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Dentures in the 21st Century

Posted in Dental Bridge, Dental Dentures, Dental Implant, and General Dentistry

Modern Dentures in the 21st Century

In Canada, most adults are missing at least one permanent tooth? In fact, missing adult teeth is more common than you think. A high percentage of Canadian’s over 55 are missing 12 permanent teeth, making them candidates for either dental bridges or dentures. The good news is that dentures have improved over recent years. Your Grandparents dentures were probably inferior in many ways.

Because of the growing market of Canadian’s needing dental fabrication of one type or another, a versification of highly effective high-tech solutions for missing teeth have been developed. Of these tooth replacement options; considerable progress and attention has been placed on dentures. How are they different?

Consider How Far They Have Come

Ancient Egypt is credited with the very first form of dentures but hold on to your lunch. They repurposed human teeth! and filled in smaller gaps with gold. Early Mexicans used similar building materials only they took things a step further using teeth from animals, usually wolves or dogs. They just didn’t have the tools or materials to create effective dentures.

Later, the Japanese known for their respect for their elders, created the oldest known pair of complete dentures in the 1700’s. Hardwood, was the material of choice for skilled Japanese carpenter denture creators. Wood was used primarily to replace teeth until the 1770 when Nicolas De Chemant used porcelain for the first time with dentures. It was a breakthrough, and forms of porcelain are used even today.

Resins were finally introduced in the early 1930’s and this material was a game changer. Not only are resins translucent, durable, non-toxic, and don’t produce a strong odour, they also easily shaped and repaired. Add to it the relatively low cost and you have a winner. The most common material used for dentures today is Acrylic Resin.

Modern Denture Difference

Dentures are a prosthetic, or a component made of artificial (acrylic based) teeth, and the gums that hold them in position. The concept of dentures has remained the same from ancient Egypt to today. For those with a few missing teeth, “Partial Dentures” are made. Whereas “Complete Dentures” are prothesis for people with no remaining teeth. The difference with modern dentures is how they are supported. Both removable dentures (removed and cleaned daily) and permanently fixed dentures (stay in your mouth, not removed) require special implants both to hold them in place and to position them perfectly.

Dentures in the 21st Century
Similar dental implants are used for dentures

Modern Removable Dentures

Removable dentures have the advantage of being more traditional. This is a positive because the methodology behind them has been tried, tested, and proven. They are less expensive than fixed dentures and a quick fix for missing teeth. They are however custom, no two are the same. Designed for the individual, their tint, size, shape and texture are all specific to your original smile. So similar to your original teeth and gums that no one should be able to spot the difference.

The implants, at least two of them, prevent removable dentures from slipping out of position which can cause significant discomfort. Their lack of movement also solves the problem of bone loss that is a negative known complication of misaligned removable dentures of the past. Modern “implant supported” removable dentures are also much improved when it comes to eating more challenging foods such as, corn on the cob, and steak.

Even today’s modern removable dentures require maintenance. They should be cleaned and soaked every night, as well as checked occasionally for wear. Removable dentures have one issue that new permanent dentures do not have.

They can be misplaced, lost, even stolen.  Your dog might find them interesting and walk off with them. Although, if something like that happens, they are replaceable as the mold used to create them is usually kept for future use.

Modern Fixed Dentures

Implant retained or fixed dentures stay in your mouth. You don’t need to take them out at night to clean them. Usually, four or more implants are surgically implanted to fix the dentures in place. These dental implants also absorb the full weight of your bite force. Therefore, your jaw bones and your gums need to be in good shape before they can be installed. Sometimes gum restoration is necessary before fixed dentures can be placed.

Dentures in the 21st Century

The changes recently made in denture technology, specifically in the use of implants, make modern dentures look and feel like natural teeth. So, if you’re missing teeth, be glad you live in the 21st century, when dentures have become better in the way they look, feel, and function.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Mathews who specializes in modern dentures, bridges, crowns and implants. Come see which option of tooth replacement is best for you.