What they are.
Dentures (also known as “false teeth”) are removable dental appliances that are custom-made to replace missing teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, modern dentures are made of advanced, natural-looking materials and have a more comfortable fit.
Why you may want them
Dentures have three major benefits. The first is cosmetic. Dentures look like teeth and act like teeth and are therefore a benefit to anyone who’s missing teeth. They will return definition to your cheeks and mouth, give you back your smile and make you look more youthful. The second benefit is functional. They’ll help you speak better and therefore, communicate better. The third benefit is that they’re affordable. Seriously affordable. Dental implants and bridges, though they have many benefits of their own, can be expensive. Dentures remain the least expensive option available to the toothless.
There’s more than one type to choose from
Complete dentures are full dentures worn by patients who’ve lost all their teeth (whether in the upper arch, lower arch or both). These dentures rest directly on the gum and are supported by the jaw.
Partial dentures are used for patients who’ve lost several of their teeth (but not all). They’re either anchored to existing natural teeth or gums, or through special connecting metal or plastic structures.
Sometimes, damaged teeth need to be removed before dentures are added. Immediate dentures are placed immediately after the natural teeth have been removed. They act as an interim set of teeth until the gums and jaw heal and custom-made dentures are ready for the patient.
Implant-retained dentures are made of titanium and attached to the jawbone which makes them more stable than conventional dentures and more affordable than implants.
Why you may not like them
You already know the benefits but it’s only fair you should be aware of some of the disadvantages. Dentures can cause discomfort to first-time users and they may also cause irritation and sores now and then. Chewing crunchy or sticky food won’t be easy. They also need to be cleaned thoroughly at periodic intervals. Dental implants and bridges are alternatives that don’t carry these disadvantages but then again, they aren’t as affordable.
When to get them
If you experience the loss of a permanent tooth, or even if it seems wobbly, it’s time to visit a dentist for advice. Keep in mind that the loss of even one tooth can cause dramatic impact on your teeth’s overall appearance and your oral health.
What the process is like
First, your dentist is going to make sure that your existing teeth and gums aren’t damaged. They’ll then use a dental putty or a machine to take an impression of your teeth. A wax model will be created based on this impression. Modifications and adjustments will be made to it before the actual dentures are created and fitted into the mouth.
Looking after them right
Like natural teeth, dentures are susceptible to decay and plaque. So you’ll have to brush them twice a day and floss at least once daily. You’ll also need to visit the dentist every six months. Your dentures may need to be relined or remade due to wear and tear.