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Dentures: Affordable Teeth Replacement in Singapore (2024)

Dentures: Affordable Teeth Replacement in Singapore at Frank Dental

Patients at my Ang Mo Kio dental clinic often come to me looking for dentures instead of dental implants, as they are generally a more affordable teeth replacement option than implants. 

Although dental implants as a teeth replacement alternative have been growing in popularity in recent years, dentures are sometimes still preferred due to its relatively low-cost. 

This guide has been written to help you understand dentures better so that you can make a more informed decision on whether or not to take up dentures treatment. 

Book an appointment for dentures with a dental clinic near you

What are dentures?

Dentures are prosthetic teeth replacements typically crafted from plastic, metal, or a blend of both materials. They come in both fixed and removable forms. For the sake of this article, we will be focusing only on removable dentures. 

These removable teeth replacements are custom-made to fit precisely over your existing teeth or gums, filling in the gaps left by missing teeth. The materials chosen for these dentures are usually durable enough for daily use and compatible with your natural teeth and gum tissues. They are designed to be easily removable for cleaning, which is typically done at night before bedtime.

Each denture is unique and tailored to the individual wearer. A denture that fits your mouth might not fit another mouth. Dentures should also not be transferred or reused due to how it has been customised to fit your mouth and teeth. 

How are dentures made?

Dentures are usually made by first taking an impression of your teeth. This is done using dental putty and a dental tray. In some clinics, digital impressions of your teeth might be taken instead. 

Once an impression has been formed, it is then sent to a lab that custom-makes your dentures based on the impressions taken. 

What materials are used for dentures?

Dentures are usually made up of 3 different types of materials. These are acrylic, metal and flexible materials such as nylon, polyester, polycarbonates and polypropylene.

Acrylic dentures 

Acrylic is a flexible material resembling gum tissue that can be shaped and customised to mimic natural teeth when used as a replacement.

This material, known as acrylic, is widely favoured and commonly used in crafting partial dentures, although it can also be utilised for full dentures.

Pros and cons of acrylic dentures
Pros of Acrylic DenturesCons of Acrylic Dentures
Generally costs less than metal or flexible denturesProne to fractures, tears and cracks in comparison to metal or flexible dentures
Is durable and long-lasting Are still prone to wear and tear and usually require change after every 5 – 8 years
Hybrid acrylic dentures can have extended durability and adherence capability
Metal dentures

Metal dentures consist of a blend of two metals: cobalt and chromium. While the base of the denture is metal, the visible parts, such as the artificial teeth and gums, are not composed of metal.

Pros and cons of metal dentures
Pros of Metal DenturesCons of Metal Dentures
Slim build but sturdyCosts more than acrylic or plastic dentures
Lasts longer and are generally more durable than acrylic dentures Not suitable for patients who are allergic to metal
Flexible dentures

Flexible dentures are commonly made from thermoplastics and are usually used in partial dentures because of their bendable nature. 

Pros and cons of flexible dentures
Pros of Flexible DenturesCons of Flexible Dentures
Do not require additional metal hooks to keep the denture in placeCost is generally higher than metal or acrylic dentures because of the fabrication
Look more natural and aesthetically pleasantNot suitable for every denture case
Less prone to wear and tear because of their malleable natureProne to bacterial build up 

What are the benefits of wearing dentures?

If you are looking to replace one or more teeth, dentures have the following benefits: 

  • Restores your appearance by closing up the gaps between your teeth; 
  • Restores your missing teeth to help you improve your speech and pronunciation;
  • Restores your ability to chew food better;
  • Restores your ability to eat slightly more solid foods better;
  • Enhances overall smile and appearance of your smile; 
  • Prevents further oral health problems with unwanted tooth movement on your remaining natural teeth.

Ready to make dentures? Book an appointment with Frank Dental. 

What are the different types of dentures?

There are 4 main types of dentures available depending on your budget, needs and concerns. 

Partial dentures 

Partial dentures are designed to fill in gaps left by missing teeth, especially when there are healthy teeth remaining. These partial dentures typically include clasps that secure the denture in position by attaching to adjacent teeth.

Pros and cons of partial dentures

Pros of Partial DenturesCons of Partial Dentures
Are softer and more comfortable than regular dentures.Can lead to a buildup of bacteria due to the soft and flexible material used.
Are more cosmetic-friendly as they do not hide the appearance of your natural gums.Although natural-looking, might not be as aesthetically-friendly as dental implants.
Are faster to make than traditional dentures, and more resilient in build. Generally do not break easily.Are not repairable and would require an entire replacement once it is broken.
Are suitable for patients who have metal-allergies or who are susceptible to oral irritation as it does not require adhesive or metal clasps.Are not permanent teeth replacement options and do not feel as natural as dental implants.

