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Dentures definition - What are dentures?

Upeer Dentures photo

A denture is a dental appliance made of plastic, nylon or metal that replace missing teeth. There are complete or partial dentures, depends on the patient needs

A 2015 study lead by scientists from University College London and Harvard University has shown statistically 7,3 and 6,97 missing teeth on average for a single US and UK citizen appropriately. Both countries are renowned for bad oral condition, there are many factors responsible for this situation, but the most problematic is the lack of knowledge of the possible tools and methods of helping yourself. One of the most popular methods is filling the gaps with dentures.

If you’re considering dentures, or always had a problem with understanding what they really are – you’ll find all the necessary information in our guide – including types, procedures, tips, comparisons, prices in the UK, US and abroad. There are a plethora of reasons to get dentures, also known as false teeth, and believe it or not, there are more health-related reasons than there are aesthetic.

You see, when you have a gap in your teeth, it can actually adversely affect your bite, resulting in a condition called malocclusion. And malocclusion can lead to cavities, which can lead to gum disease, which can lead to—well you get the idea!

But today we’re not here to talk about the problems that people with missing teeth might experience, rather we’re here to talk about the solutions, namely—dentures. So in this article, we’ll cover the following information:

  • Dentures definition—what are dentures?
  • Different types of dentures—What is the best type for you?
  • Dentures materials
  • What it’s like to live with dentures
  • Cost of dentures

What are dentures?

To put it simply, dentures are removable dental appliances made from plastic, nylon or metal, that replace your missing teeth. Sounds pretty cool, right? But there isn’t just one type of denture, actually, there are many different types of dentures and many different materials available, meaning you actually have a few options you’ll need to consider. So let’s go over the most common types and materials of false teeth.

What are the different types of dentures?

With so many different kinds of denture types available, it may be difficult to choose the best dentures on the market in the UK for you. One of the most important things you should be looking for in your false teeth is if they are the most comfortable dentures for your mouth, so always keep that in mind while doing your research.

Here are just some of the best dentures on the market in the UK that you may be eligible for:

Complete dentures

So let’s start with the basics—what are complete dentures?

Complete dentures are also called ‘full dentures’. These types of false teeth come in a full arch and can replace all of your teeth on both your upper and lower jaw if needed.

How are complete dentures fitted?

As mentioned above, if you need all of your teeth replaced, on either your upper or lower jaw, then you’ll have to get complete dentures. Here is a general summary of the steps included in this procedure, as provided by the NHS:

  • Your dentist will remove decayed or broken teeth
  • Your dentist will take moulds of your mouth, and order for your false teeth from a dental technician
  • You will receive trial false teeth to make sure fit and appearance are correct
  • Any adjustments in shape and colour will need to be done before the final product is created

Partial dentures

Partial denture

Partial dentures contain one or more false teeth. They replace only a few missing teeth and consist of a plate that is made of metal, plastic or nylon and is gum-coloured. On top of this plate are the actual false teeth

Partial dentures are dental appliances that contain one or more false teeth. They can clip-in to your mouth and are removable, just like full dentures. But unlike full dentures, they don’t replace a full arch of missing teeth.

Partial dentures for front teeth work really well when it comes to both the upper and lower arch. In fact, if you only need one or two front lower or upper teeth replaced, it may be your best option. Many patients opt for partial dentures to fill in missing front teeth instead of implants, due to the lower costs.

How are partial dentures fitted?

As we mentioned above, partial dentures allow you to keep your healthy teeth, while filling in the gaps where you have missing teeth. These false teeth normally use your original teeth as an anchor onto which they can clip to, holding them securely in your mouth. They can also be removed quite easily.

In order to fit your partial dentures – making them the appropriate size and shape for your mouth – the process is much like the process for getting full dentures – your dentist will measure your mouth and take molds, and then will come up with a treatment plan for you.

What do partial dentures look like?

Partial dentures look a lot like real teeth and gums. They consist of a plate that is made of metal, plastic or nylon and is gum-colored. On top of this plate are the actual false teeth. There are either metal, gum-colored or tooth-colored clasps that secure the false teeth to your natural teeth. Upon very close inspection the clasps can be visible, but when done well, they really are quite discreet.

How to clean your partial dentures?

You may be wondering how to clean plaque off partial dentures, just like you would want to do with your regular teeth. We’ll talk more about cleaning dentures further along, but here’s a brief explanation of how to clean partial dentures.

Just like with your regular teeth, it’s important to clean your false teeth regularly, at least twice a day. The steps to cleaning your partial dentures are:

  • Brushing them with toothpaste and water
  • Soaking them in a solution made specifically for cleaning dentures
  • Brushing them again after soaking

How to cope with partial dentures

When you first get your dentures, whether lower partial dentures or upper partial dentures, you may find that they fill foreign and strange in your mouth. It also may be a bit more difficult to eat and drink as you normally would, and you may even experience some slight pain or discomfort at first.

