Dentures have been around for a long time. Predictably, there have been a lot of development in denture technologies. From appearance to materials, manufacturing to support systems.
Suffice to say, this has left patients with a lot of options to choose from.
And while most people love choice, too much choice usually just leaves people confused. People don’t know where to start when they’re presented with too many options. So, what are the best dentures to use?
This article is intended to give you a broad-strokes overview of the different types of dentures available.
We’ll look at their strengths, weaknesses, and costs. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll have a clear idea — or at least a good starting point — on what your options are and what interests you the most.
We’ll start with the entry level dentures and work our way up to what we think is the best.
Here is our list of the best dentures:
As the name implies, economy dentures are designed to be affordable for as many people as possible. They’re the absolute most basic type of denture around.
They’re here to try to provide a basic level of care to people regardless of their financial situation.
Pros of Economy Dentures
There are really only two benefits of economy dentures:
- Firstly, they’re the cheapest type of denture on the market. They’ll cost you significantly less than other dentures on the list.
- Secondly, there’s no waiting. Economy dentures are designed as a sort of one-size-fits all option. Depending on the exact brand, you either take them and leave or wait while they’re slightly adjusted to fit your mouth better.
Either way, you’ll get them same-day.
Cons of Economy Dentures
Economy dentures are made out of fairly cheap materials to keep the costs down. This results in some obvious drawbacks, such as:
- Unrealistic colors. It can be hard to get economy dentures that look like real teeth. It’ll always be somewhat obvious you’re wearing a prosthetic.
- A poor fit. One-size-fits-all isn’t a concept that really works with dentures. You’ll need to use adhesive to keep them in place, and that will need to be replaced constantly. A poor fit also means you’ll risk having the denture falling out at unfortunate times.
- Poor longevity. Cheaper materials don’t deal with the wear and tear of constant use as well. The material will grind down quicker than more expensive denture options.
Verdict: If these are so cheap and short-lived, why are they included on a list of best dentures? Because there are some people for whom this is their only option. They might not be the best quality, but for many patients, they’re the best choice they have for restoring their mouth.
Custom dentures are made for your mouth, and your mouth only. The materials used are far and above those used in economy dentures. The gum looks more realistic, and the teeth are more durable.
And the best part? You’ll get to see what the dentures will look like before they’re made and put in your mouth. You can make sure the teeth are the right size, shape, and color for what you’re after.
Pros of Custom Dentures
- More realistic appearance is the most immediately obvious benefit. Economy dentures and cheaper traditional dentures have very obviously fake gums. Custom dentures put great care into creating an accurate, realistic appearance to the visible gum to hide the prosthetic as well as possible.
- The teeth of Custom Dentures are made of sturdy and durable material. They resist wearing down and staining much more effectively than cheaper options, and so last much longer.
- Getting to choose the look of your teeth is a great psychological boost for many patients.
Many people care a great deal about the look of their teeth, and being able to customize their appearance to suit you increases wearer’s confidence not just in the prosthetic, but in themselves.
Cons of Custom Dentures
- Custom dentures are, predictably, a more expensive option than quicker, off-the-shelf models. And while they may be longer-lived, they’ll still need to be replaced eventually.
- Custom dentures also take longer before they’re ready. This means the wearer will need a temporary denture until their custom denture is fully manufactured. This period can last several weeks, to even months.
- Lastly, these are still traditional dentures. That means they’re not supported, and instead sit over the gum. They will fit more precisely and be more stable than cheaper options, but are still susceptible to coming loose during use.
Verdict: For realism and durability, it’s hard to go past Custom Dentures. They’re one of the best dentures available, and one of the best dentures on the market for traditional, non-implant dentures. Their downsides are largely related solely to cost and time, and the fact they aren’t supported.
Metal Alloy Dentures
Dentures can be made of one of two materials — acrylic, or metal alloy. Acrylic dentures are the pink-colored, classic style you see mostly. Metal allow uses chrome-cobalt as the base instead, sometimes with a layer of acrylic on top to provide the right appearance.
Pros of Metal Alloy Dentures
- Metal alloy dentures give the wearer greater stability from their dentures. The metal alloy provides a better, stronger contact surface for the denture, particularly on the roof of the mouth.
Cons of Metal Alloy Dentures
There are two downsides to metal alloy dentures;
- Firstly, chrome cobalt is more expensive than traditional acrylic.
- Secondly, the metal alloy doesn’t sit quite as snugly in the mouth, which can cause some wearers some discomfort.
Verdict: Increased stability and functionality come with a slightly increased cost. For the most part, if you can afford it, and the metal doesn’t irritate you, they’re a good option to get secure, traditional dentures.
Implant Stabilized Dentures
Implant stabilized dentures use two different technologies working together: dental implants and full dentures.
With implant stabilized dentures, a number of dental implants are inserted into the jaw — from 4 upwards, depending on the patient — and a metal bar secured to the top that runs the length of the gum.
The denture itself has a metal base which connects to the metal bar. This can be with clips or with magnetism, depending on the system used.
Pros of Implant Stabilized Dentures
- Implant stabilized dentures are more stable and reliable than traditional dentures. The supporting bar keeps the denture in place and prevents it from shifting during use.
- Users can chew more confidently, and more force, knowing they aren’t about to randomly displace their denture.
Cons of Stabilized Dentures
A single dental implant can cost $2,000 or more — and that’s one. Implant stabilized dentures require at least four …
… on each jaw that the denture is placed on.
- So the cost is prohibitive for many people.
- Dental implants are also fairly big surgical procedures. Between the implant surgery, the healing time, and the manufacturing time for the dental implant, it can also take a very long time before you have your full set of functioning dentures.
Verdict: An excellent option for those who meet the requirements for dental implants and have the money to spend.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implant supported dentures are the best dentures in the world for those who are eligible for dental implant surgery.
Implant supported dentures aren’t user-removable like implant stabilized dentures. They’re secured in place not to a single metal bar, but to several locking points — one for each implant.
Pros of Implant Supported Dentures
- Implant supported dentures offer unparalleled stability and durability out of your dentures. You’ll never need to worry about them moving or slipping. You can chew more confidently — more confidently even than with the implant-supported bar.
- Systems like all-on-four allow people to completely restore all of their teeth on as few as eight implants, four on each row, for a full, healthy looking smile. There is no better option.
Cons of Implant Supported Dentures
- As with implant stabilized dentures, they are not cheap. Dental implants are very expensive, and good dentures are also costly. Combined, this is not an option that is readily affordable to many people.
- Also as above, dental implants are surgical procedures and will require healing and downtime before you get your final set of dentures.
There are many types of denture out there, depending on your needs, personal situation, and perhaps most of all, budget.
If you need dentures but can’t afford top of the line, there is always the economy option. They will, at least, get you a mostly-functioning mouth.
For those who can get dental implants, implant stabilized or supported dentures will give you the closest result to having your teeth back. Eat and chew and talk and live with confidence once again.
But if you can’t get implants, custom dentures, particularly with metal alloy bases, will give you perhaps the best option for stability and cosmetics to suit your mouth and needs.