Flexible Dentures: What You Should Know

Are Flexible Dentures Right For You?

Your natural teeth are always the best, but if you lose them due to dental disease or trauma, there are options to help restore both your smile and your ability to chew. If you select dentures rather than dental implants, there are several different types from which to choose. A lesser-known type that is perfect for some situations is a soft, customized flexible denture. Here’s what you should know.

Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures consist of an acrylic base, possibly with a metal support structure below. Artificial teeth of resin or porcelain are attached, which can appear highly realistic.

However, it can be tough to get used to traditional dentures. A partial denture uses metal clasps or precision attachments to connect to the natural teeth, which may interfere with functionality and can be visible when speaking or smiling. A full upper denture uses suction to adhere to the roof of the mouth, while a full lower denture rests on the gums. Traditional dentures can cause mouth soreness, and they may slip and pinch. The acrylic base can also cause allergic reactions.

Flexible Dentures

Flexible dentures consist of a clear, soft, nylon base that is highly unlikely to trigger an allergy. The natural gums show through, while the material clings to the gums on its own. No attachments, clasps, or adhesives are required. Flexible dentures are more comfortable than traditional dentures, and many people find it easier to speak and chew. Flexible dentures are also far less likely than traditional dentures to break if they are dropped.

Disadvantages of Flexible Dentures

Of course, like any other medical device, flexible dentures are not right for everyone. The nylon base is more likely than a rigid acrylic base to build up bacteria that can cause gingivitis. If you are prone to gum disease, it is especially important to remove the dentures twice per day and thoroughly brush them with a soft toothbrush, and then use a medicated mouthwash.

Some patients also notice that flexible dentures provide less bite strength than rigid traditional dentures. Of course, dental implants are the best way to restore virtually all of your original bite strength, but whether flexible dentures cause problems for you depends in part on your normal dietary habits and how many teeth you are missing.

No single solution is right for everyone. If you are missing teeth, your dentist will work with you to find the restoration that best fits your needs, budget, and goals for treatment. For many patients who do not want dental implants, though, flexible dentures are a more comfortable and less visible alternative to traditional dentures on an acrylic base.

What is a Partial Denture?

A partial denture replaces one or more, but not all, of the natural teeth. A partial denture is comprised of replacement teeth connected to a pink base that resembles gum tissue. Partial dentures may be either fixed or removable.

Fixed partial denture: A fixed partial denture is also known as a dental bridge. It may be attached to your surrounding teeth, but the preparation damages those teeth. A better solution is to attach the bridge to dental implants at either end. Fixed partial dentures are a good solution for those who do not to want to take them out.

Removable partial denture: Removable partial dentures attach to the surrounding teeth with metal clasps or precision attachments. An acrylic partial known as a flipper is the cheapest solution, but these are bulky and best used only short-term. Cast metal partials are much less bulky and can be extremely realistic, but are pricey. Flexible partials are both more comfortable and more aesthetic, but cost a lot and tend to wear out fast.

No single option is right for every situation. Your dentist will help you decide which type of partial denture is best for your unique needs.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.