Which Are Better, Fixed or Removable Dentures?

Dentures restore your normal bite and natural smile, but they also offer different levels of comfort depending on the type you choose. Patients often decide between two types of dentures: fixed and removable.

Fixed Dentures

These are also known as non-removable or permanent dentures and are kept in place using dental implants. Fixed dentures include a row of prosthetic teeth to fill your mouth. These new teeth are surgically implanted into the patient’s jaw so that the dentures don’t move during chewing. Labs craft these implant devices from durable and non-corrosive materials, such as stainless steel, titanium, and cobalt-chromium. 

Pros

  1. More Comfortable

Since these dentures are secured, you don’t have to worry about them moving around while eating or talking. You also won’t feel them rubbing against your gums. They provide more comfort throughout the day so you may not even notice that you’re wearing them. As a result, you may feel less conscious and smile more freely.

  1. Increased Functionality

Fixed dentures use dental implants to provide more strength and durability so you can chew food better. You also have a much stronger bite since the implants are connected to your jawbone. 

  1. Perfect Fit

Fixed dentures cater to your specific needs and are placed so they fit perfectly in your mouth. This means that you won’t have any trouble with them losing their shape or fitting less properly over time. Loose dentures can often lead to sore and irritable gums. You can rely on them to offer constant support without wearing out. 

  1. Provide Stimulation

Since the implants of these dentures are fused with the jaw bone, they invigorate the bone. This prevents jaw bone deterioration, which is common with reduced jaw use. 

  1. Long-Lasting 

You need to learn how to eat with dentures in the beginning. This becomes challenging if you keep changing them frequently. But in the case of non-removable dentures, you can use the same ones in optimal condition for 5 to 10 years. 

Cons

  1. Costly

All of that comfort and customizability comes at a higher price tag. You will have to spend on multiple dental appointments and then pay separately for the procedure. According to your specific requirements, you might need more implants, increasing the bill even further. Though some insurance policies cover denture costs, this is not full coverage and usually caps at 50%. 

  1. Food Might Get Stuck

Even with durable and high-quality implants, fixed dentures are still susceptible to food sticking in inaccessible places. Eating bread can be a nightmare for lots of people and might require constant cleaning throughout the day. 

  1. Surgical Procedure

Even though it isn’t a critical surgery, the procedure is quite intensive and would require you to undergo anesthesia. Many patients feel anxious about the surgery and need constant reassurance. The recovery process is also uncomfortable, time-consuming, and requires care for proper healing. 

  1. Takes More Time

Not everyone has the time to make multiple dental visits for grafting and preparing fixed dentures. It can also be tough to take breaks from work for the recovery process after the procedure. 

Removable Dentures

As the name suggests, you can take these off easily whenever you want. But there are two types of removable dentures: traditional removable dentures and removable dental implant dentures. The latter is more like fixed dentures with the removable feature. For this section, the focus is on traditional removable dentures. 

Pros

  1. Easy Procedure

You don’t need intensive surgery for removable dentures, which also means that you won’t have to go through an uncomfortable recovery period. For traditional dentures, you just need to go to your dentist and get some X-ray scans and an evaluation done. 

  1. Cheaper 

Take out the surgical procedure, anesthesia, and countless dental appointments, and you have yourself a smaller bill. A lot of patients opt for removable dentures because of the price accessibility.

  1. Less Time Consuming

Without the surgery, recovery, and detailed preparation of the fixed dentures, you get a faster and more convenient dental solution with removable ones. 

  1. Possible Night Removal

For your oral health, it is important to take off your dentures overnight to prevent bacteria buildup and infections. You can take them off at night and have a comfortable sleep without damaging your gums. 

Cons

  1. Bulkier Than Fixed Dentures

A common complaint with removable dentures is how thick and bulky they can be. It takes patients a while to get used to this feeling, not to mention that they can feel the difference once they take the dentures off at night. As a result, they also feel and look less natural which can impact the patient’s confidence. 

  1. Temporary Solution

These dentures wear out more quickly with use and lose their shape over time. With less durability, they need to be replaced more often which can be costly in the long run. Removable dentures often act as a transitional device after tooth extraction or loss, allowing healing. This makes it difficult to rely on them as a viable teeth restoration option.

  1. Uncomfortable for Gums

Notorious for slipping while talking or eating, these dentures can lead to irritated gums because of the constant rubbing. This may result in bad breath, bacteria buildup, and persistent irritation. 

  1. Require Removal for Cleaning

Unlike fixed dentures, you need to take them out for proper cleaning during the day and at night. Since most removable dentures are made from plastic materials, food gets stuck more frequently. This means that you might have to remove your dentures after every meal to clean them.

  1. Limited to Soft Foods

With these dentures, you don’t have a strong bite, so you can mostly chew soft foods. This can impact your health if you end up skipping important food groups entirely because you find it inconvenient to soften or grind them. 

Making a Choice

Now that you have the full picture, it’s easier to decide on the better option. If you’re looking for a long-term solution that will improve the quality of your life, you should choose fixed dentures. But if this is unaffordable and too daunting because of the surgery, then you can always try removable dentures and decide if the cons are bearable. 

There are also removable implant-supported dentures that come with different types of attachments that can be snapped off at night. Many people like to take their dentures off at night for comfort. Removing them at night also lowers the risk of gum inflammation and potential infections. If you want a combination of fixed and removable dentures, you should discuss this option with your dentist. 

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