Fake Teeth | Definition, Types, Side Effects, Alternatives


Poor oral hygiene and poor oral health care lead to various oral health issues such as bad breath, bleeding of gums, dental decay, bone loss, tooth mobility and tooth loss. Most of the oral health problems today can be treated and brought back into function by correct diagnosis and treatment plan. However, once a tooth is lost, there is no way to get back the natural tooth. Fake teeth are also known as Dentures, act as a replacement for the lost natural teeth.

Dentures can help in replacing one tooth upto multiple teeth. Dentures are removable prostheses, which can be removed and inserted by the patients. They are made up of acrylic, nylon or metal. Dentures help improve the chewing ability, improve speech, overall look and confidence of the patient.

Types Of Fake Teeth

Fake teeth are available mainly in two types:

1) Complete dentures: Complete dentures replace all 32 teeth.

2) Partial dentures: Partial dentures replace few teeth.

Complete Dentures

Dentists advise Complete dentures to patients who have lost all their natural teeth. This loss may be due to trauma or infection. Complete dentures are made using measurements of the patient’s bone and gums. These dentures consist of a plate which tightly fits the underlying bone and soft tissue, and provides support to the artificial teeth. Facial measurements are made for the correct selection of false teeth, thereby improving the overall appearance and function of the patient. The palatal plate may be made up of acrylic or metal. This plate is not visible once worn since the colour of the acrylic plate matches the natural gum colour. Denture adhesives can also be used to improve the fit of the dentures.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures replace few missing teeth and consist of a plate covering the bone and soft tissues. The plate has artificial teeth attached above them. Since it is a partial denture, the plate consists of a clip which surrounds the natural teeth. This clip helps in holding the prosthesis correctly in position. The clip is generally visible because it is made up of metal. However, the recent development in tooth-coloured materials helps improve esthetics.      

What Are Flexible Dentures ?

Flexible dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures. They are made up of a flexible resin material. They are light in weight, less bulky and very comfortable to the patients. Flexible dentures do not require the incorporation of clips. Flexible dentures are made up of a material that matches the colour of the gums.

They are more expensive than other prostheses and can only be used for partially missing teeth. Flexible dentures typically cost between $600 and $3,000 for a partial set.

Side Effects Of Fake Teeth

Fake teeth are a blessing to those who have lost their teeth. However, there are a few issues which the patients may have to face because of fake teeth.

During the first few weeks, the patient may experience difficulty in chewing. This difficulty is because of the excess time spent by the patient without teeth. The replacement of all 32 teeth would be difficult in the beginning. Practicing eating with the dentures and spending more time wearing them will improve comfort.

The body reacts in different ways to a foreign object. Similarly, the use of dentures will induce excess secretion of saliva in the mouth. The secretion of saliva acts as a protective action by the body to the dentures. This secretion subsides as the mouth gets used to the false teeth.

Friction against soft tissue causes trauma to it, leading to the development of mouth sores.  Dentures are a common cause of mouth sores. These sores subside with the adjustment. Gargling with salt water and maintaining excellent oral hygiene helps treat these symptoms.

Time spent in the healing of tissues, after teeth are extracted, develops a different speech pattern in the patients. After the dentures are fixed, patients experience difficulty in speech. The patient needs to practice, by speaking aloud at home for a few days. This practice helps in the development of speech.

Dentures are made by a dentist who specializes in the field of prosthetic replacements known as the prosthodontist. Prosthodontists are experts in work related to dentures or fake teeth.

There are some signs which demand changes in the denture by the specialist which include:

  • Mouth sores
  • Inability to eat
  • Poor fit
  • Odour from the denture

Fake Teeth Alternatives

There are more permanent options to the replacement of missing teeth, other than dentures, which include fixed partial dentures and implants.

Fixed partial dentures, commonly called as bridges, help replace missing teeth. They are fixed and cemented on the teeth. Natural teeth present besides missing teeth, provide support to the bridge.

Implants are another option for missing teeth. Implants consist of two parts, implant body and implant crown. The implant body is inserted within the bone and implant crown is then attached to the implant body.

Implants are significantly more expensive than dentures. However, some patients are willing to accept this treatment plan because of the better performance results.  

Maintenance of Fake Teeth

Proper maintenance of the dentures by the patient increases the duration for which the prosthesis can be used and also helps in maintaining oral hygiene. Information regarding correct methods for denture cleaning needs to be gathered by the patients to inhibit bacterial infections.

Additional References

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