Removable dentures

With terms like ‘complete dentures’, ‘partial dentures’, ‘removable partial dentures’ and ‘removable complete dentures’, you may get a bit confused with all of the terms that are thrown around when it comes to false teeth.

Just to make it a little less confusing, a denture by definition is removable.

So to simplify: both partial dentures and complete dentures are removable. (The lines begin to blur a bit when we talk about implant dentures, but we’ll go over that in-depth below).

This will all go away as you get accustomed to wearing your partial dentures. If any pain or discomfort continues, you should make an appointment to see your dentist again.

Implant-supported removable dentures

implant-supported bridge

An implant-supported denture is supported by two or more dental implants. A denture is attached to the screws so it does not slip from a place, this makes it comfortable to wear

Implant-supported removable dentures, also called ‘implant-retained dentures’ are in some cases, the ideal way to replace a full set of missing teeth because false teeth can be uncomfortable, and occasionally slip from the place. They can also cause bone loss over time because they actually press down on the bones that originally supported your natural teeth.

That’s where these implant-supported removable dentures come in. These can be fitted in the lower jaw with as few as two implants and in the upper jaw with four implants. The implants themselves, which are sort of like little screws, are normally made from titanium and are permanent so you don’t have to worry about taking them in and out. Your dentures, on the other hand, should be treated just like a normal denture, and removed at night and cleaned at least twice a day.

In order to have implant-supported removable dentures, you need to have strong enough jawbones to support them, but if your bones aren’t strong enough for full-sized implants, they may yet be strong enough for mini implants.

Mini implants are an option when securing lower arch dentures, for patients who can’t undergo invasive surgery, or for patients who don’t have enough bone mass for full-sized implants. What’s more, they can be used to support most kinds of replacement teeth.

It’s possible that if you don’t have enough bone mass for full-sized implants, you might still have enough for mini implants. Even if you’re not sure if you are eligible, it’s definitely worth asking your dentist about your options.

Implant-retained dentures

As mentioned above, Implant-retained dentures are the same as implant-supported removable dentures. These are false teeth that normally require two implants on the bottom jaw and potentially four on the top jaw if the bone is strong enough. If not, mini dental implants may be used. These implants can and should be removed by the patient at night, and cleaned twice a day.

Should I remove my dentures at night?

Your false teeth are removable for a reason—they should be taken out every night while you sleep, and cleaned twice a day. While you sleep, it is generally recommended that you let them soak in water or a cleaning solution. The exception to this is if you have permanent dentures, which we were just getting to!

Permanent dentures

So we’ve just got done talking all about removable dentures, and you might be wondering: Can dentures be permanent? There is such a thing as permanent dentures, but, as the American College of Prosthodontics warns, this term can be misleading.

So what are permanent dentures?

Permanent dentures are similar to the ‘implant-supported removable dentures’ mentioned above, except that only your dentist can remove the false teeth from the implants. One popular kind of permanent dentures is All-on-4 implants, which we will discuss more below.

Since all of these different types of dentures can be confusing, we’ve made a handy table that summarizes the differences for your convenience:

Feature

Traditional complete dentures

Partial dentures

Implant-supported removable dentures

Implant-retained dentures

Permanent dentures (implant-supported dentures)


Flexible dentures


Material

Normally acrylic

Normally acrylic

Titanium implant, acrylic, metal or acronite dentures

Titanium implant, acrylic, metal or acronite dentures

Titanium implant, acrylic, metal or acronite dentures

Thermoplastic

Removable?


Yes


Yes

Yes (dentures only)

Yes (dentures only)

No

Yes

On the NHS?

Yes

Yes

Only if medically necessary

Only if medically necessary

Only if medically necessary

No

Pros

Affordable

Affordable

More comfortable and natural than traditional, no limited diet, longer-lasting

More comfortable and natural than traditional, no limited diet, longer-lasting

More comfortable and natural than traditional, no limited diet,longer-lasting

Flexible, more comfortable

Cons

May become uncomfortable over time, can’t eat all foods

May become uncomfortable over time, can’t eat all foods

More expensive, must be removed at night

More expensive, must be removed at nigh

More expensive


Flexible, more comfortable
Only for partial dentures, more expensive, not a long-term solution

What are the best materials for dentures?

False teeth are generally made up of various parts, depending on the type. If you have implant-supported dentures, then the implant will typically be made from titanium, and the plate that imitates the gums, as well as the teeth, will be made out of an acrylic resin or a flexible polymer. But it may also turn out that metal or some other material is preferred by your dentist for your case. So, let’s have a look at what materials are used to make dentures to determine which is best for you.

dentures with dental stuff

There are different materials of which dentures can be made some of them are acrylic, metal or aconite

Acrylic dentures

Acrylic false teeth are, hence the name, made from acrylic resin. And although this refers to the gum-coloured part of the device, the teeth can be made from a similar acrylic resin or porcelain. This is a very popular material to use for false teeth. In fact, according to a study highlighted by the National Institute of Health, most teeth used to make complete dentures are made from acrylic resin.

