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What Are the Different Alternatives to Dentures?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Dentures, sometimes referred to as false teeth, are a popular and reasonably priced choice for many who have lost their natural teeth. For a variety of reasons, more and more people are seeking alternatives to dentures. Some of the most common alternatives include partials, veneers, crowns, and bridges. Dental implants are another possible option, although frequently more expensive than other options. A dentist should be consulted with any questions or concerns regarding available alternatives to dentures on an individual basis.

Partials, also known as partial dentures, are dental appliances that can be removed. These alternatives to dentures allow the patient to keep healthy teeth and replace only the teeth that have been removed. Partial dentures connect to the remaining natural teeth and can be removed for cleaning and then snapped back into place as desired.

Crowns and bridges are popular alternatives to dentures. A crown is a cap, usually made from metal, that is placed over a tooth that has been repaired but is not healthy enough to remain unprotected. Crowns are often used when trying to save one or more teeth so that a partial can be worn. A bridge is very similar to a partial, with the primary exception being that a bridge is actually cemented into the mouth. A bridge feels and acts much more like natural teeth than do dentures.

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Veneers are usually made of thin strips of porcelain and are used to cover teeth that have been chipped, stained, or otherwise damaged. The veneer is cemented to the front portion of the affected tooth in order to improve the appearance and function of the tooth. It generally takes two dental visits to place the veneer. The porcelain strips are carefully shaped on the first visit so that they will properly fit the affected tooth and cemented to the tooth on the second visit.

Dental implants are becoming one of the most desired alternatives to dentures, even though they can be quite expensive. Surgery is required for the dental implant procedure, so the dentist will need to obtain a complete medical history before the surgery is performed. Those with certain medical conditions that may interfere with the healing process, such as diabetes, may not be good candidates for dental implants. This procedure involves surgically implanting titanium rods into the gum tissue. After the surgical wounds have healed, artificial teeth are screwed into the rods, allowing for the most permanent type of artificial teeth available.

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