Should You Replace Your Teeth With a Fixed Denture? A Guide for Older Patients

When most people think of dentures, they picture the devices that snap in an out, perhaps being secured with some denture paste, then stored in a glass of water at night. However, there is another type of denture that some patients prefer: fixed dentures. These dentures are put into place by your dentist, and only your dentist can take them out and replace them. Here's a closer look at this type of denture and why it might be a good choice for you.

What do fixed dentures entail?

Fixed dentures are also sometimes called "implant bridges." They basically consist of a few dental implants that are surgically inserted into your jaw bone, plus a row of replacement teeth – or crowns. If you're missing all of your upper teeth, for instance, you might have a fixed denture that consists of four implants in your upper jaw, plus an entire arcade of upper teeth. You dentist will insert the implants during a surgical procedure. You'll be allowed to heal for a few weeks to a few months. During this time, you may wear a normal, removable denture to allow you to eat. Once you're sufficiently healed, your dentist will attach your fixed denture to the implants.

What are the benefits of a fixed denture over removable dentures?

While you do have to go through surgery to have a fixed denture put into place, you enjoy many benefits in the long run. Since fixed dentures penetrate into your jaw bone, they help stimulate your jaw bone like natural tooth roots would. This keeps your jaw bone from deteriorating, as it often does with removable dentures. Over time, this means your facial appearance will be preserved.

Fixed dentures are also lower-maintenance than standard dentures. You don't have to remove them or remember to glue them in. Just brush them like normal teeth. They also don't slide around when you eat so you will be able to enjoy crunchy, sticky foods without worrying. Your fixed denture will allow you to speak without worrying about keeping your denture in place, too. When people look at you, they won't even realize you don't have your natural teeth.

If the idea of removing dentures each night is not appealing to you, then speak with local resources like Barry Groder DDS about fixed dentures. They will evaluate your overall dental health and tell you if you're a candidate for this convenient, low-maintenance tooth replacement option.