Fixed vs. Removable Dentures
When you think of dentures, you may picture a full set of upper and lower teeth, complete with pink gums... sitting in a glass full of water on the bedside table. But did you know that the word “dentures” is actually used to refer to several different types of prosthetic teeth? For example, there's the fixed partial denture (commonly called a “bridge”), the removable partial denture, and the removable full denture (the one in the glass). It's also possible to have a full set of dentures which are securely fixed in the mouth.
What's the difference between all of these “dentures”? Essentially, a removable denture (as the name implies) is easy for you to take out, while a fixed denture can only be removed at the dental office. But when you're choosing between these two types, what's at issue is more than just removability — there are major implications for your health and self-confidence, too..
Removable Dentures Accelerate Bone Loss
Once upon a time, removable full dentures were the best — and indeed, the only — prosthetic teeth-replacement system dentistry could offer. However, removable dentures come with problems. Their instability in the mouth often requires the wearer to make constant adjustments and compromises, such as eating primarily soft foods and being extra-careful when speaking and chewing. In time, even after one has learned to get by with them, they eventually lose their fit. This happens because wearing them accelerates bone loss in the jaw, which inevitably occurs after tooth loss. Accelerated bone loss results from the pressure dentures place on the bony ridges that formerly supported the teeth.