Dentures used to be one of the most common solutions for seniors who were suffering from tooth decay and tooth loss. They were relatively easy to make, fairly effective, and helped restore function and quality of life for people who had lost their teeth to age, disease, or accidents.
But are dentures still used today?
Dentures are one of several tooth replacement options available today. In some cases, dentures might even be the best option, even with advancements in other kinds of tooth appliance and teeth replacements.
While the need for dentures and other tooth appliances has declined, thanks to better access to fluoride and more widespread dental care, there are still plenty of people who wear dentures today. In fact, as many as one in four seniors have at least one denture.
What Kind of Dentures Are Available?
The cartoon image of dentures are plastic appliances that mimic the appearance of healthy gums and teeth, but that can be taken out any time the wearer would like and cannot be worn overnight. The reality is similar, though your dentures won’t be able to support the whole structure and shape of your face like the cartoon appliances.
Today there are several kinds of dentures available. Some are extensive appliances that replace many of your teeth and gums. Dentures can also replace all your teeth if necessary.
But dentures don’t have to be that extensive. You can also get smaller dentures that fill in small gaps in your teeth instead of replacing all of your teeth. You can also get a denture only for your top or bottom teeth if you don’t need both.
There are also some dentures available that can be connected to your remaining teeth to help maintain more structure and stability in any tooth gaps. These dentures function a little more like implants but are usually simpler to make and install.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dentures?
Many people don’t know what other options are out there for tooth replacement, so when they come in for a dental appointment they ask about dentures, even if dentures aren’t the best option for their situation.
There are lots of reasons you might be a good candidate for dentures, but first let’s look at a couple of reasons you might want to choose a different kind of tooth replacement.
- You only have a couple of missing teeth
- Your jaw structure is still healthy and sound
- You want a tooth replacement that helps protect the bones and shape of your jaw and face
Your dentist will probably suggest other options like a bridge or teeth implants if you’re a good candidate for those kinds of replacement. Those recommendations aren’t because those teeth replacements are better than dentures. The benefits are simply different.
However, you may not always be a candidate for denture alternatives. If you have any of these problems in addition to missing teeth your dentist may be more likely to recommend dentures over other tooth replacement options.
Your Jaw Has Already Been Damaged
If you already have jaw damage from old injuries or infections, you may be a better candidate for dentures than other tooth-replacement since dentures won’t put additional stress on your jawbone and surrounding muscles.
You Have Osteoporosis
Because osteoporosis causes ongoing damage and stress for your bones, your dentist may think that dentures are a better option for you. That’s because implants and other more invasive forms of teeth replacement may further damage your jaw and may be less permanent because of bone deterioration over time.
Of course, there are plenty of other circumstances where your dentist may recommend dentures even if your jaw is healthy and remains in good condition.
Who Needs Dentures?
You may be wondering if you need dentures if you’ve lost a tooth or two or have loose teeth that you’re worried about losing in the near future.
Anyone who is worried about lost teeth may be a good candidate for dentures, though it’s important to consult with your dentist about all of your teeth replacement options.
Denture Quality and Fit
A lot of patients worry that their dentures will look fake or won’t feel right in their mouth. Many people also worry that their dentures will cause problems eating their favorite foods or speaking, especially if they have a job that requires public speaking or speaking on the phone.
Fortunately, there have been a lot of improvements in dentures, in both design and materials. Your grandfather’s denture problems won’t be your denture problems (and grandpa can probably get a better appliance now, too).
Most dentures are still made from plastic, but it’s a higher quality and more durable kind of plastic than in previous appliances.
Fit is just as important as the appearance and quality of your dentures. Dentures that fit poorly are more likely to slip and cause problems while you’re eating or speaking. Poorly fitting dentures can also cause gum irritation, making them more uncomfortable.
Irritated gums are also more vulnerable to infections and other dental problems, so it’s incredibly important to work with qualified professionals to get custom-designed dentures. You’ll also need to get new dentures periodically to reflect the changes in your mouth and jaw over time.
Our expert team at Goochland Dentistry is happy to work with you to create custom-designed dentures that fit comfortably. We’ll also help you get new dentures anytime you need to update the current fit. That way your dentures are always comfortable and always look more like natural teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
Want to take the next step and schedule a tooth replacement or denture consultation? Is it time for your next cleaning and check-up? Goochland Dentistry will be happy to work with you to find an appointment time that fits your schedule.
We’ll also be happy to answer any questions about your dental care during your appointment. If you do decide that dentures are the best teeth replacement option we’ll also work with you to make sure your dentures are comfortable and designed to fit your specific needs. Request an appointment today.
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