Probably everyone at some point in their life will need to get dentures. Usually with age, the number of lost teeth increases. Very often people of the "golden age" lose all of their teeth and have to wear artificial teeth. Wearing dentures is often associated with discomfort during eating, which comes from the insufficient stability of the denture. That's why it is important to find a specialist who will make sure this will not happen.
What are dentures?
Dentures are orthopaedic devices made by a dentist and dental technicians. Their aim is to replace already lost natural teeth. Dentures come in different models and structures depending on how many and what kind of teeth they will replace. Basically, almost all of them belong to the class of removable dental structures. While they can be a little bit more uncomfortable than non-removable implants these fake teeth can restore your smile and appearance at an affordable price.
What types of dentures are there?
Dentures can be classified by many factors:
- According to the lack of teeth, they are divided into partial dentures which help to restore any unsightly gaps1 and full dentures that replace all of your natural teeth. Full dentures can be conventional and immediate dentures.
- According to the place of placement they can be overdentures and upper dentures;
- According to the price - custom dentist (made of expensive teeth) and economy dentures (cost-effective);
- According to their stability - implant-supported and snap-in dentures, the latter ones being cheaper2.
- According to the types of denture base - resin type (acrylic base) and metal denture base.
Conventional dentures vs immediate dentures
Full dentures can be conventional or immediate. A conventional denture can be placed in the mouth about 2 to 3 months after the teeth are removed when the gum tissues have begun to heal. Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures can be placed immediately after tooth extraction as these are made in advance. The good thing about immediate dentures is that patient is not going to be toothless during the treatment period. On the other hand, they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process.
Conventional dentures take longer to measure but they normally fit better in the mouth. They can also last longer compare to immediate dentures.
What is the process of getting dentures like?
When placing prostheses, you usually go through the following stages:
- Examination: The dentist will examine your teeth and gums to check for any tooth decay and gum disease. An X-ray can also be taken for a more detailed examination.
- Tooth extraction: Your dentist will inform you about the different stages, explain what to expect, and give you guidelines for the period afterwards so that you feel comfortable and be fully informed if you need to have your teeth extracted.
- Taking a measure: A measurement will be taken from your teeth and gums to make a denture that fits you exactly.
- Marking the bite: Wax blocks are used to check if the bite sensation is comfortable. At this stage, you may be asked to choose the shape and colour of your new teeth.
- Denture testing: Your dentist will place a wax model of the dentures to get a better idea of what the finished denture will look like.
- Final placement: The finished prosthesis is placed and you will receive instructions on how to take care of it.
- Denture teeth adaptation process: Once your new teeth are placed, you may feel strange at first, but this is normal - your mouth, tongue, and facial muscles will gradually get used to it. Your dentist may recommend products such as denture glue and denture cleaner to help you feel more confident while wearing dentures.
How long does it take to get used to my dentures?
It can only take a few months from your first consultation to the day you feel completely comfortable with your new dentures. Be prepared that you will most likely have four or five appointments with your dentist over a period of three to six weeks, but this is individual for each person.
If you visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleaners after the dentures are placed, you will be able to maintain both the dentures and the overall condition of your mouth.
Denture placement has many advantages and the process is not as complicated as you might imagine. Once your prosthesis is in place, you can return to most of your normal daily activities.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dentures - pros and cons?
The different kinds of dentures have different pros and cons. Generally speaking, their big advantage is the mixing of lost tooth structures. They are also easy to clean and cheaper option to replace missing teeth. And the big minus is that they have to be removed by the patient himself. Also, ill-fitting dentures may lead to a food trap.
How much are dentures in Singapore?
Here are some of the denture prices in Singapore:
- Tooth extraction may cost around $100 - $200;
- Root canal cost in Singapore is between $300 and $800;
- The cost of a full set of dentures is between $500 - $1000;
- Flexible dentures cost in Singapore vary between $800 - $3000;
- Full denture implants cost may vary gradely. The average price is around $30000 and the price for each implant is between $1000 and $2000.
Denture treatment is a non-surgical procedure that is not Medisave climbable. The dental insurance may cover teeth replacement if it is due to medical conditions or trauma - for example you if you lose your teeth after a car accident.
How long do dentures last?
With proper care and normal use, a denture may last five to ten years. However, it depends a lot on the type of denture. To keep your dentures healthy and in good condition, you should keep them in the water when you are not wearing them - acrylic dentures can warp or deform if they dry out, which can affect the way the denture fits in your mouth and this will require replacement earlier than expected. It is also important to clean them after a meal to remove any food particles. Regular visits to the dentist at least once a year are recommended.
What are flexible dentures?
Flexible dentures provide a solution for patients who cannot or do not want to wear standard dentures. They tend to suit best where there are just one or two missing teeth and where other treatments are not possible. Their big advantage is that they are not fragile. They are very unlikely to break when dropped. They also have a flexible base that suits the movement and flexibility in the mouth.
Can I leave dentures in overnight?
It is not recommended to leave your dentures overnight because it can lead to the accumulation of bacteria and cause infections.
Can I have surgery while wearing dentures?
You can wear your artificial teeth at the aesthetic room only if your surgery doesn't require general anaesthesia. If your operation is going to be performed under general anaesthetic you will have to remove your dentures.
How much are the cheapest dentures in Singapore?
The cheapest dental clinics may offer as little as $200 - $300. However, costs depend on many factors.
Dental implants or dentures: which is better?
Whether to have implants or dentures is a matter of personal choice. An implant will require surgery and some people don't want surgery. Those people might go in for dentures. On the other hand, dentures need to be remade over the years because they tend to cause bone loss. When it comes to implant it is a very permanent solution. You won't need any redoing. Many people choose dentures instead of implants because of dentures are cheaper and more cost-effective. The initial cost of a denture is much less than that of an implant. However, implants have a lot of benefits, one of the main one being that they are designed to be long-lasting3, as opposed to dentures.
If you want to improve your appearance and activities such as speaking or eating go to the nearest medical centre in Singapore where a team of specialists will help you to achieve it.