How Dentures Can Help Your Appearance and Your Health
The word “dentures” may conjure up images of your uncle, flapping out his ill-fitting teeth for a laugh at the family reunion, but the days of “store bought” dentures are long since past. In fact, denture wearers today have more choices than ever before. If you’ve lost teeth because of gum disease, dental decay, cancer treatment, tooth erosion due to gastrointestinal reflux, an automobile accident, sports injury, or the normal effects of aging, dentures are a viable, flexible option.
Tooth loss has many health and emotional consequences. Patients with missing teeth often feel self-conscious about their smile. They may not participate fully in social situations as they once might have. Tooth loss can also have physical effects. The remaining teeth begin to shift around in the mouth to fill the gap which has been created. This can lead to an unbalanced appearance, sagging muscles in the jaw area, more loose teeth, or difficulty chewing and eating properly.
Selecting Dentures That Are Right for You
In the past, patients were concerned about wearing dentures because they felt the appliance might be uncomfortable or unnatural-looking. Fortunately, today’s dental patients have numerous denture options to help relieve these concerns. The first step is to visit your dentist, who will perform a complete examination and discuss your eating and lifestyle habits. Your dentist will then discuss the denture options that are available, answer your questions, and help you make an informed choice about what is best for your particular situation. Your dentist will cover these points:
- How many teeth to replace?
Dentures are custom-made for each patient and are available as either a full or partial replacement for your missing teeth. If you are only missing a few teeth, and the loss is concentrated in one area of your mouth, your dentist may recommend a partial denture for you. This is a smaller dental device which is held in place by an implant in your jaw or by wires to your other teeth. If the tooth loss is more severe or affects several areas of your mouth, your dentist might recommend a full denture for you. This could be for the upper, lower, or both portions of your mouth. Fitting a full denture might involve removal of remaining teeth so that your dentist can fabricate an entirely new dental structure for you. Full dentures can be removable, or they may also be anchored to your jaw by the placement of several implants.
- When are the dentures available?
Partial dentures can be manufactured and fitted to your mouth with relative ease. In the case of full dentures, it might take some time due to the healing that is required after any oral surgery. In modern dental practices, however, immediate full dentures can be available. In this case, measurements are taken of your mouth before any remaining teeth are removed. Your dentures will then be fashioned so that they will be wearable shortly after your surgery. This might require some readjustments as your mouth heals, but you will have the benefit of having teeth during this entire process.
- What materials are used in dentures?
In older times, dentures might have been created from ivory, wood, or even animal teeth, but modern dental materials are much more functional and natural-looking. The bases can be made of resin, rubber or metal, and the teeth are made of porcelain, resin, modified acrylic resins, or porcelain with composite resins. They are much more comfortable to wear and longer-lasting. When we create dentures today, we take your facial structure and skin tone into consideration to fashion a functional as well as an esthetically pleasing replacement.
If you are concerned about your health or appearance due to lost or missing teeth, dentures might provide a solution. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out whether dentures are right for you, and keep a smile on your face!
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 747-3608.