Dental dentures are an excellent solution to replacing missing natural teeth. They help restore your mouth’s functionality, such as eating and speaking. Moreover, dentures are great as they also restore your oral aesthetics.
However, most denture wearers often undergo the cumbersome and unsatisfying part of a denture — the palate.
A traditional denture covers the entire palate (or the roof) of the mouth. This is necessary to allow the suction between the palate and the denture, which helps hold it in place. Many denture users find this quite uncomfortable and inconvenient.
So what’s the alternative? Here’s where palateless dentures come in.
What Are Palateless Dentures?
Palateless dentures, also known as roofless or horseshoe dentures, are false teeth crafted into a horseshoe shape and only made to cover the gums of your missing teeth. When you look at pictures of palateless dentures, you will notice the U-shape that resembles a horseshoe, hence the name.
Unlike conventional dentures, these dentures do not cover the palate or the roof of the mouth.
Traditional dentures have the palate area covered for suction purposes, which improves the security and stability of your dentures. However, most users report this to be quite bulky and also prevent them from tasting some foods.
By removing the palate cover, denture users become more comfortable and can enjoy eating again without feeling the bulkiness of the dentures.
This style of denture keeps the roof of your mouth free and open to experience taste or temperature as you would with natural teeth.
Palateless Implant Denture vs Traditional Dentures
People can lose their natural teeth for various reasons, including injury, root cavities, etc. Dentures are a good solution to replacing these missing teeth. There are different types of dentures, and for this case, let’s look at the difference between traditional and palateless implant dentures.
Traditional dentures rely on the suction from the roof of your mouth to keep the dentures in place. Palateless implant dentures do not rely on this functionality and instead use implants to securely hold the dentures in place.
This technique gives denture wearers the comfort they can’t get from conventional dentures, which are quite bulky. Moreover, without anything covering the palate or roof of the mouth, the wearer can taste their food much better and experience the food’s temperature, as you would with natural teeth.
Benefits of Palateless Dentures
Removing the palate from upper dentures offers quite a relief for denture users. There are a couple of benefits of using these palateless dentures as an alternative to conventional dentures. Some of the reasons why some people opt for these dentures include:
Process of Getting Palateless Dentures
Upper roofless dentures are quite similar to conventional dentures, just that they lack the roofing that helps with the suction that keeps traditional dentures securely in place. Before getting these dentures, the initial step is to get assessed by your dentist.
Only when you are a good candidate for dentures can you proceed with the treatment.
Here’s an overview of the step-by-step process for getting horseshoe dentures:
A palateless denture only works in the absence of all upper natural teeth. If you have any teeth left, your dentist will have to extract them. If you do not have any natural teeth, this step may not apply to you.
The dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower arch to ensure the denture perfectly fits and your bite is well-aligned.
They use these impressions to create custom palateless dentures at the lab.
Dental implant placement
There are two ways to get palateless dentures fixed at the dentist’s.
One involves the use of dental implants to hold and secure the denture in place. The other method involves using denture adhesives to hold the dentures in place.
Your dentist will take you through what to expect from both processes and guide you into picking the best solution for you.
If you decide to use dental implants, they are placed at this stage. It would be prudent to note that dental implants are not created equal, so you have to go through available options and select the one that works best for you.
Once you have the dental implants installed, you will need to take some time off to allow for them to heal and get secured into place. In the meantime, your dentist will give you temporary or flexible dentures to wear.
In this stage, more impressions are taken to ensure no changes are needed to provide an accurate fit.
Fixing permanent dentures
If no further changes need to be made to the dentures, your dentist fixes your final custom dentures onto the dental implants. They confirm if it is an accurate fit, and the appearance, bite, and comfort are all checked.
You will be sedated during the extraction of natural teeth, implant placement, and in some cases, during the fixing of permanent dentures. You will not experience any pain during the procedure. However, you may experience discomfort once the sedative wears out. Your dentist will give you painkillers to suppress any pain after the procedure.
Pros and Cons of Palateless Dentures
Palateless dentures have many benefits that can improve the overall experience of denture wearers. However, these dentures are usually not the standard as they also come with a few drawbacks.
For starters, horseshoe dentures without implants are much less stable than dentures with full palatal coverage. Patients wearing such dentures must commit themselves to rely on denture adhesives daily. This can be unnecessarily expensive over time and may even result in certain health effects.
Take a look at the pros and cons of palateless dentures to enable you to determine if these dentures are ideal for you:
Pros of Palateless Dentures
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How Much Do Palateless Dentures Cost?
Palateless dentures cost the same as traditional dentures if no implants are involved. In general, you should expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000 for these dentures. It would be prudent to note that there are additional costs involved when you choose either adhesives or implants.
Implants are generally costly but will save you needless maintenance costs. Using adhesives to hold the implants in place may be cheaper initially, but you may spend a lot more after the treatment.
For instance, you will have to purchase adhesives to cater to your daily needs. What’s more, palateless dentures without implants are prone to breakage.
Nevertheless, you can search online ‘palateless dentures near me’ to find various offers and discounted prices in your area.
Palateless dentures are a good substitute for conventional dentures, especially for those that want to avoid the drawbacks of the latter. However, besides the use of dentures, dental implants are an excellent alternative to palateless dentures.
Upper horseshoe dentures require dental implants to help secure them in place. However, you can also get horseshoe dentures without implants, but you will have to use denture adhesives to keep them in place.
Horseshoe dentures cost just as much as conventional dentures. However, the additional cost is incurred depending on the method used to secure the dentures. For instance, the cost goes higher when using implants or adhesives.
Generally, the dentures cost the same but what holds them in place takes their total cost even higher.
Palateless dentures are good, safe, effective, and convenient. However, you need to discuss your options with your dentist before settling on palateless dentures as your preferred method to replace missing natural teeth. It is also advisable to look at before and after roofless dentures pictures to help you determine if they are right for you.