Tooth loss can happen to anyone, and it certainly does not discriminate. That is why an incredibly high number of people are suffering from some degree of tooth loss, with nearly 80 percent of all American adults missing at least one tooth from their mouth. Some 40 million of us are missing all of our teeth, making this a problem that affects a large portion of our population. Tooth loss can make life difficult, not only making it harder to feel comfortable sharing your smile, but also negatively impacting your quality of life.
At El Paso Modern Dentistry, when we meet with the patient who has missing teeth and wants an attractive and fast replacement for their tooth loss, we like to educate them about dentures as a possible treatment option.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DENTURES
Many people who are missing an entire arch of teeth may suffer from health complications due to their tooth loss, such as difficulty eating or pain in the jaw. They may also start to find themselves starting to look older than they. This happens because the face can start to sag or droop due to shrinkage of gum and bone tissue after tooth loss. Getting dentures can help to restore the natural fullness of your face, allowing you to appear healthier and younger.
Dentures are a fantastic non-surgical option for tooth loss and can help restore your smile in as little as one appointment. While we all may know somebody who had dentures when we were younger – such as an elderly neighbor or grandparent – it is important to know that today’s dentures are nothing like dentures of the past.
Older generations of dentures were admittedly unsightly and attractive, with boxy white “chicklet” teeth and bubblegum pink acrylic trays. Today’s dentures, on the other hand, are much more attractive and natural looking, making it quite difficult even to tell that the wearer has prosthetic teeth. We can shape them to look just like real teeth, even adding slight discoloration and translucence to help them look more like your natural teeth
THE PROCESS OF GETTING DENTURES
Getting dentures may take multiple appointments to ensure the best fit. If you have any of your teeth remaining, we may start with extraction to remove them. We will then take an impression of your mouth to make sure your dentures are a comfortable fit for you. From this impression, our lab will create your dentures. Once they return from our lab, we will fit you with them and make any adjustments to them to make sure you are satisfied with them. Our goal is to fit you with attractive dentures that fit securely in your mouth and do not shift or cause any irritation or discomfort.
You will need to continue practicing oral hygiene even with dentures. Make sure you take your dentures out at night to keep them sanitary and do not forget to clean your gums at night, as well. Even people who are without their teeth are still susceptible to gum disease. Your dentures will need relining as your gums shrink, but if you take good care of them, you can expect them to last you up to ten years.
Over time, even teeth that have been taken care of can experience serious damage and wear and tear. As a result, you may decide that, in order to have the oral health and smile you want, you need dentures to replace missing or damaged teeth. Dentures can be used to replace a full set of teeth or partial dentures can be used when some natural teeth remain in the mouth. No matter what kind of dentures you get, they can be a great solution to ensure you have a healthy, natural-looking smile.
Dentures are prosthetic devices used to replace missing teeth. Most often, dentures are used to replace numerous upper or lower teeth or to replace all natural teeth. Those who have missing teeth may get partial dentures, which are used when you still have some teeth remaining. Some people may choose to get full dentures, which provide a full set of replacement teeth.
Typically, dentures sit on top of the gums and are held in place with a special denture adhesive that allows them to be removed to be cleaned and maintained. In addition, some people choose to have dentures placed on dental implants, which are screw-like devices placed in the jawbone to provide stabilization to dentures. The dentures affix to the implants and are still removed for cleaning and maintenance.
The process of getting dentures depends on the type of dentures you will get. For example, if you will be getting denture stabilization with implants, the process is more involved compared to getting traditional dentures. However, the general process includes:
- Removing damaged teeth. If you get partial dentures, healthy natural teeth may stay in place. If you are getting full dentures, including implants, all teeth will be removed. After the removal, you will be given time to heal before the next step.
- Implants will be placed, if they are used. Implants will be placed after the teeth are removed. This is a surgical procedure in which screw-like devices are placed into the jawbone to provide stability for the dentures. After they are placed, you will be given time to heal before the next step in the process. This ensures that the implants heal properly and that the jawbone accepts the implants.
- Molds will be taken of the gums. The molds are used to create the dentures so that they fit properly over the gums in the mouth. This makes the dentures more comfortable and helps ensure that they can be used more like natural teeth. At this time, your dentist may also discuss aspects of the dentures with you to ensure they are the right size in your mouth and that you will have a good bite when they are in place.
Dentures can be a good solution to replace missing or damaged teeth, which can be a normal part of aging. Partial or full dentures not only give you the smile you want, but will give you the functionality of natural teeth so you can live the life you want. If you are considering dentures, make an appointment with your dentist to find out if they are a good option for you.
A. Not necessarily. Depending on your oral health and the health of your natural teeth, you may be able to get partial dentures, which will replace missing teeth without getting rid of healthy teeth that remain. Your dentist will examine your teeth to help decide whether partial dentures are a good option for you or whether full dentures would be a better choice.
A. Dentures placed on implants are still removed for cleaning and maintenance. The purpose of implants is denture stabilization to make the dentures more secure in your mouth and give you better ability for eating and talking that feels closer to your natural teeth.
A. With proper care and oral hygiene, your dentures will last a long time. As with any dental solution, dentures can become damaged or need to be repaired or replaced in order to ensure you have what you need from them. Your dentist will provide care and maintenance instructions for you that will help keep your dentures in good condition for longer.
A. After removing your teeth, it is likely that your gums will be sore. Allowing your gums to heal will make denture placement more comfortable. In addition, you may have some swelling after teeth are removed. If molds are taken when your gums are swollen, your dentures will not fit properly once the swelling goes down.
A. If you have problems with your dentures after you have been wearing them regularly, it is recommended that you reach out to your dentist. An examination can determine if there is a problem or adjustment needed so that you can continue to get what you need from your dentures comfortably.
A. Anyone who has experienced significant tooth loss should discuss dentures with their dentist. Since dentures fit over the gums, nearly anyone can get them to replace missing teeth. However, if you are considering dental implants, there are additional considerations, such as the health of your jawbone, that will need to be addressed.