Contrary to the common misconception that dentures are only for seniors, tooth loss due to injuries, disease, genetics, or decay also affects young people, forcing them to wear dentures. You should not be ashamed of losing a few or all of your teeth. Statista Research Department calculations using U.S. Census data show that approximately 40.99 million Americans used dentures in 2020 because they were missing all their teeth. Many Americans, regardless of age, depend on dentures for a perfect smile and improved speech, chewing, and gustatory abilities.
Dentures are an excellent investment for replacing missing teeth because of the significant advancements they have undergone over time. The reasons discussed below will assist you in making your decision if you are still determining whether dentures are a good option for your missing teeth.
Reasons You Need Dentures
Dentures are not the only restorative treatment on the market. Dental implants have become prevalent recently. Nonetheless, because not all dental patients are eligible, many prefer dentures as a replacement. The common reasons why you need or opt for dentures are:
- Missing Teeth
People wear dentures primarily because they have missing teeth. The American College of Prosthodontists' epidemiological studies shows that approximately 178 million people nationwide are missing at least one tooth, and around 40 million are missing all their teeth. Edentulism, or tooth loss, is a problem that affects not only the elderly but also children and young adults. Statista estimates that 40.99 million Americans wear dentures to replace missing teeth.
Dental professionals advise wearing a prosthesis if you are missing several teeth to prevent putting additional pressure on the natural teeth that are still present. You run a higher risk of losing more teeth over time when you use fewer natural teeth for chewing because they are more likely to wear out early or move toward the open sockets. Therefore, if you have missing natural teeth, dentures are recommended.
- Loose Teeth
Loose teeth often make it difficult to chew. If the problem persists, you could develop infections and bone loss. The best solution to loose teeth before they further cause problems in the mouth is to have them removed and replaced with dentures. That way, you will gain stability and comfort when chewing. They will give your mouth more chewing surface and offer extra support to teeth next to gaps on either side.
Loose teeth cause pain, bite problems, and speech problems. By wearing dentures, you take care of the pain and have an easier time eating or speaking.
- Periodontal Disease
A periodontal or gum disease is present if your gums are red, swollen, bleeding, or tender. The oral problem is caused by plaque buildup in the gum line and on the teeth. Gum disease can cause gum recession, leading to tooth removal. If this happens, you will need dentures to replace the extracted teeth. Instead of waiting until the need for dentures arises, you can reverse gum disease through frequent dental visits and healthy oral habits.
- Tooth Decay
Another reason you need dentures is tooth decay. Plaque buildup on the tooth surface causes your enamel to erode, which is a problem that can affect anyone at any age. When you neglect to brush your teeth regularly, plaque forms on the teeth, trapping the acidic elements of food and allowing dangerous bacteria to come into contact with the enamel. The enamel will deteriorate or develop cavities if plaque is allowed to accumulate.
Dental fillings can treat minor cavities, but tooth replacement is the only option if the decay is severe. If several teeth are affected by the decay, you will need to remove them and replace them with dentures.
- Affordable Restorative Treatment
Depending on your insurer, restorative procedures like implants frequently have higher costs. Therefore, due to their cost effectiveness, traditional full and partial dentures are appropriate if you are looking for an affordable replacement treatment. Even when you factor in the need to replace the dentures every three to five years, these restoratives are still highly affordable.
- Minimal Risk Associated With the Treatment
Because the dental posts must be implanted surgically, implants are invasive and carry a higher risk of complications. Dentures are the best choice to reduce the risk of your age and jawbone density makes dental implants more risky.
- Quick Healing
A short recovery period is the other reason you need dentures. The denture procedure consumes less time than dental implants, which take years to complete.
Your choice of a tooth replacement option depends on your unique circumstances. If you have missing teeth, dentures will suit you best. They offer you the anchorage you need to chew and bite. Restorative treatment addresses many oral health issues, some of which are listed above. If you need the treatment, do not hesitate to talk to a dentist to understand dentures, the process involved, and whether they are right for you.