That’s because there are quite a few benefits to using acrylic resin for false teeth, such as:

  • They are easy to adjust for denture occlusion than harder materials
  • They increase bonding strength at the base of the device
  • They are more affordable than some other materials like porcelain and metal

According to the same study, acrylic false teeth, do, however, have their drawbacks, including:

  • They don’t last as long as porcelain teeth
  • They can stain easier than other materials
  • Faster wear means they can create problems with malocclusion

How to polish acrylic dentures

You should keep your acrylic dentures clean by brushing them at least twice a day and soaking them in a special denture cleaner. But even if you are following cleaning best practices, you may find that your dentures look like they could use a polish. If that’s the case, you should make an appointment with your dentist. They may either be able to polish your dentures themselves or they can refer you to a dental prosthetist.

Metal dentures

Metal dentures are typically made from cobalt and chromium. This combination of metals makes them quite a bit stronger than acrylic dentures, and much lighter to wear. Chrome dentures have a bit of gum-coloured plastic fixed to them in places where they may be visible, and they also have natural-looking teeth.

Cobalt chrome dentures sit around natural teeth (in the case of partial dentures), and the false teeth are attached to the base with acrylic material. You can have both partial and full metal dentures. With partial dentures, cobalt chrome dentures can be securely supported in your mouth by your natural teeth, called tooth-borne partial dentures, which is an advantage noted in the professional community.

To help you figure out if metal dentures are right for you, have a look at these cobalt chrome dentures disadvantages and advantages.

Advantages of cobalt chrome dentures:

  • Stronger than other materials
  • Thinner and more lightweight than other materials
  • Better grip than other materials
  • More comfortable
  • Better chewing ability
  • Most hygienic option

Disadvantages of cobalt chrome dentures:

  • More expensive
  • Can be difficult to alter them
  • Can be bent out of shape if stepped or sat on
  • Some bits of the metal may be visible

Can you get steel dentures?

Some people think that metal dentures are made from steel, but they are actually made from cobalt and chrome. Acrylic dentures, on the other hand, sometimes have stainless steel clasps for anchoring to natural teeth.

Acronite dentures

Acronite is a new material developed by scientists in Poland and quickly gaining in popularity due to it various advantages, including:

  • Greater durability than acrylic resin
  • Near transparency
  • Doesn’t cause allergic reactions
  • Non-porous/more hygienic

Flexible dentures

Flexible dentures can be the best option for those patients who aren’t able to wear traditional metal or plastic dentures. As of yet, flexible false teeth can only be used in situations that do not require full dentures.

They don’t require metal clasps or any type of bonding to hold them into place; instead, their flexibility allows them to flex into a secure position.

Flexible dentures may increasingly become a possible alternative to acrylic in the making of removable partial dentures. That’s because studies like this one have determined that the ‘oral health-related quality of life’ of denture wearers was better if flexible dentures were used instead of acrylic.

Flexible dentures advantages:

  • They provide a perfect fit onto gums, with no need for adhesive or clasps
  • They are transparent, so less noticeable
  • They are made faster, so wait time is shorter
  • They are ideal for those whose unique mouth shape eliminates traditional false teeth as an option
  • They are thin and lightweight
  • They are more difficult to break

Flexible dentures disadvantages:

  • They cost more than traditional
  • They are not usually a permanent option, unless the use of a traditional device is not possible
  • They are difficult to repair if broken

How do you clean flexible dentures?

If you’re wondering how to clean your flexible dentures, the process is quite similar to the process you would use to clean traditional false teeth. According to the website of one of the leading brands of flexible dentures, Valplast, your flexible dentures should be cleaned with the following tips in mind:

  • Soak your flexible dentures in a flexible denture cleaning solution for 10–15 minutes per day, and overnight, three times per week
  • Run under water after soaking to remove remaining particles
  • Brushing flexible dentures is not necessarily recommended
  • Rinse your denture after eating
  • Keep your denture in water or denture cleaner when not being worn

 

Living with dentures

As mentioned above, dentures are not just for aesthetics. While you shouldn’t replace healthy teeth with false teeth,  false teeth can enhance the quality of life and oral health for those with missing teeth. 

Let’s recap some of the reasons why you might need your missing teeth replaced: 

  • Missing teeth can result in jaw bone loss
  • Natural teeth can become misaligned, growing into the space left by the missing tooth
  • Facial features may become distorted
  • The corresponding tooth on top or bottom of the jaw may over-erupt, causing damage to the opposing gum and resulting in pain
  • You may have trouble speaking properly
  • You may have malnutrition if chewing is too difficult
  • Missing back teeth may cause the sinus cavity to expand, and eventually erode the jaw bone.
happy grandma

False teeth like dentures can enhance the quality of life and oral health for people with missing teeth

Additionally, keep in mind that if you need false teeth, no matter how old you are (or young) you are not alone, as plenty of your peers are going through the same thing.

