Tooth loss is a significant problem globally. Much as efforts have been put forth to improve the outcome of dental works, people still lose their teeth. Adults suffer a great loss when they lose their teeth. It is not just about the cosmetic appearance, but also the functional aspect of teeth. It is why dental experts have invested a lot of time and effort into improving dentures, to make sure they meet the required needs.
What Are Dentures?
They are a set of artificial teeth used to replace missing teeth. A typical denture features several replacement teeth, attached to a gum-like base. In the past, dentures were commonly used to replace the teeth of seniors and elders. However, modern dentistry has improved the nature of dentures, so much so that even younger people can use them.
Who Needs Dentures?
These prosthetic devices have been customized to benefit anyone who has lost teeth. Ideally, dentures are not the only tooth replacement options. Depending on how many teeth you are missing in your oral cavity, there are other solutions. They include dental bridges and dental implants. The only time where dentures have an overwhelming advantage over the other alternatives is when the gaps in the smile are many.
Dentures are very reliable for replacing multiple missing teeth. In the past, they were best known for complete teeth replacement, where the patient has no tooth remaining. Even today, they still serve this purpose. However, there is an alternative for partial dentures. These are applicable where you still have other teeth remaining.
Some of the reasons you may need to replace your teeth include:
- Traumatic injuries and accidents.
- Periodontal disease
- Medical condition
- Badly broken teeth
- Risk of infection
- Severe dental decay
How Are Dentures Used for Teeth Replacement?
Once you visit your dentist, he/she will determine a prognosis of what your condition needs. If you are missing one or two teeth, dentures may not be fit for you. However, if you have multiple missing teeth, particularly in a row you are a qualified candidate.
There are cases where your dentist may need to remove some of the remaining teeth. This is especially when most of the remaining teeth are damaged.
The initial step involves taking impressions of your teeth. These work as measurements for your mouth. The impressions help come up with perfectly fitted dentures. Meanwhile, your dentist will give you temporary dentures. You will have these on until yours are readied. Besides, this period allows your gums to heal before you get the dentures. The problem with putting on dentures before your mouth has healed is shrinkage. Your gums tend to lose volume and shrink after healing. This will lead your dentures to be ill-fitting.
Once your dentures are ready, they will be installed on the next visit. This set of dentures will be adjusted accordingly to ensure a perfect fit.
Are All Dentures Removable?
Generally, most dentures are removable. This allows you ample time to adjust accordingly to the new state. It applies to complete dentures as well as partial dentures. However, if you are looking for a permanent solution, it does exist. You can have your dentures fashioned as permanent and non-removable. This is possible by using dental implants.
For partial dentures, an implant or two will be used to support the dentures. However, for complete dentures, a different technique is used. It is called the all-on-4 method. This encompasses the use of 8 dentures. 4 are strategically placed in the upper jaw, and 4 on the lower jaw.
What to Expect After Dentures
Obviously, you will have a lot of adjusting to do. Considering these are foreign teeth on your mouth, some of the things to expect include:
- Bulkiness – you are likely to feel like the dentures are too bulky. This only lasts the first few days.
- Sore gums – your gums will take some getting used to before you are well-experienced to wear dentures.
- Difficulty speaking – speech may be hard, as you try to adjust to the new sets of replacement teeth.
- Difficulty chewing – both partial and complete dentures can give you a rough time when it comes to chewing.
Luckily, all these challenges are short-lived. As you adjust to having dentures, things get easier and smoother than before.