Question: I have always had porcelin dentures and have been very happy with them. This new set is plastic. How long should I expect them to last? Will they discolor faster? (I'm thinking of plastic bowls that discolor quickly.)
Dr. Hair: Happy to help. I've always felt that when patients have more information, they make better decisions.
As far as staining goes, the dentures with the plastic teeth would actually stain less. The porcelain teeth are held in the pink acrylic strictly by undercuts (mechanical retention only); whereas, the plastic teeth actually bond to the pink denture base. The area of stain seen on porcelain teeth is at the junction of the porcelain teeth and the pink denture base because it isn't sealed (bonded) like the plastic.
How long will they last? We used to choose porcelain teeth because they looked better (more aesthetic) and would last longer. However, because of advancements in denture teeth, some of the plastic teeth actually look as good or even better than the porcelain. Also some of the new, premium plastic teeth are very hard and will last a long time; however, many economy denture teeth are made of a softer grade of plastic which wears more quickly.
I have not noticed staining with good quality denture teeth.