Implant-supported dentures 

An implant-supported denture is a dental device used to replace multiple teeth simultaneously. It resembles a traditional denture but does not rest on the gums like traditional dentures do. 

An implant-supported denture connects directly to the jawbone via dental implants. These implants are small screw-like structures that serve as replacements for natural tooth roots. By attaching to the jawbone, implant-supported dentures provide enhanced stability, allowing for better chewing, eating, and speaking functions.

Pros and cons of implant-supported dentures

Pros of Implant-Supported DenturesCons of Implant-Supported Dentures
Preserves your jawbone structure to prevent facial structure collapsing with time.Might not be suitable for patients who do not have enough bone structure. 
Stability of dentures that do not shift and move in your mouth.Generally more expensive than traditional dentures. 
Less dietary restrictions as they feel and function like natural teeth.Implants are permanent but the dentures need to be replaced every 5 – 10 years. 
No need for dental adhesives that are toxic in the long-run, to hold the dentures to the gums. Requires surgery to place implants into the jawbone. Will not be suitable for patients who fear surgical treatments or have chronic immune diseases. 

Immediate dentures 

In situations where front teeth need to be extracted, you might be worried about your look and appearance. Immediate dentures mitigate that by providing an immediate solution to close the gap. 

Immediate temporary dentures can be crafted before the extraction procedure and placed immediately afterward. However, adjustments and realignment of the denture base may be needed a few months later once the extraction site has healed and stabilised, ensuring a better fit for the final denture.

Pros and cons of immediate dentures

Pros of Immediate DenturesCons of Immediate Dentures
An immediate solution to a gap after a tooth extraction.Not custom-made to your mouth. Might slip or move as the fit is not as perfect as permanent dentures. Eating or chewing might be harder. 
Minimises gum bleeding.Might experience soreness or irritation as your mouth adjusts to having dentures. 
Protects gums from infections during the healing process.They do not feel like natural teeth and can initially feel cumbersome and irritating to wear. 
No waiting time. Receive your immediate dentures on the same day as your tooth extraction. Need to wear them for 4 – 6 months until your permanent dentures arrive. Might also need to have your immediate dentures periodically readjusted or relined to account for the changes in your mouth post-healing.

Full (complete) dentures 

Complete dentures are designed to replace an entire row of teeth, whether it is on the upper or lower arch. This means that there are no natural teeth remaining in that particular arch. With no natural teeth to provide support, complete dentures depend largely on the surrounding gum tissues and underlying structures for retention.

Pros and cons of full dentures 

Pros of Full DenturesCons of Full Dentures
No surgery required to replace a full arch of teeth. Can fall out of your mouth unexpectedly as there are no implants to hold them in.
Costs less than dental implants.Require dental adhesives to hold a full set of dentures in place. 
Can look and function as if they were your natural teeth.Might still have limited dietary options as they are not as hardy as dental implants or implant-supported dentures. There is also some getting used to as full dentures cover the roof of the mouth.
Able to be modified or repaired easily to accommodate new or accidental breakage and damage.Can break easily if not handled or cared for properly. Will need constant maintenance and adjustment for prolonged usage.

How do I know what dentures are suitable for me?

To find out what dentures are best suited for you, you might want to ask yourself the following questions: 

If you are considering dentures

  • Is the main reason why you are considering dentures because of the budget? 
  • Is this denture intended for temporary use? If further tooth extractions are planned, a plastic denture could offer more adaptability down the line. 
  • What sort of foods do you typically consume? If you would like to continue consuming harder foods, implant-supported dentures might be a preferable treatment option. 

If you are already wearing dentures

  • Has your dentist discussed the pros and cons of each denture option based on your unique circumstances? 
  • Have past experiences with plastic dentures been unsatisfactory? If yes, a metal-based denture might be worth considering. 
  • Are you experiencing difficulties with loose full dentures? Titanium implants could potentially provide a solution for you.

What can I expect from dentures treatment?

Dentures usually take about 2 to 4 dental visits to complete. The entire duration might take from 1 to 6 weeks to complete and is largely dependent on the severity of the problem. 

First consultation: Consultation and impression taking

During your initial visit, you will be asked to fill out a medical history form, which should include detailed information about your health, medications, and dosages. The dental team will then take impressions of your mouth to create permanent dentures. This appointment will also involve any necessary dental preparations, such as extractions.

