Lots of people with dentures, or those who learn that they need dentures, often wonder which is the best choice; plastic or porcelain. This used to be a relatively easy question to answer because most dental professionals opted for the long wearing porcelain fixtures. Today, however, there have been so many advancements in the world of plastics that the decision gets a bit tricky. For instance, there are now dental-safe plastics with the durability of porcelain, and which can look just as good as real teeth.
The solution isn’t found by purchasing the cheapest options either because the advancement of manufacturing allow both options to actually be priced within the same general ranges as well. This leaves a dental patient with the dilemma of having to choose the appropriate materials for their particular conditions.
Fortunately, a good dental professional will offer the kind of useful advice and guidance necessary for making the proper choices. For instance, they will always alert their patients to the condition of their “alveolar bone” which is also referred to generally as the jaw bone. This is a major factor in the decision making process because this bone is highly affected by the materials selected.
Consider that someone in need of dentures will be missing several, if not all, of their adult teeth. The absence of the roots of the teeth means that the jawbone might be easily compromised, and that it will begin to experience bone loss at a faster pace than it would have with the teeth in place. When you add the kind of strong pressures that biting creates, it can lead to a huge amount of pressure on the jawbone – particularly with a material as hard as porcelain.
This is one reason that a dental professional will recommend that a patient opt for plastic. The dentist would also make this same recommendation if a patient did not have a lot of sturdy gum tissue remaining over their jaws as well. This is because there would be very little “padding” between the rigid porcelain dentures and the underlying bone.
Finally, it is usually only the dentist who understands the changing bite patterns of their patient. They can review their records and charts to determine if they have patterns that indicate habits such as bruxism or clenching of the teeth. If such a condition exists the dentist will usually recommend the plastic dentures at that time too.