In fact, according to the World Dental Federation, 30% of the global population between the ages of 65 and 74 have no natural teeth, and according to a study done by the National Institute of Craniofacial Research, 3.75% of adults between 20 and 64 years have age have no natural teeth at all.

Dentures for over 60s

If you are over 60 years of age and have dentures, there are some important things you should keep in mind.

First of all, as regular dental access wasn’t as common when you were younger, as we mentioned above, you are certainly not alone. Many of your peers are experiencing the same issues with tooth-loss.

Second, it’s especially important that your dentures fit well and are comfortable so that you can have a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle.

What’s more, dentures that don’t fit well may be signs of certain health conditions that seniors may have, and that should be looked at by a doctor. These conditions include:

  • Elevated blood sugar: Managing blood sugar levels is important for oral health, keeping things like gum disease at bay.
  • Osteoporosis: A weakening of the bones can cause your jaw to deteriorate, which may be a reason why your dentures don’t fit as well as they used to.
  • Medications: Some medications, including those for blood pressure, can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to increased production of bad bacteria, which can lead to gum overgrowth, (your gums’ way of overreacting to plaque).

For these reasons, it’s imperative that you see your dentist if your dentures don’t fit comfortably. They’ll be able to get you dentures that fit right, and they can refer you to a doctor if they suspect there may be additional health concerns.

How to eat with dentures

Eating may be a bit tricky when you first get your false teeth. That’s why the NHS recommends eating soft foods cut into small pieces, and to make sure to choose slowly, applying equal pressure from both sides of your mouth.

Soft food, egg paste

Mashed potatoes, broth, applesauce, yoghurt and other soft food is recommended to eat while wearing dentures, by the other hand nuts, foods with sharp edges, broken crisps or chewing gum should be avoided

What foods can you not eat with dentures?

You should refrain from chewing gum, and eating other sticky foods like caramels. Additionally, stay away from very hard foods, like candied nuts, and foods with sharp edges, like broken crisps. Toothpicks are also not recommended.

Once you get used to your false teeth, you can begin to widen the range of foods you eat, and gradually return to your normal diet. But you still shouldn’t use toothpicks.

What are some easy foods to eat with dentures?

If you are experiencing some discomfort with your dentures, you may be looking for foods that are especially easy to eat. Some of the best options are things like: mashed potatoes, broth, applesauce, and yoghurt. Even if you have a hard time eating, it’s important to try to eat a variety of foods to get the nutrition your body needs.

How to clean and maintain dentures

Just like with your natural teeth, it’s extremely important to keep your artificial teeth clean as well. Your new set of teeth can develop a buildup of food deposits and plaque that can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems just like with normal teeth. Unclean false teeth can also cause bad breath. And unlike with other instances where people suffer from chronic bad breath despite good oral hygiene habits, in this case, the solution is easy—keep your new teeth clean!

According to the Oral Health Foundation, you should clean your false teeth twice a day, and preferably twice a day if you choose to follow the advice from the NHS.

Since both of these are official foundations who work together on many public health issues, you should do what you feel most comfortable with.

For instance, if you’ve already brushed your false teeth, but after eating they feel dirty, you might want to give them another brushing.

Best way to clean dentures

If you’re wondering what’s the best way to clean dentures, have a look at these denture cleaning tips:

  • Clean false teeth with your normal toothpaste or soap and water
  • Soak your false teeth in a denture-cleaning solution, following the instructions on the package
  • Brush them again afterwards to get the solution off

Best denture cleaner for stains

Even with the best oral hygiene habits, your false teeth may get stained, just like your natural teeth. If this happens, you can look at your options for denture stain removers at your pharmacy or online.

The best denture cleaner for stains will not be abrasive, and will be bleach-free, as bleach can actually change the color of your artificial teeth, and not for the better! To be safe, visit your dentist, and tell them about your concerns—they will be able to help you clean the stains from your false teeth safely and efficiently.

How to maintain dentures

Your new teeth are an important part of your oral health, so it’s imperative that you care for them properly. To get an idea of the best way to maintain your dentures, check out the following advice:

  • No bleach: As mentioned above, avoid bleaching your false teeth, as it may change the colour of them. Additionally, bleach is a harsh chemical that can weaken them which might lead to breakage.
  • Keep it cool: Don’t soak your teeth in super hot water. This can also weaken them.
  • Soft lining: If your device has a soft lining, check with your dentist before choosing a cleaning product or adhesive, as you want to make sure you don’t use something that may damage the special material.
  • Give them a break: Unless instructed otherwise by your dentist, take your teeth out at night—they need their rest, just like you!
  • Keep them clean: You may get plaque and tartar buildup on your new teeth, just as you would with natural teeth, and it’s important to go to the dentist for tartar removal. Your dentist will have a special professional cleaning machine that will leave your false teeth as good as new.

