What Are Dentures?
Dentures are a removable replacement for teeth that are missing. In the United States, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. 15 percent of the popular wears dentures. Dentures appear as natural as original teeth.
How Do Dentures Work?
Dentures are not as complex as many people think. Many people have full or complete dentures. These dentures are applied with flesh-colored acrylic base that is used to cover the gums. The upper dentures will cover the roof of your mouth and the lower dentures are designed and applied to accommodate the shape and size of your tongue. In order for dentures to be made, impressions are taken of your teeth and created in a laboratory. Dentures perform as natural teeth. They help you eat comfortably and speak clearly.
Why Do People Wear Dentures?
People wear dentures for many different reasons, including:
- Tooth loss
- Speaking better
- Eating more comfortably
Tooth Loss: People lose their teeth for many different reasons, including illness, decay and injury. Once natural teeth are lost, they cannot be replaced and dentures become a prime candidate.
Appearance/Restoration: Some people decide to get dentures to restore their facial appearance. When teeth are missing, it can cause facial skin to sag and the facial structure to appear deformed or misshapen.
Speaking Better: A lot of people do not realize how essential teeth are for speaking. In order to pronounce certain letter sounds, the tongue rolls off of the teeth to make the correct sound. Without teeth, some sounds cannot be annunciated which makes speech harder to understand.
Eating More Comfortably: Another thing teeth are good for is eating. Although certain foods can be consumed without teeth, having teeth is better. Soft foods, such as mashed potatoes are easily consumed without teeth. Other food favorites, including steak, require teeth for proper consumption and digestion.
Who Are Prime Candidates for Dentures?
Although most people are prime candidates for dentures, not everyone is ideal for dentures. Prime candidates for dentures are persons who are missing some of their teeth, all of their teeth or missing a couple of teeth. If you have most of your teeth, you are a prime candidate for partial dentures. If you are missing most of your teeth, you are a candidate for complete dentures. If you are missing only a few teeth, you are a candidate for dental implants.
Types of Dentures
There are many different types of dentures, including complete immediate dentures, complete conventional dentures, partial and implant dentures. The type of dentures you require are determined by the number of teeth you have and the number of teeth that are missing.
Complete Immediate Dentures: This type of denture is commonly referred to as full dentures. A complete set of dentures must be fitted by a dentist to ensure the perfect fit of the upper and lower teeth. Full dentures require the extraction of all of the natural teeth. Once this extraction is complete, the dentures will be set in place immediately so the patient does not have to worry about being without teeth during the time their gums are healing. Wearing complete dentures take more time to get used to than partial or implant dentures since complete dentures cover the gums and the jawbone.
Complete Conventional Dentures: These type of dentures are ideal for people whose dentist suggest they not wear complete dentures until their gums have completely healed. Unlike complete immediate dentures, these dentures leave people without teeth for as long as six to seven months, sometimes longer. Conventional dentures are ones that generally do not require many adjustments in the future.
Implant-assisted Dentures: These dentures are for individuals who are not candidates for dental implants due to bone loss or insufficient palate. Sometimes, people who qualify for implant-assisted dentures do not qualify for conventional dentures.
Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are ideal for people who have some or most of their natural teeth, but missing a few on the top or bottom. Partial dentures are used to fill in the gaps where the teeth are missing. With partial dentures, they can made from metal or plastic. These plates will be filled with fake teeth to replace the teeth that are missing. Placement of partial dentures include metal clasps or crowns. Metal clasps can be unclipped and removed. Crowns are placed over a few of your natural teeth so they can act as anchors to hold the dentures in place.
Common Problems and Solutions of Wearing Dentures
Wearing dentures solves the issue of having missing teeth and improving a person’s appearance, but there can be problems that accompany wearing dentures. Most of them will require a visit to the dentist to ensure the problem is solved correctly and won’t lead to other issues. When a visit to the dentist is not possible for some reason, there can be other solutions, for example by the use of adhesive glue – Read all about denture adhesives here.
Slipping and Moving Dentures
Dentures move around and slip, making the person wearing them uncomfortable and frustrated. The cause of this problem is shrinking jawbones and tissues. Moving and sliding dentures become a significant problem when speaking and chewing. To fix this problem, a dentist may decide to re-base or realign the dentures or replace them altogether.
Difficulty Speaking and Sounds
Sometimes people who wear dentures have problems speaking, such as making certain letter sounds. Other issues involve making sounds, such as a whistling or clicking noise. The pronunciation of improper sounds or noises, such as smacking can be caused by dentures that are not positioned properly or the dentures are not able to remain in proper position, causing the tongue and cheeks to try to hold the dentures in place. The solution for this problem is up to the dentist. The professional may decide to replace the dentures altogether so they will fit tighter. For drastic measures or for a simple fix, the dentist will re-base the dentures or realign them.
Dentures take most people a while to get used to, but this may not be the entire reason they are experiencing issues with chewing. A lot of people can eat many different foods without a problem, but there may be certain foods that cause a problem, such as steak. The common cause of difficulty chewing foods could be the alignment of your dentures. The balance of the dentures could be off, causing chewing food to be difficult. The solution here has to be determined by a dentist so he/she can assess your available options and the best course of action.
Lack of Suction
Lack of suction can occur over time due to shrinking mouth and bone tissue. Consuming certain medications that cause dry mouth can cause your dentures to become loose and lose suction because the seal is damaged. The solution for this problem must be discussed with your dentist to ensure the lack of suction with your dentures is caused by dry mouth and not another issue.
Wrinkles are common, especially around the mouth. Wearing dentures can cause more wrinkles to form for many different reasons including, bone loss or the denture moves back in the mouth. When the denture moves back in the mouth it is not able to support the lips and they tend to sag or hang. The solution has to be determined by your dentist. This professional must rule out other causes of wrinkles forming around the mouth and issues that may cause dentures to move around. Your dentist will use the solution with the most favorable results as the solution.
Sore spots in the mouth can be caused by many different things. A common cause of sore spots in the mouth are getting new dentures and getting accustom to them. Sore spots can be caused by pressure of the dentures on the gums due to chewing certain foods or teeth grinding. To ensure sore spots within the mouth are not caused by an illness or gum disease, your dentist will have to determine the best solution to correct this issue.
Soreness at Or on the Corners of the Mouth
Soreness at or on the corners of the mouth are commonly caused by bone loss. Bone loss can cause many issues within the mouth, including, damaging the seal of the lips, excess moisture under the dentures or a vitamin deficiency. Your dentist will have the best solution for your discomfort.
How Long Will My Dentures Last?
Dentures last for many years if they are cared for properly. Dentures will have to be replaced at some point in time whether you care for them as you should or not. A lot of the time, dentures will need to be replaced or relined to ensure a custom, secure fit to avoid many different health problems and issues, including bad breath, discomfort, infections and mouth sores. Some tricks exist to help with the fit of a denture or to prevent discomforts,
read our article about denture adhesives