Dentures are artificial or false teeth generally used by the elderly as a remedy for missing teeth. The history of dentures dates back to early 7th century BC. Etruscans in Northern Italy made partial dentures from human or animal teeth held together by gold bands. From the invention of wooden full dentures in Japan around early 16th century to modern acrylic dentures, the evolution of dentures has traversed a long path. In 1728, metal-based dentures were first made, followed by porcelain dentures between 1770-1820. Beginning 1850s onwards, dentures were made from vulcanite. Beginning 20th century, acrylic resin and other plastics began to be used.
Types of Dentures
Given the advancements in medical sciences, dentures can be partial or full; removable, fixed, flexible, removable partial and temporary dentures. Partial dentures are used when there are few natural teeth in the mouth but are not strong enough to support dental bridges. They are also used when more than one or two teeth are missing. Full or complete dentures, are fitted in the absence of all natural teeth.
Removable dentures are the conventional dentures which are fitted in the mouth with adhesive. These types of dentures need particular care as they may move out of place.
Fixed dentures is a broad term for surgically fixed tooth replacements. This includes, bridges, implants, overdentures and some removable dentures.
Flexible dentures are a popular alternative to traditional dentures, in that they are more comfortable to wear. They are also light and feel less bulky to the wearer. Its chief advantage is that it doesn’t require any clips unlike those that come with partial dentures.
Removable partial dentures (RPD) is a replacement denture for a patient who has had partial loss of teeth. It is usually recommended in cases where a patient cannot have a bridge for any reason.
Temporary partial dentures are dentures to be worn immediately after removal of teeth, till the time permanent dentures are fitted.
Denture implants is another treatment to replace missing teeth. In this type of treatment, dentures are anchored by dental implants. They are an improvement over traditional dentures which are fixed to the mouth by adhesives or creams.
For those who wish to go a step beyond basic dental treatments, the option of cosmetic dentistry is available. Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry aimed at aesthetically enhancing one’s dentition with professional help. Cosmetic dentistry enhances the appearance of mouth, teeth and smile. The term ‘cosmetic dentistry’ goes on to include procedures such as dental bonding, veneers, crowns, enamel shaping, braces and it’s various types, teeth whitening, gum reshaping, gum grafts and smile makeovers.
Dental Treatment in India
India is counted as one of the most promising Asian nations for medical tourism. Given this scenario, dental tourism is the fastest growing segment compared with other medical segments. Dental tourism accounts for 10% of the total Indian medical tourism. It is expected to increase by 30% to Rs 9,500 crore next year. One can save upto 80% on dental treatment, especially dental implant costs. A dental implant in India can be done at Rs 50,000 or less. The same in US would cost about $3,900 and in UK, £2,500. This translates into savings of $784 and £574 respectively .
India has some very interesting dental treatment packages offered by dental chains in the country. Some of the renowned dental hospitals/hospital chains offering such packages are Max Healthcare, Fortis Group of Hospitals, Medanta Hospitals, Continental Hospital and Dentaris. The Dental Roots (Delhi and Gurugram), Rajan Dental (Chennai), The Dental Specialists (Hyderabad) are some of the other stand-alone treatment centres. Besides offering world-class dental treatments, some packages also take care of the patient’s travel, accommodation, tourism assistance and such other travel-related formalities. Attractive payment options are also offered, thus making payment hassle-free. An appropriate treatment plan is then chalked out keeping in mind the patient’s treatment and his holiday schedule.
A look at the following table will enable one to understand their expected outgo if they choose to undergo dental treatment in India.
|Types of Dentures
||Cost of Dentures
|Conventional Complete Denture (Upper or Lower)
||$1,275 – $2,750
At Dental Specialists ₹10,000 – ₹25,000
|Immediate Denture (Complete Upper or Lower)
||$1,475 – $3,150
|Removable partial denture cast metal frame work Upper or Lower
The prices mentioned in the table above are also dependent on the following factors :
Aitional dental procedures and any kind of oral surgery that may be required.
Dental materials selected by the patient and dentist.
Dental insurance that the patient may have.
duration of the warranty.
The location of the dentist.
While dentures are an effective dental treatment, they are nevertheless susceptible to wear and tear and need to be replaced every five to seven years. With age the shape of the mouth changes. Thus, jaws may not align as the gums and bone continue to shrink. Besides, the material used in making the denture may undergo erosion or get worn out due to use. A fracture to the dentures, due to improper fit is also a common problem. Misalignment of the upper and lower set and the resulting pressure on any one area is known to cause fractures. Worn teeth also contribute to excessive pressure on a particular area. Micro fractures as it is happen in the normal course of chewing. However over time, a large fracture causes the denture to crack.
In such cases, relining or revitalizing the denture is the remedy offered under denture repair. This requires the fit of the denture to be reset. The dentist then adds material to improve the fit, thus relining or basing the denture or partial.
Apart from the above, dropping the dentures may also cause damage to the gum or tooth area of the denture. In cases of partial dentures, the metal clasps may come loose due to wear and tear. In either case, seeking professional help is advisable.
Making a trip to India thus serves the dual purpose of combining pleasure and receiving quality dental treatment.