A Look at When It’s Time to Visit a Denture Clinic
While no one looks forward to getting dentures, dentures can help improve smiles while making eating a lot easier. And contrary to popular belief, dentures are also not only for older people. Young people get dentures too.
Tooth loss can happen at any time in one’s life due to accidents and oral health problems. And dentures are one of the easiest solutions to replacing missing teeth and restoring smiles.
So, if you think you need dentures, but you’re hesitant, read on to learn if they might be right for you.
DO I NEED DENTURES?
Despite the common belief that dentures are only for older people, anyone might need dentures if they have lost their teeth.
Replacing Lost Teeth
Tooth loss is commonly caused by injury to the mouth, tooth decay, and gum disease.
You may lose your teeth and need dentures if you have:
- Difficulty chewing. Significant tooth damage caused by tooth decay or injuries can make it difficult to chew foods properly, especially hard and chewy foods. As a result, you may swallow larger pieces of food, which can lead to indigestion and stomach aches.
- Red, swollen gums. Gum inflammation is a sign of periodontal disease, an advanced stage of gum disease. This severe gum infection eventually damages the supportive structures of your teeth, leading to bone loss and, eventually, tooth loss and the need for dentures.
- Severe, persistent toothaches. Toothaches are a sign that tooth decay has spread to the nerve in your tooth. Sometimes, a root canal can save the tooth. But if the tooth decay is too far gone, then your tooth will need to be removed and replaced with an implant or dentures.
If you’ve already lost teeth due to an injury, tooth decay, or gum disease, you will need dentures to help you eat and speak properly while preventing additional tooth loss.
With open space left by missing teeth, your remaining healthy teeth will shift and weaken. Since these teeth are lacking supportive adjacent teeth, they will wear down faster from greater pressure and use while chewing.
Dentures help improve the appearance of smiles by replacing missing teeth and faces by supporting the structure of the mouth, cheeks, and lips.
Preventing Jaw Bone Loss
Implant-supported dentures can help prevent bone loss caused by missing teeth. Tooth roots stimulate bone growth, so once teeth are extracted, the jawbone can recede.
But since dental implants replace the roots of missing teeth, they help maintain the jaw bone and reduce bone loss, which could otherwise lead to further tooth loss for any remaining teeth.
Here’s a look at the different denture options available at denture clinics.
PARTIAL VS. FULL DENTURES
When only one or a few of your teeth are missing, and you have healthy surrounding teeth that may not be strong enough to support dental bridges, partial dentures are the best option. Partial dentures can replace one tooth or a portion of your teeth and are anchored to adjacent healthy teeth using precision metal clasps.
Partial dentures will look like your natural teeth, help you chew and speak properly, and help prevent your remaining teeth from shifting, wearing down, or falling out. Partial dentures can be removed at any time for cleaning and sleeping.
Full dentures are the conventional dentures used by people who have lost an entire row of top or bottom teeth. These dentures can only be worn once the gums have healed from extractions, which can take two months or longer.
Full dentures are fitted to your top or bottom gum line and are held in place with suction, or an oral adhesive. As with partial dentures, full dentures can be removed at any time for cleaning and sleeping.
With traditional dentures, your gums need to heal for to two to six months after the extraction to support the dentures. In the meantime, you can replace your missing teeth with immediate dentures.
Immediate dentures are used immediately after tooth extraction, and during the time it takes for gums to heal, which can sometimes take up to six months.
Once your gums have healed, your immediate dentures will be replaced with permanent dentures.
Overdentures are a comfortable alternative to traditional dentures for those who have a few healthy teeth left or who find traditional dentures uncomfortable. Overdentures are fitted over the roots of remaining natural teeth and will either rest on these natural teeth or dental implants (if there are no natural teeth).
Implant-supported dentures are secured in place with dental implants. Dental implants replace missing teeth with a metal post screwed into the jawbone that is topped with an artificial tooth (dental crown).
Denture implants hold dentures securely in place, so they don’t become loose and are easier to chew with.
NOT JUST FOR OLDER PATIENTS
While you might be used to seeing older people with dentures, younger people may need dentures too. The need for dentures comes down to personal situations and oral health, not just age.
MAINTAINING YOUR ORAL HEALTH
To prevent the need for dentures, it’s necessary to maintain good oral health with daily flossing and brushing, as well as making regular visits to the dentist for checkups and dental cleanings.
If you have dentures, it’s also important to maintain your oral health. Like with natural teeth, you need to rinse and brush your dentures all over daily to remove food and plaque.
Use a soft denture brush and a denture cleaner. Do not use regular toothpaste, other cleaners, or electric toothbrushes since these are all too abrasive and can damage your dentures.
When you’re not using your dentures, keep them from drying out by storing them in a denture solution if there are no metal components. If your dentures do have metal components, store them in warm water.
Remove your dentures at night to let your mouth rest. Before you put your dentures on in the morning, you need to brush your tongue, palate, and gums. And you will still need to visit your dentist for regular checkups and if ever your dentures become loose, chipped, cracked, or broken.
If you have missing teeth, or you expect to lose some teeth soon due to oral health complications, contact your local denture clinic for more information on the right dentures for you.
While they might not be the most desirable thing in the world, dentures will help restore your smile, support your facial structure, and make eating and digesting food much easier if you have missing or damaged teeth.