Transitioning to dentures can be a significant and sudden change. It is important to discuss any concerns or questions you have with your dentist. They can offer guidance and address both major and minor issues you may have. While it may take some time to adjust to dentures, many patients experience immediate benefits from wearing them.

Second visit: Detailed mould and bite taking

Your dentist might conduct a thorough teeth impression and assess your bite. This ensures that your dentures fit comfortably and securely while functioning effectively.

Third visit: Test your dentures fit 

You will need to evaluate the prototype denture to determine if any adjustments are necessary. Once you are satisfied with the appearance, alignment, and fit, the prototype will be returned to the lab for the production of the final denture.

Here are some things you can expect after undergoing dentures treatment: 

  • Initial irritation and soreness
  • Slight difficulty chewing and biting
  • Having to learn how to eat with dentures
  • Having to learn how to speak with dentures

Book an appointment with Frank Dental for dentures.

What are some common situations after wearing dentures?

Adjusting to new dentures may take time and patience. Initially, your dentures may feel unfamiliar, but this is typical. 

As you wear them, you may encounter minor challenges and soreness during the first few hours to weeks. However, as your mouth, tongue, and facial muscles acclimate to the dentures, these issues will diminish.

Here are some common difficulties you may face with new dentures:

1. Sore spots: Your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment within 24-48 hours after fitting your new dentures, as sore spots may develop during this period. Take note of any sore areas to help your dentist locate and adjust the dentures effectively. Avoid attempting to adjust the dentures yourself to prevent potential harm or damage.

2. Difficulty eating with new dentures: Eating with new dentures requires practice. Begin with soft foods like bananas, scrambled eggs, pasta, and mashed potatoes. Cut food into small pieces and chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth to prevent dislodging. If the lower denture feels loose, use your tongue to stabilise it.

3. Difficulty speaking with new dentures: Speaking may be challenging initially. Practice speaking or reading aloud to improve your speech. Speak slowly until you’re comfortable holding the dentures in place. If your dentures make clicking sounds, adjustments may be needed.

4. Increased saliva production: It is normal to experience increased saliva flow initially, but this should decrease as you become accustomed to wearing dentures.

Is it normal for my dentures to move? 

It is not uncommon for dentures to move slightly, especially during activities like eating and speaking. However, significant movement or discomfort may indicate that adjustments are needed. If your dentures feel loose or shift excessively, it’s best to consult your dentist for an evaluation and possible adjustments to ensure a better fit and comfort.

How do I care for my dentures?

This is a great question. To maintain the longevity, functionality and appearance of your dentures, it is necessary to handle your dentures with care and store them properly. 

Besides cleaning them daily, you should soak your dentures overnight to help keep the material moist and prevent warping. You should not soak or rinse them in hot water as this can change the shape of your dentures. 

What do new dentures feel like?

New dentures can feel different for every single individual. Some patients tell me that it causes some initial soreness and discomfort to them, while others take to it like a fish to water. 

Will dentures make me look different?

Dentures will definitely affect the way you appear, but the extent of the change is reliant on factors such as the design of the dentures, the fit of the dentures, and the condition of your remaining teeth and gums. 

If dentures are properly fitted, they can help you fill gaps in your teeth and restore a full smile. Your dentures will blend in seamlessly with your teeth and gums. They can also help you maintain your facial structure. 

How long do I need to wear dentures?

The duration that you need to wear dentures is dependent on your oral health, the condition of your remaining teeth and gums and the type of dentures that you are wearing. As a dentist, I tell my patients to stick to the following general guidelines: 

For patients who have just had a tooth extraction or just received immediate dentures

If you have had teeth extracted and received immediate dentures, you may need to wear them continuously for the first few days or weeks as your mouth heals. Your dentist will provide specific instructions on when and how to remove them for cleaning and care.

For patients who are healing from tooth extraction or dentures fitting

After tooth extraction or fitting of dentures, there is usually a healing period during which your dentist will monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit. This period can range from a few weeks to a few months, depending on individual healing times.

For patients whose mouth has healed 

Once your mouth has healed and your dentures fit properly, you will typically wear them during the day and remove them at night for cleaning and soaking. Most people wear dentures throughout the day and only remove them for cleaning, sleeping, or other specific situations.

For patients who are have been wearing dentures for awhile 

It is important to attend follow-up appointments with your dentist for regular check-ups and adjustments to ensure that your dentures continue to fit well and function properly. Over time, changes in your jawbone structure or wear and tear on the dentures may necessitate adjustments or replacements.

For many people, dentures are a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. With proper care and maintenance, dentures can last for several years before needing replacement or significant adjustments.