How to clean dentures naturally

Let’s face it: You’re a bit of a tree-hugger and you like to avoid the chemicals where you can. Well getting replacement teeth doesn’t necessarily have to mean sacrificing your natural lifestyle. Have a look at the following tips for how to clean your dentures naturally:

Let’s face it: You’re a bit of a tree-hugger and you like to avoid the chemicals where you can. Well getting replacement teeth doesn’t necessarily have to mean sacrificing your natural lifestyle. Have a look at the following tips for how to clean your dentures naturally:

How to clean dentures with baking soda

Baking soda is really a must-have on every natural cleaning product list. It can be used to replace a plethora of harsh chemical products for cleaning.

So how do you use baking soda to clean dentures?

To clean your teeth, you can add 2 tsp of baking soda to a bit of water, forming a paste. Using a brush with extra-soft bristles, gently

baking soda box white powder

One of the natural methods of cleaning dentures is the use of vinegar or baking soda, in case of soda caution should be exercised, as it can be abrasive. All methods should be discussed with the dentist

scrub away stains and food particles.

Caution should be exercised, as baking soda can be abrasive. You may want to only use baking soda once in a while, and consult your dentist before beginning to use it.

How to clean dentures with white vinegar

Vinegar is another great natural cleaning ingredient. When used to clean your new teeth, it’s natural acidity may help to dissolve plaque. If you’re wondering how to clean dentures with vinegar, simply mix equal parts white vinegar and water, and leave your teeth to soak for at least 30 minutes, and overnight if you wish. Give them a good rinse before placing them in your mouth again.

How to clean dentures in the microwave

Besides being exceptionally efficient, microwaves are also great for killing bacteria. Depending on what your teeth are made of, you can microwave dentures for three minutes, once a week. Make sure that the power is set on 650 watts. And make sure the material of your teeth is microwave-safe before you nuke them. Remember, no metal parts in the microwave!

Before using any of these natural solutions to clean your device, you should consult your dentist to make sure it’s a good idea for your case. Also, keep in mind, that these solutions are not meant to replace regular brushing and soaking.

Are dentures comfortable?

If you’re new to dentures, you’re probably wondering if they’re comfortable, and how easy it is to wear dentures. Well, the good news is, your new teeth are designed to be worn all day, every day, and as such are also designed to be comfortable enough to do so.

That being said, when you begin to wear them, it will probably feel kind of strange, there’s a foreign object in your mouth after all. Additionally, your muscles will need a bit of time to learn how to keep them in place. What’s more, your salivary glands may go into hyperdrive temporarily.

If you wear your new teeth every day, your mouth will soon grow accustomed to them, and these inconveniences will most likely go away.

Dentures in purple box

Wearing the new dentures can be difficult at the beginning but if they are worn every day, the mouth will be used to them, and inconveniences will most likely go away. If dentures are well-maintained they can last several years

If they don’t, or if your false teeth cause you actual pain or severe discomfort, you should make sure to see your dentist, because this may mean they don’t fit correctly.

How long do dentures last?

If you take proper care of your dentures, they should last for several years. However, due to changes in your own mouth, you may need to get them relined, which you can read all about below.

Dentures soft liners

No two mouths are created equal, and what is comfortable for some may cause discomfort for others. Some people, for instance, aren’t comfortable wearing acrylic dentures, especially if they rub too much against the gums. That’s where denture soft lining materials come in.

Soft liners are made from a softer material than acrylic, such as silicone, and provide a layer of protection between the false teeth and your gums. This reduces any irritation or soreness that the acrylic may have been causing.

One downside is that the denture soft liner materials are less durable than traditional false teeth, and so they can only be expected to last one or two years.

Another downside is that they must be cleaned with more diligence than traditional materials, because the denture soft liner material is more porous, making space for bacteria, and can also result in a bad taste.

Your soft liners most likely can’t be cleaned with a cleaning solution that you would use for acrylic liners. So before you head home from the dentist, make sure to ask about the correct cleaning process for your denture soft liners.

Denture relining

If you’ve been wearing your false teeth for some time, they may start to not fit as well as they first did. That means it’s probably time for a denture reline, and you should visit your dentist so they can check out the situation. Even if it turns out you don’t need denture relining, if your false teeth aren’t comfortable, that’s plenty cause enough to consult your dentist.

If you’re relatively new to the world of false teeth, you may have some questions about denture relining. Have a look at these FAQs that denture wearers have been asking:

What is denture relining?

Denture relining is a process where your dentist will get rid of all the old lining in your dentures, and replace it with new lining so that your false teeth fit properly again.

