When we think of conventional dentures, there’s the image of that pink, full-roofed piece like a set prop. From their appearance alone, you could imagine how it’d feel to wear dentures. For one, there’s discomfort that comes with continually having your upper palate and gums covered, which can feel weird for first-timers. Then there’s the way they feel every time you take a bite of your meal. Dentures, after all, don’t hold the same stability as your natural teeth do. Instead of conventional dentures, then, most people would opt to get horseshoe dentures instead. But do horseshoe dentures work?
We first need to know what horseshoe dentures are, exactly. We noted earlier that conventional dentures also cover your upper palate. This gives them more stability, as the top plate creates more suction that keeps the dentures where they’re supposed to be.
But while it does seal your dentures in place, it does have its own complications. For one, the denture materials can brush against the soft tissue of your palate, causing irritation over time. For another, even with the upper palate plate, dentures can still be unwieldy in your mouth over time. And because dentures are designed to replace teeth, you might find them growing loose as your jawbone shrinks.
Horseshoe dentures, then, are quickly growing in preference. By avoiding the upper palate, this type of denture also avoids the most common problems conventional dentures have. But do horseshoe dentures work as well as they’re said to be?
The case against horseshoe dentures: a lack of suction
One of the biggest problems most people might have with horseshoe dentures is the lack of suction. As mentioned earlier, conventional dentures use the upper palate plate to keep it in place, despite the complications that come with it. For the most part, dentists use this type of denture on the teeth of your lower jaw. A plate for the base of the mouth is hard to fashion. Horseshoe dentures, then, get their name from their horseshoe shape—just enough material to cover the teeth and gums.
However, this type of denture might not work as well as a full-palate one. Because horseshoe dentures cover a smaller surface area than full dentures do, there’s always a risk of easy dislodging. And when your dentures get removed, it can be hard to speak, eat, and chew.
And these problems only cover the bottom dentures. So how do horseshoe dentures work on the upper teeth?
Best paired with dental implants
Indeed, horseshoe dentures might not be as stable as conventional dentures. But there is one way you can turn horseshoes from nuisance to marvel. Combining a horseshoe denture with dental implants helps overcome the limitations this type of denture has.
For one, dental implants prevent them from being knocked out of place. Because they’re implanted into the jawbone, it gives horseshoes stability even conventional dentures can’t replicate. This also gives it another advantage: you can actually swap your traditional horseshoes for snap-ons, making them easy to clean and remove.
Aside from the convenience and stability, there’s another benefit to getting implants with your dentures. Dental implants also prevent bone density loss, which is often a problem for most denture-wearers. So do horseshoe dentures work? Yes, they do. And they aren’t just right for the soft tissues of your upper palate. They’re also great for your oral health.