Dentures are prosthetic tools used to replace missing or extracted natural teeth. The devices are anchored by oral tissues adjacent to the missing teeth and fall into two major categories: partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when you are missing a few teeth, while full dentures are utilized when you are missing all your teeth. Dentures can be tailored to fit in the mouth and match the natural standing teeth, making them feel natural and comfortable regardless of the number of teeth you wish to replace.
Previously, dentures were fabricated from plastic or porcelain. Nevertheless, today many dental labs use hard resin to fabricate dentures, although it is more brittle than natural enamel, thus susceptible to cracking and chipping. Again, dentures require replacement every five years, making them less durable than natural teeth.
Forms of Dentures
Dentures refer to several forms of prosthetic teeth. These are:
Partial dentures are the best option if you still have several healthy natural teeth or are missing a few teeth. Your dentist will recommend these dentures to fill the gaps left in the mouth by missing teeth. Partial dentures bridge partially missing teeth and serve as an anchor for the weaker remaining teeth to prevent shifting and speech and bite problems. These dentures stop further tooth loss because maintaining your remaining teeth is of the utmost importance.
Partial dentures typically have a pink plastic foundation that fastens to a metal support structure that holds the denture in place and acts as anchorage. During treatment, your dentist fits these devices into the gaps left by missing teeth and fixes them firmly to the nearby healthy natural teeth.
It is worth noting that partial dentures are not fixed, but removable. They are only fastened to the surrounding natural teeth to make them easy to remove when brushing or going to bed. Also, partial plastic dentures are used when you need a short-term or emergency restoration because they allow bone and gum healing. However, plastics are not the only materials used. Other materials are available to offer lasting and flexible solutions.
Also called complete dentures, full dentures are dental tools used to replace a complete set of missing teeth. The foundation of the appliances is made of a plastic material that closely resembles your natural soft tissue and supports a complete set of artificial porcelain or plastic-made teeth because they rest directly on top of your gums.
Most people associate complete dentures with the elderly or relate them to what they see in the movies. The truth is that with the technological advancements in dentistry, the chewing and look of complete dentures have improved immensely, making them appear and function like natural teeth.
You should be aware of your immediate and conventional options when choosing complete dentures as a restorative procedure. Only suitable candidates for full dentures obtain immediate placement. If you are a good candidate, your dentist can remove your teeth and replace them with pre-made dentures on the same day. However, you will need to adjust the dentures frequently due to the bones and gums shrinking after immediate placement. Even when the gums contract during the healing process, the adjustments guarantee a perfect fit for the dentures.
The dentist will recommend a conventional denture for those who are not qualified for immediate placement. To give the gingiva tissue time to recover following tooth extraction, these dentures are typically placed eight to twelve weeks later. Given this information, it is reasonable to assume that immediate dentures are only meant to be worn while waiting for conventional dentures to be completed.
Your dentist will recommend implant-anchored dentures if you have lost all of your teeth and are searching for an alternative to complete dentures. These are a form of overdenture anchored by and attached to implants, unlike the full denture on the gum tissue.
An implant is a titanium post or screw that is surgically attached to your jawbone to replace the missing natural tooth root. You are a good candidate for this treatment if you have lost some or all of your teeth but have enough jawbone mass to anchor implants.
For patients missing teeth on the lower jaw, where more stability is needed, particularly during chewing, dentists prefer implant-anchored dentures. You can place the regular denture on the upper jaw because no extra strength or anchorage is required. Nonetheless, you can have implant-anchored dentures on both the upper and lower jaw.
Overdentures or Snap-In Dentures
The only option if you want stable implants but still want to be able to take out your dentures is to use overdentures. These are suitable primarily when you have lost a complete set of teeth. Instead of having the dentures sit in the gums, implants can support them. For better stability, you can even choose snap-in dentures. Dentures are fitted with attachments, while implants have receptors that work together to provide a snug fit.
Your choice of dentures depends on your individual oral health needs. Visit your dentist today and discuss these options. A knowledgeable dental professional will help you make the best decision based on your dental needs by outlining the benefits and drawbacks of each procedure. Whatever type of dentures you choose, you can expect dental appliances that are made to mimic your natural teeth in appearance and function while also enhancing your smile.
