Understanding the Structure and Material of Dentures

Dentures are more than just false teeth; they are a reliable solution for individuals who have lost some or all of their natural teeth due to age, gum disease, or trauma. Modern dentures are engineered to look and feel like natural teeth, designed meticulously to ensure comfort and improve overall oral health.

What exactly are dentures made of, and how do they manage to replicate the appearance of natural teeth so convincingly? Let’s dive in!

What Are Dentures Made Of?

At their core, dentures are made from two primary components: the base, often referred to as the ‘plate,’ and the artificial teeth. There are a number of different denture materials available, and the type of dentures you choose will determine what materials are used.

The Denture Base

Denture bases, or denture frameworks, which are the part of the denture that resembles the gums, can be crafted from a range of materials, each with its own set of properties, benefits, and potential drawbacks.

The two most common types of bases for conventional dentures are acrylic resin and cobalt chrome.

    • Acrylic Resin: Most traditional dentures have an acrylic base that is secured to the gums using a denture adhesive. This is the most popular material for denture bases due to its flexible material, aesthetics, and cost-effectiveness. It gives the artificial gumline a natural look. Acrylic resin is lightweight, has good tissue compatibility, and can be easily repaired or relined. However, it is also susceptible to wear and tear, can accumulate plaque and stains over time, and may cause minor irritation in some patients, especially during the adjustment period.

    • Cobalt Chrome: Dentures with a metal plate, especially those made from chrome cobalt metal, are often used for partial dentures because they’re strong, durable, and thin, thereby offering a more comfortable fit than acrylic dentures. However, partial metal dentures may be more expensive, require more precision during fabrication, and are not as aesthetically pleasing as acrylic-based dentures due to their metallic appearance. Additionally, those with metal allergies may experience an allergic reaction to the material.

The Artificial Teeth

The prosthetic teeth of dentures are a vital component, as they not only need to withstand the forces of biting and chewing but also need to look aesthetically pleasing. Two primary materials are commonly used for denture teeth: acrylic resin and porcelain.

Acrylic Resin Teeth: Acrylic resin is the most commonly used material for denture teeth due to its lightweight and compatibility with the acrylic denture base. This compatibility allows for a strong bond between the teeth and the base, reducing the likelihood of teeth falling out of the denture base.

In addition, acrylic resin teeth come in a wide array of shades, enabling a close match to natural tooth color. They also cause less wear to natural opposing teeth if the denture is a partial one.

However, they do have their drawbacks. Acrylic teeth are softer than porcelain teeth and thus wear down faster. They also tend to stain more easily and may need to be replaced more often.

Porcelain Teeth: Porcelain dentures are a popular choice for many denture patients due to their strength, durability, and natural appearance, including a glass-like sheen that closely mimics the enamel of human teeth. They are also highly resistant to wear and staining.

However, porcelain teeth have some drawbacks. They tend to be more brittle and can break more easily than acrylic teeth. They can also cause more wear and tear on any opposing natural teeth because of their hardness. Additionally, they’re heavier than acrylic teeth, and the weight difference might be noticeable to the wearer.

Types of Dentures

There are several types of dentures, each tailored to meet the specific dental needs of each patient.

1. Removable Dentures: These are the most common types of dentures, which include both complete (full) and partial dentures. Complete dentures replace all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw, or both, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain. Both options can be removed and cleaned easily.

2. Implant-Supported Dentures (Permanent Dentures): This type of denture is anchored to dental implants surgically inserted into the jawbone. Implant-supported dentures provide superior stability, eliminate the risk of slippage, and help reduce the chances of bone loss.

The choice between these different types depends on several factors, including the number of missing teeth, the health of the remaining teeth and gums, and the patient’s overall health status and personal preference.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dentures?

Dentures are generally suitable for individuals who have lost their natural teeth and need a reliable solution to restore their smile, functionality, and oral health. If you have lost most or all of your teeth, a complete denture can be an excellent solution. If you only have a few missing teeth, a partial denture or implant-supported denture could be more appropriate. Your dentist will consider factors such as the health of your gums and jawbone before recommending the best course of action.

In order to be a good candidate, you must be committed to proper care of your dentures, including regular brushing and flossing, daily cleaning and soaking your artificial teeth in a denture cleaner overnight (for removable dentures), and regular visits to the dentist.

Need Dentures? Contact Kids and Family Dentistry Today

Your smile is our mission. At Kids and Family Dentistry, we strive to provide solutions that not only meet your dental needs but also boost your confidence. If you are missing teeth and considering dentures as a solution, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our dedicated and experienced team is here to guide you through the process, answering all your questions about your denture choices, and ensuring you make the best decision for your oral health.