Important Info
Contact Info

Subhash Bose Rd., Kadavanthra,
Kochi, Kerala, India

Ph: 0091-484-4011133, 2206667
Mob: 0091-9446610205
Dr. Prasanth Pillai MDS, FICD

Our Websites
Site on our Dental Implant Services
Site on Oral Health, Disease & various Treatment Options
Site with details of Bad Breath and its management
Site on our Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Services
Our Practice Site

Options - Missing Teeth Replacement


Replacement of missing teeth

Missing teeth can be replaced in two ways – as removable prostheses called dentures or fixed prostheses called dental bridgework.

Dentures, also known as “flippers”, are removable false teeth made for replacing teeth which have been lost. Dentures can be complete or partial, based on the number of teeth they replace. Dentures have helped millions of people suffering due to loss of teeth and have been the only alternative available in replacement of missing teeth for several decades. 

Types of Dentures

1. Partial dentures - employed when one or more teeth are replaced with a removable denture. Often have clasps which engage one or more of the existing teeth to aid retention during function (chewing, speaking etc.)

2. Complete dentures - employed when the individual has no teeth at all in a jaw. The patient may need complete denture in one jaw or in both jaws, depending on the missing teeth.

3. Implant supported denture - employed when the dentures turn ill-fitting, slippery or wobbly due to poor grip of the denture on the gums which give retention to the denture. When the gums are deficient in height or bulk, the retention given to the denture reduces considerably turning dentures ill-fitting. Here, 2- 4 dental implants are used to stabilize the wobbly denture. It does not fix the denture permanently in place, but prevents slipping of the denture during function.



Problems with Dentures

Even though introduction of newer technologies have made dentures more patient friendly than their older versions, many people with removable dentures are unhappy with them for various reasons:

• Chewing efficiency is greatly reduced (less than half the efficiency with natural teeth). Altered taste and temperature sensations decrease the enjoyment of food.

• Bad breath

• Speech difficulties... especially in the first time users

• Unwanted Sounds - Dentures at times make sounds that resemble clicking or smacking, which can be quite embarrassing for the denture user.

• Compromised chewing efficiency will restrict food intake and compromise nutritional requirements... can seriously affect health and life spans. Nursing homes are filled with people who keep their teeth in a drawer by their bed.

• Ill fitting and problematic dentures often restrict the denture wearers’ activities. They often feel restricted socially in addition to restriction in physical and sporting activities. It can also affect interpersonal relations to a great extent. Denture adhesives do not help much and are often messy.

Dentures cannot prevent jawbone shrinkage which continues at a steady pace and turns dentures ill-fitting. This results in "Facial collapse" which gives the elderly the aged look...  In rare instances this facial collapse can be so advanced that the person can become a dental cripple, with the face sunken and being no longer able to wear any denture at all.

The only significant advantage that dentures offer over fixed teeth solutions is that they less expensive. Even the best quality removable dentures fabricated utilizing the latest advancements in techniques cannot match the comfort of fixed teeth in the mouth.

Advantages of having fixed teeth


• Natural feel of teeth - functionally, cosmetically as well as psychologically.

• Chewing efficiency becomes comparable to that of natural teeth in the mouth. Taste and temperature sensations during food intake turns normal and patient starts enjoying food in its real flavors

• Dental Implants which are used to anchor the fixed artificial teeth into the mouth help prevent jaw bone loss and thereby help maintain the facial contours, thereby preventing "facial collapse" and the aged look.

• Considerably reduces problems like bleeding gums, denture sores, mouth ulcers and bad breath

• Improves interpersonal relations including sexual relations in healthy aged couples. Patient feels younger and turns more socially acceptable. They are able to be actively involved in sporting activities, if they are healthy to do so.

Revolutionary dental treatment options employing a judicious mix of crowns, bridges and dental implants have come to provide a way to solve the issues of painful, loose fitting dentures.  Dental implants are the next best thing to your original natural teeth. With the introduction of the advanced “Immediate Loading” strategies, the dental implantologist is able to provide fixed teeth in a matter of a few hours!

Fixed replacements:
1. Conventional Bridgework -
2. Maryland bridge -
3. Implant supported crown -
4. Implant supported bridge -
5. Implant & teeth supported bridge -

Implant-supported Crown
Traditionally, crowns are attached to the existing tooth root. However, if no tooth structure exists, a surgeon can place an implant to serve as anchor and then attach a crown to it. Dental implants are small, sturdy, titanium “roots” or “anchors” that serve as a foundation for crowns, bridges, and dentures, as the root structure would serve for a natural tooth. Implants are placed into the jaw bone in a way that allows bone tissue to grow around them. Please click here to learn more about implants.

Conventional Bridge
Just like conventional crowns, conventional bridges are attached to the existing healthy teeth. However, unlike crowns, bridges usually restore more teeth than there are root structures to support. For instance, a crown can replace only one tooth while a 3-unit bridge can replace three teeth and be supported on two “anchor” teeth. Similarly, 5-unit bridge can replace five teeth and be supported on three “anchor” teeth. There have to be least two anchor teeth: one from each side of the bridge. Bridges are cemented to anchor teeth, thus making them non-removable or fixed solutions. Fixed prosthesis should be placed or removed only by a dental professional.

Implant-supported Bridges
As we have stated earlier, conventional bridges required at least two healthy anchor teeth. If none of the adjacent teeth can qualify as anchors, a surgeon must place two or more implant to serve as anchors and then attach a bridge to them. At least two implants are necessary because bridges must be attached to the anchors of similar origin: either natural teeth or implants. A combination of natural teeth and implants will weaken the bridge and it is likely to fail within a short period.

Conventional Partial Dentures
Conventional partial dentures are removable solutions designed to clasp onto the adjacent teeth. Removable partial dentures are for patients who are missing some of their teeth on a particular arch (upper or lower jaw). This type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture because patients can remove and reinsert them when required without professional help.

Conventional Full Dentures
Complete or full dentures are worn by patients who are missing their entire upper or bottom teeth. Because there are no anchor teeth for dentures to clasp onto, this type of prosthesis is designed to “hug” or wrap around the gums. For better fit and stronger hold, patients can use special temporary adhesives that are applied between the gums and full dentures.

Implant-Supported Dentures
Some of the problems associated with removable dentures include increased
salivation, sore spots on soft tissues, gagging, accumulation of dental plaque, and loss of taste. Luckily, implant technology can vastly improve the denture-wearing experience by increasing stability and retention factors. In addition, implant supported dentures allow for less gum irritation, reduce the risk of dentures slipping of patient’s mouths, and improves appearance due to less plastic required for retention purposes. Finally, patients with implant supported dentures have increased chewing efficacy and can speak more clearly.