There are three types of denture relining:

  • Hard reline: A hard reline is for those who have full dentures, and should be performed every couple of years.
  • Soft reline: A soft reline is for patients who realize only after getting their new teeth that their gums are too sensitive for traditional materials. In the case of a soft reline, your dentist will reline your false teeth with a denture soft liner material. This material will last for one to two years and then will have to be changed again.
  • Temporary reline: If you’ve gone a long time without getting your artificial teeth relined, your gums may end up getting sore. This won’t go away if you ignore it, so it’s important to go see your dentist. If your gums are too sore for a hard or soft reline, your dentist will reline your device with a medicated material that will reduce the soreness and irritation in your gums. Then, after your gums have healed with the help of your temporary reline, you can go back in and get either a hard or soft reline.

How do you know when it’s time to reline dentures?

Without visiting your dentist, you can’t be sure that your false teeth need to be relined. But if your denture no longer fits well, or feels uncomfortable, you should definitely make an appointment to see your dentist. 

Why do dentures need to be relined?

In general, there are two main reasons why your false teeth stop fitting perfectly:

  • Changes in bone structure: Teeth are pretty important when it comes to maintaining the bone structure of your jaws, and the soft tissues surrounding them. So without teeth, your bones and tissue gums can shift around. Replacement teeth can certainly help with this, that’s one of the reasons why they’re so important, but they may also cease to fit well if your bones and tissue change too much.
  • Changes with the denture itself: You wear your new teeth all day, every day, so they’re bound to experience some natural wear and tear. This may affect the areas that come into contact with your gums, causing the fit to feel unnatural. These teeth can also be damaged by improper cleanings, such as boiling them for sterilization, or putting them in the microwave when they have metal parts.

Why do I have more saliva after relining my dentures?

If you get your dentures relined and you find that it seems like your salivary glands are acting up, it may be due to poor positioning of your top teeth. If they aren’t in the perfect position, your top lip may not be able to close, causing the excess in saliva. If this happens, be sure to contact your dentist to get the problem fixed.

Can I use an at-home kit to reline my dentures?

Some people may be interested in using at-home denture reline kits to reline their device themselves, whether for cost or convenience. But, it’s really better to go see your dentist if you need your dentures relined, as you may end up fitting them incorrectly. Also, they won’t last as well as a professional job. An at-home kit, whether a denture soft liner kit or a standard reliner kit, should be used as a last resort when you really can’t get in to see the dentist.

Denture adhesive

When you get new teeth, your new smile is the star of the show, but behind the curtains, denture adhesive is working very hard to make sure the show goes on. 

Jaw dentures

There are different adhesives available to help your denture stay in a place like powders, pastes or adhesive pads. It is usually placed on the denture and it prevents from moving them during speaking or eating

 

Despite the integral role denture adhesives play in denture success, the Oral Health Foundation reports that there are very few guidelines for patients with full dentures on how to use denture adhesives. 

And when denture adhesives aren’t used properly, there can be a lot of consequences for the patient. That’s because secure denture adhesives are imperative in the following:

  • Overall patient satisfaction, leading to full-time wear
  • The reduction of food particles caught in between teeth and gums
  • Enhancing the comfort, and thus, quality of life for the patient

The Oral Health Foundation also provides the following guidelines for denture wearers concerning denture adhesives:

  • Clean and dry your false teeth 
  • Apply adhesive cream
  • Place teeth in your mouth and close your mouth firmly for a few seconds
  • Remove any excess adhesive cream that may overflow 
  • Refrain from eating or drinking for five minutes
  • Remove and clean your teeth and your mouth before sleeping
  • Make sure all adhesives are removed from your device after cleaning
  • Make regular appointments with your dentist

Dentures before and after

If you get artificial teeth to replace missing or badly damaged teeth, you’re bound to notice a few differences before and after treatment. 

First, there are the obvious aesthetic benefits—you’ll have no more gaps in your smile, and your whole facial structure will benefit. That’s because when you don’t have teeth to support your lips, your mouth actually collapses inward, and causes what looks like a sunken, shrunken face. 

And then there are the other, less visible differences that change before and after dentures. For instance, the space that missing teeth leave behind can trap bacteria and cause gum disease and tooth decay in your remaining teeth. You also may experience a change in diet, and be able to eat a wider range of foods than before. What’s more, when you don’t have teeth, part of your jawbone begins to deteriorate—having replacement teeth can help stop any bone loss from becoming more severe. 

Denture alternatives

False teeth aren’t always the best options for replacing teeth. Your options will also depend on what you can afford, and how many teeth you need to replace. Let’s look at the most common alternatives to dentures:

Denture implants

If you need most of, or all of your teeth replaced, then some sort of implant is your most likely alternative option. In fact, implants are preferable to false teeth in many instances because they more closely imitate a real tooth, due to the metal implant that acts as a tooth root. Implants aren’t realistic for many people, however, because the costs of dental implants make them the most expensive way to replace missing teeth.

