If you think you have seen everything when it comes to dentures, think again. Most people are familiar with removable dentures, both partial and full. There are also various ways dentures are kept in place, including bonding, clasping and fixed prosthodontics. However, dentures have changed dramatically over centuries and continue to evolve to this day.
Looking back at the timeline of dentures is a useful exercise in understanding where these devices have been and where they are going in terms of advancement. It may surprise you to learn that, overall, dentures really haven’t changed all that much since the first recorded examples of their use as a solution for replacing missing teeth.
Dentures in History
As far back as 700 BC, human and animal teeth were popular choices for replacing missing teeth. Fast-forward to the late 1600s and wooden dentures became all the rage. Porcelain dentures were introduced around 100 years later but did not fare as well as animal teeth, as they were easily damaged. Metal-framed dentures first appeared in 1728 and, with relatively little advancement since then, removable dentures have remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years.
While dentures may not have changed much since the days of their historical counterparts, techniques, such as clasping and dentures that are fixed to implants, have provided patients with a greater sense of security. The problem with modern dentures remains that they are not conducive to overall oral health. Fit and function are problems that exist with metal dentures. Patients often find these dentures uncomfortable and either don’t wear them or don’t take care of the devices and use good oral hygiene.
Flexibles are often a better solution for fit and aesthetics but may result in bacteria buildup. For patients who are committed to additional hygiene and maintenance, this may not present so much of a problem. The main problem with flexible dentures is they become deformed easily under normal stress, which doesn’t make for a long-lasting denture.
Other alternatives include acrylics and high-performance polymers. The former may experience mechanical issues, making them easily broken and uncomfortable. The latter provide a balance between flexible and acrylic, providing patients with a Goldilocks-effect type of experience when it comes to dentures that fit comfortably.
Dentures of the Future
Digitally imagined, high-performance polymers are the way forward for the foreseeable future. The materials used, practicality, labor costs and advancements in technologies are what really dictate the future of dentures. CAD/CAM technology has allowed dentistry to provide custom dentures for patients and will continue to incorporate new innovations. However, there is still room for advancement and innovation regarding dentures. The future promises to deliver improvements that will ensure high-quality oral health solutions for all patients. If your dentist is still relying on outdated and ineffective procedures for replacing teeth, it’s time to consider changing providers.
Pearl Shine Dental in Houston, Texas provides high-quality dentures to restore patient smiles. Call our offices today to book an appointment, if you have one or more missing teeth. We look forward to welcoming you as a new patient to our family practice.