The older we get, the more likely we are to deal with tooth decay, gum disease, and injury that can affect our dental structure. Many times, losing teeth through these events can cause loss of confidence and difficulty doing daily tasks, such as eating and speaking. Dentures are an effective way to boost your smile and give you your freedom back to eat what you want and improve your overall health. Learn whether you are ready for dentures with this guide!
As we age, our teeth can begin to crack, break, or fall out due to gum disease, tooth decay, and injury. Without our teeth, it becomes very difficult to eat and speak properly. Replacing teeth isn’t only for aesthetic concerns, such as appearance, but it will also improve your speech and ability to process foods. Missing teeth affect how you chew and eat and greatly impact your overall nutrition. They also can put stress on other teeth and cause said teeth to shift, altering your facial appearance. Many times, without support from missing teeth, facial muscles sag, making patients look much older than they actually are. Dentures provide the option for natural-looking appliances that fit snugly into your mouth to increase your confidence and help you eat.
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth each day. Although they do take some time getting used to and might not feel quite the same as natural teeth, modern technology has helped develop dentures into the most natural-looking and comfortable appliances than they ever have been before. Depending on how many teeth will be replaced and the financial cost that is most reasonable for your situation, your dentist will help you choose which type of denture is best for your needs.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Full (complete) dentures replace an entire set of teeth on both the upper and lower jaw. They help correct your bite and restore facial appearance. Upper full dentures are held in place in your mouth through the suction between the denture and the roof of the mouth, while lower full dentures rest on and are secured over the gums. Additionally, there are two subtypes of full dentures: conventional and immediate. Conventional full dentures are placed in the mouth after the teeth are removed and the mouth is given time to heal, which may take several months, in which you will be without teeth. The molds for these dentures are made once the gum tissue heals, which is why you have to wait after tooth removal to receive them. Immediate full dentures are inserted immediately after the teeth are removed. While they offer patients the opportunity to never go without teeth, they must be relined several months after being inserted as the dentures begin to come loose due to bone reshaping during the healing process.
The second type of denture, called a partial denture, is used when some teeth are missing but there are still some remaining in the mouth. You wear these dentures for two to three months immediately after tooth removal, and they are helpful for patients with a history of sensitive teeth and gums. It is always best to keep your natural teeth, if possible, and partial dentures help give stability to the natural teeth. They rest on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth through clasps, and they prevent the remaining natural teeth from drifting over time. A partial denture is used to replace one or more teeth, but not an entire arch. For anything more than that, a full denture is recommended. Partial dentures are beneficial as they keep the underlying structures of the mouth engaged and prevent further shifting of other teeth in the mouth.
Your dentures will eventually need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear and tear. Your mouth will continue to change as you age, so dentures will most likely become loose due to this process and will need to be adjusted so as to avoid problems with chewing. Dentures are delicate, so when handling them, try holding them over a towel or basin of water to prevent them from breaking if they fall. Never let your dentures dry out. Leave them in in a denture cleaner soaking solution whenever you’re not using them, and don’t use hot water as it can cause them to warp. Just as you would brush your teeth every day, brushing your dentures daily will remove any food particles and keep them free from stains. Before inserting your dentures each morning, brush your gums, tongue, and palate with a soft-bristled toothbrush to stimulate circulation in your tissues and remove any remaining plaque. If your dentures ever break, chip, or become loose, do not try to repair them yourself. Tampering with the dentures’ structure can damage it beyond repair and be costly to fix.
If you are struggling with complications eating due to tooth loss or have questions on how to replace lost teeth, call Stonebrook Family Dental at (303) 872-7907 for a consultation about what type of denture is right for your needs. Learn how to restore your smile and improve your oral health with our team of trained and dedicated professionals who are here to help you achieve your best smile possible!