Dental bridges

If you are just missing one or two teeth, you may be an eligible candidate for a dental bridge. A dental bridge is a fake tooth that is supported by two natural teeth on either side. You may want to ask your dentist about the dental bridges pros and cons before you decide on this option. That’s because sometimes bridges aren’t ideal, because they may require the supporting teeth to be filed down, but it also may be possible to have a bonded bridge. A bonded bridge is affixed to the supporting teeth, and no healthy enamel needs to be filed down.

Overdenture

Nobel Biocare All on 4 solution

One of the alternatives for denture is All on 4 system, it is a non-removable set of artificial teeth so-called full arch, placed on 4 dental implants

Overdentures are a removable denture that is either supported by existing natural teeth, or by implants. Overdentures are often more stable than traditional ones since they don’t just rely on a perfect fit with your ever-changing gum tissue. Overdentures are made from acrylic and according to studies, like this one from the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, have been shown to stop bone loss and last longer than traditional false teeth.

All-on-4

If you can’t quite afford a full mouth of dental implants, but you want a more permanent and natural-feeling option than standard false teeth, you may want to consider All-on-4 dental implants. All-on-4s doesn’t require an implant for every tooth; instead, they use four to six implants in each jaw, using the implants as a base for a full arch of false teeth.

All-on-4s are more expensive than normal false teeth, but they should allow you to eat like you would if you had all of your natural teeth, and they last longer as well.

How much do dentures cost privately?

When false teeth are considered medically necessary, they are covered under band 3 on the NHS. But the NHS will only provide you with basic options, so if you are interested in a material like porcelain or chrome, or you want flexible dentures or implants, you’ll probably have to go the private route. So let’s take a look at what false teeth cost on average in the UK if paid for privately.

How much do dentures cost on average in the UK?

The cost of new dentures in the UK will depend on which dentist you go to, and what kind of dentures you want and need. For instance, permanent dentures in the UK will cost more than standard acrylic dentures.

If paid for privately, the cost of dentures is somewhere between £200 and £3000; the lower end of that price range being the most basic kind, and the higher end reflecting prices for chrome or porcelain.

And when talking about implant dentures, the prices can grow seemingly exponentially—the price for a single screw alone can start at £300.

How much do partial dentures cost?

If you are only missing some of your teeth, you may be eligible for partial dentures. Partial dentures costs begin at £200 and will increase depending on the number of teeth you need to be replaced and the materials you wish to use. The cost of partial dentures on the lower end is actually comparable, as you’ll see shortly, to the cost of dentures on NHS.

How much are dentures on NHS?

To understand how much dentures are on the NHS, let’s quickly remind ourselves of how the NHS system works.

The NHS divides the cost of dental treatment into different groups or ‘bands’. These bands include:

  • Emergency dental treatment: The goal here is to relieve pain and provide temporary solutions until longer-term solutions can be provided.
  • Band 1: Preventative care like fluoride varnish, and professional cleanings. Also consultations, exams, and X-rays.
  • Band 2: Includes all services covered under Band 1, and also includes root canal treatments, tooth extraction, and fillings.
  • Band 3: Includes all services that fall under Band 1 and Band 2, with the addition of complex procedures like bridges, crowns, and dentures.

Basic acrylic dentures fall under Band 3 of NHS treatment, which is currently £269.30 for England, £199.10 in Wales and approximately £157.60 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The cost of dentures on the NHS is the same for partial dentures and complete dentures.

Lady and piggy bank

According to NHS, to be qualified for dentures, they have to be ‘clinically necessary to protect and maintain good oral health’- then they are available in Band 3- basic acrylic dentures, both full and partial and cost around £270

Can I get dentures on NHS?

If your dentist determines that dentures are, according to the NHS, ‘clinically necessary to protect and maintain good oral health’, then they will be available to you in Band 3. Dentures are included in Band 3 treatment on the NHS, so basic acrylic dentures, both full and partial will cost you £269.30.

How much are partial dentures on the NHS?

As mentioned above, partial dentures are covered in Band 3 on the NHS, the same as full dentures, and they cost £269.30.

How much are fixed dentures on the NHS?

You may be out of luck if you want fixed dentures on NHS, such as implant-supported dentures or implant-retained dentures. These will only be available on the NHS if your dentist determines that there is a medical need for this treatment. These will also be covered in Band 3 on the NHS.

How much are implant-retained dentures on the NHS?

Implant-retained dentures will be in Band 3 on the NHS and will cost you £269.30. But be aware that NHS will only help pay for your implant-retained dentures if your dentist determines that this type of denture is medically necessary for you, and the requisites for this determination can be quite challenging to meet. You’ll most likely have to pay for your implant-retained dentures privately, which can cost anywhere from £4,000 to £14,000, depending on the number of implants required, the brand you choose and the materials used.

