Metal dentures are usually only metal-based or have metal framework, and the false teeth are made from other materials. These frameworks are usually cast from chrome cobalt and may have a longer life span than entirely plastic dentures. The use of these dentures has been recorded as one of the oldest forms of dentistry, and Paul Revere, a silversmith from Boston, used to create dentures out of hammered silver in the late 18th century. Metal-based dentistry has evolved since then, and there are many new procedures that incorporate metal framework or clasps for dentures. Although metal dentures have many advantages, these teeth are generally much more expensive than dentures made from less sturdier materials.
Two of the most common forms of metal dentures are standard metal-based dentures and modified metal-based dentures. The primary difference is that standard metal-based dentures use a special grade of metal that is able to have direct contact with tissues in the mouth. Modified metal-based dentures have a plastic liner that covers the metal and needs to be replaced periodically. Dentists usually discuss the pros and cons of each option with the patient and choose the best set based upon individual needs.
One of the advantages of having metal dentures is the stability that they provide due to the method in which they are attached to the teeth by clasps or other fixtures. These dentures are stronger and can withstand more damage than plastic dentures. The weight of these dentures are similar to human teeth and may provide natural comfort as well as less pain on the gums, tongue, and cheeks because the framework does not intrude on the rest of the patient's mouth. Teeth attached to a metal framework are generally of a higher quality, which may also increase the price of these false teeth.
Depending on the type of metal dentures that a patient has there can be some difficulty with relining the dentures, but this procedure is not a common requirement for metal-based frameworks and only poses a slight disadvantage. Due to the durability of the metal framework, these metal dentures are often suggested to patients who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). TMJ is a disorder that effects the jaw joint and may cause misalignment of teeth, jaw popping, teeth grinding, problems chewing, and other various dental problems, and patients who require dentures often need a strong framework to withstand these problems.