations of tooth colour, shape and size in order to achieve a natural-looking smile.

 
Chrome dentures

  • A stronger, more stable alternative to acrylic partial dentures.
  • A custom-made chrome framework holds the teeth in place by clipping onto the remaining natural teeth.
  • The chrome is often less than 1mm thick, but gives great strength.
  • When replacing upper teeth, it is often possible to leave the roof of the mouth uncovered, unlike with many acrylic partial dentures. This improves the patient’s eating experience.


 
Flexible partial dentures

Founded in New York, Valplast have been gradually refining the concept of flexible, virtually unbreakable partial dentures for the past several decades. The pink base is made of a specialised form of nylon which comes with a lifetime guarantee against breakage. When warmed up to body temperature, the denture becomes flexible enough to move in unison with the wearer.

  • No metal parts.
  • Lighter than acrylic or metal-based dentures and stronger than both.

 
Cheaper than fixed bridgework or implants and can even act as an intermediary device before moving on to one of these options.


 
Implant-supported dentures

Dental implants can be incorporated into almost any denture, but are most commonly used for patients who have lost all the teeth in the upper or lower arch.

  • An implant is placed into the jawbone where the root of a tooth used to be.
  • A specialised attachment clips into the base of a denture, providing fantastic grip and stability.
  • Patients benefit from improved confidence when speaking and smiling and greater chewing force.

 

In part 2 of this series, we will discuss bridges for replacing one or more missing teeth.

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Keep brushing, keep smiling.

Dr Calum Imray

Stafford Street Dental Care

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