The Process of Obtaining Dentures
The procedure to be followed during treatment depends on the condition of your teeth. Typically, the process starts with a visit to your dentist for an oral exam. The examination involves looking for gum and tooth infections. Sometimes your dental professional will even request an x-ray to check the affected area's jawbone and see if it can support dentures. Following the examination, the dentist identifies your oral issue and decides what kind of denture to use. Sometimes an evaluation entails removing the damaged teeth and any additional gum tissue that obstructs the placement of a denture.
The next step involves the creation of an impression and measuring the mouth to find a perfect fit between the upper and lower jaws. Your dentist uses various sterilized, loose dentures to find the right fit, color, and measurement for your jaw. Once you have chosen the right shade and size of the dentures, the dental expert can make adjustments before sending the impressions to the dental lab for molding.
At the lab, the technician will model a wax version of your jaw and gum line to determine the exact nature and position you want for your denture. The appliances will then be made from a resin material that resembles natural teeth. Before final touches are made on the restoration, the dental lab must seek your approval.
After the approval, the lab technician will replace the wax version with acrylic. The process involves boiling the wax and making holes in the teeth to shoot up acrylic. Afterward, the technician cleans and polishes the appliance, which is then ready for placement.
The final step, which involves positioning the dentures and making the necessary adjustments, is installing the appliance. For the final restoration, the dentist must see you at most five times. Adjusting the new dentures will take time, but you should feel free to talk to your dentist any time you feel discomfort or need the dentures relined.
Caring for your Dentures
Like natural teeth, you must care for your dentures outside of the typical routine. Even if the restorations are made from artificial material, they are susceptible to plaque and bacteria buildup in the enamel, increasing the chances of oral infections. Therefore, you must follow the following tips for durable and appealing dentures:
- Ensure Regular Cleaning
After the treatment, you are advised to take out the dentures and rinse them with water after meals. Also, it would help if you brushed your teeth daily to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Regular brushing also prevents staining. Even though brushing is encouraged, do not use toothpaste, as it erodes the dentures, creating spaces for food particles to build up.
- Soak the Dentures Overnight
Dentures are filled with microscopic holes, so brushing alone is insufficient to keep them clean. The best way to penetrate and clean these holes is by soaking the dentures overnight in vinegar. Nonetheless, if your dentures have metal clasps, you should soak them in warm water.
- Be Cautious when Handling Dentures
Dentures can easily slip from your hands and break. Therefore, you should always clean them over a sink with water or a towel. Besides, do not bend the clasps when washing, as they can break. Finally, you should keep the appliances away from children and pets.
- Do Not Repair Broken Dentures at Home
When your dentures fracture, do not attempt any repairs. The minor overhauls could require a replacement if not done by a professional. Even if the repairs are successful, not polishing the dentures can leave your teeth and gums vulnerable to damage from sharp edges. Dentures that are broken should not be repaired at home; instead, you should take them to a dental lab or a professional for repairs to prevent further damage and additional costs for replacements.
- Give the Dentures a Break
Wearing dentures non-stop can stress the gums, reducing their volume and density. With reduced jawbone density, the dentures loosen and begin falling out or shifting. Persistent jaw volume and mass loss will affect your facial structure, changing your appearance. Dentures, once again, are known to reduce saliva production. Wearing them continuously can lead to gum infections and cracks around the mouth's edges. Taking a break from the appliances can thus be beneficial.
- Maintain Regular Visits to the Dentist
It would help if you visited your dentist twice a year for checkups. Regular exams enable dentists to detect early signs of sores, bleeding, or lumps, allowing them to treat them and keep your dentures comfortable.
Find an Experienced Dental Expert Near Me
The idea of having dentures fitted into your mouth can be scary. If you are contemplating dentures, you have lost some or all of your teeth. Whatever the cause of your tooth loss, La Puente Advanced Dentistry is prepared to improve your smile and functionality with dentures. Reach out to us at 626-626-7075 to arrange an appointment.