How do I find an NHS dentist?

The best way to find NHS dentures is to simply call around to clinics near you and ask if they are NHS clinics. You can also go to the NHS site and search for clinics there.

What if I am not eligible for dentures on the NHS?

If you are not eligible for dentures on NHS, do not despair! There are other options available to you. Let’s have a look at some of the best alternatives you have to NHS dentures:

Dentures abroad

If you think your best option for dentures may be implant-supported, implant-retained or implant-related in any way, it’s likely that they won’t be covered on the NHS.

That’s where dental tourism comes in—more and more patients from the UK are traveling abroad every year for cheaper dental treatment. This may at first cause you to wonder if it’s safe to go abroad for dental treatment.

Well, if you go about it the proper way, then it certainly is safe. That’s because dental practices in countries where dental tourism is popular rely on positive customer reviews to get most of their patients. They can’t afford to practice shoddy dental work, because then they would have no patients.

If you are interested in getting your dentures abroad but aren’t sure where to go, start by looking at places like Thailand or Spain, and combine your dental visit with a longer holiday to make the most of your travel expenses. Dentures in Poland and dentures in Turkey are good opiton as well.

Dental loans

Another option when it comes to paying for your dentures is dental loans. If you take out a personal loan to pay for dental work, you will end up paying more in the long run, but through installments spread out over time.

This may be an option for you if you need dentures now, and don’t want to have to wait until you save up money to pay upfront. Take caution with loans though, and make sure you’ll be able to pay it back in time, otherwise, your interest rates are likely to sky-rocket.

Payment plans

A payment plan may be offered by your dentist to help pay for your dentures. Some people prefer this to a loan as a less risky option, but you should still make sure that interest rates aren’t too high, and that you’ll be able to finish payments within the deadline.

 

Summary

Now that you know all about dentures, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to your oral health and the treatment you need. If you are missing teeth, it’s important to get them replaced, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also for your overall health. 

Missing teeth can cause the muscles around your mouth to weaken and can also cause bone deterioration in parts of your jaw. Additionally, remaining teeth may begin to grow in crooked in the empty spaces, and your nutrition may suffer, as you may not be able to eat a wide range of foods. 

There are many options when it comes to dentures—your dentist will be able to help figure out which is right for you, whether it’s partial dentures, full dentures, flexible dentures or implant dentures. 

And remember, if the cost is a problem, you can consider a dental loan, payment plans or join the millions of Brits each year who participate in medical tourism. 

Whatever you decide, always consult your dentist before making any big decisions and whether you have natural teeth, false teeth or no teeth, it’s essential to your quality of life that you take care of your oral health. 

Before and after

Sources

‘Dentures (false teeth)’ . NHS. par. 7–14. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dentures/. Accessed 4 December 2019.

‘Denture adhesives guidelines’. Dentalhealth.org. par. 2. https://www.dentalhealth.org/dentureadhesives. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Overdentures with roots or implants for elderly patients: A comparison’. The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. par. 1, abstract. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0022391394901295. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Denture cleaning’. Dentalhealth.org. par. 1. https://www.dentalhealth.org/denture-cleaning. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Tooth Loss in Adults (Age 20 to 64)’. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. par. 3. https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/tooth-loss/adults. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Oral disease: 10 key facts’. World Dental Federation. par. 5. https://www.fdiworlddental.org/oral-health/ask-the-dentist/facts-figures-and-stats. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Think Dentures Can Replace Your Teeth? Think Again.’. HuffPost. par. 4. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/natural-teeth-vs-dentures_b_996228?guccounter=1. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Oral health-related quality of life: acrylic versus flexible partial dentures.’. Ghana Medical Journal. Abstract. https://europepmc.org/article/MED/31481813. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Removable Partial Denture Manual’. Dalhouse University, Faculty of Dentistry. p. 89, par. 2. http://removpros.dentistry.dal.ca/ewExternalFiles/RPD%20Manual%2011.pdf. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Wear Characteristics of Denture Teeth’. NIH. Study description. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01188226. Accessed 6 December 2019.

‘Dentures FAQs’. American College of Prosthodontists. par. 14. https://www.gotoapro.org/dentures-faq/#450. Accessed 6 December 2019.

Natalie Asmussen

Natalie graduated from Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain.
Freelancer, Translator and Copywriter.
She was born and raised in the US, and now live in Spain, working as a freelance copywriter and translator. Natalie has over two years of full-time experience writing SEO articles, product descriptions, and articles for technical and travel blogs.

She has experience in the healthcare industry both as a Community Health Worker, and from her time working as a representative for the Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as ObamaCare) in the United States. She wrote medical and dental content for trusted healthcare information sites. Natalie is also volunteer at refugee mentor at the International Institute of Minnesota where she is a part of mentor for a newly arrived refugee families.

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