Ultimately, the duration for wearing dentures depends on individual circumstances and how well you care for them. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices can help extend the lifespan of your dentures and ensure optimal oral health.

What should I do if my dentures break?

If your dentures break, you should NOT attempt to fix it on your own. Fixing it without professional assistance can cause further damage and weaken the existing structure and function of the dentures. 

If your dentures have broken or are damaged, do not put them into your mouth. Remove them and place them in a safe place. Contact your dentist or a dental clinic near you to repair and restore your dentures. 

How much do dentures cost in Singapore?

Dentures cost on average $500 – $850 per arch in Singapore. 

What subsidies are available for dentures in Singapore?

In Singapore, there are several subsidies and assistance schemes available to help with the cost of dentures and dental treatments. 

1. CHAS (Community Health Assist Scheme): CHAS provides subsidies for dental treatments at participating dental clinics for eligible Singaporeans. The subsidies are tiered based on the income level of the individual, and type of dental procedure needed.

2. Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG) Packages: Eligible seniors under the Pioneer Generation or Merdeka Generation packages may receive subsidies for dental treatments, including dentures, at participating clinics.

It is important to note that the availability and extent of subsidies may vary depending on factors such as:

  • Eligibility criteria;
  • Income level, and 
  • The specific dental treatment needed. 

Patients are advised to check with the relevant healthcare institutions or government agencies for the most up-to-date information on subsidies and assistance schemes for dentures in Singapore.

Does Medisave cover the cost of dentures?

Unfortunately, Medisave does not cover the cost of dentures in Singapore. Medisave typically covers surgical procedures like dental implants only. 

What are some common denture alternatives? 

If you are not keen on taking up denture treatment, there are other suitable teeth replacement options that might work better for your needs and requirements. 

Dental implants

Implants are surgically placed in the jawbone and act as artificial tooth roots. They support individual crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants offer a more permanent and stable solution compared to traditional dentures.

Dentures vs Dental implants

DenturesDental Implants
More affordable than dental implants. Suitable for you if you are looking for a more wallet-friendly option. More expensive than dentures, but can be covered by Medisave and certain dental insurances. 
Removable and able to be taken out for cleaning and maintenance. A fixed and permanent solution. Able to last for many years with good dental hygiene. 
Customised to fit your needs. Can be adapted to replace multiple missing teeth or extensive tooth loss.Is more natural and feels exactly like your original teeth. 

Dental bridges

Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth or implants. They are fixed in place and provide a natural-looking restoration.

Dentures vs Dental bridges

DenturesDental Bridges
More affordable than dental bridges. More expensive than dentures. 
Can replace a partial or full set of missing teeth. Suitable if you require an affordable full teeth replacement option.Can only replace missing teeth that are right next to each other. If you require a full set of replacement, dentures or dental implants might be more suitable, depending on your budget.
Removable and can be replaced easily when broken or damaged.Has removable and fixed options. Is generally more stable than dentures.

All-on-4 or All-on-6 implants

These are implant-supported dentures that use four or six dental implants to support a full arch of teeth. They provide a more stable and comfortable alternative to traditional dentures, as they are fixed in place and do not require adhesives.

Dentures vs All-on-4 or All-on-6

DenturesAll-on-4 or All-on-6

Snap-on dentures (Overdentures)

Snap-on dentures are also known as implant-retained overdentures. They are attached to dental implants using snaps or attachments and offer better stability and chewing ability compared to traditional dentures.

Dentures vs Snap-on dentures

DenturesSnap-on dentures

I hope that the above will be able to help you make a more informed decision on what dentures there are available for you out there. Of course, the most suitable alternatives depend on your individual needs. These would rely on the number of missing teeth you have, the condition of the remaining teeth and gums, your bone density, your budget, and personal preferences. 

Having a rough idea of what you are looking for can help you lay the groundwork before you consult with a dentist to determine the best option for individual needs.

Dentures are a reliable affordable teeth replacement alternative to dental implants 

Dentures are a reliable and cost-effective treatment alternative to dental implants if you would like to replace missing teeth. 

While dentures may not offer the same level of permanence as implants, they provide a functional and aesthetic solution that can significantly improve oral health and quality of life. With proper care and regular check-ups, dentures can offer long-lasting benefits and restore confidence in smiling, speaking, and eating comfortably.

Read more about dental care and treatments.

https://frankdental.com.sg

Dr Wong Suelin is a general dentist at Frank Dental (Ang Mo Kio) with an interest in root canal treatment. Dr Wong has more than a decade of experience working with patients who require extensive teeth restoration.


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