Replace Missing Teeth with Complete or Partial Dentures
Missing teeth interrupt the appearance of your smile, make eating difficult, and compromise your speech. If you are missing multiple teeth or all of your teeth from your lower or upper jaw, dentures might be the right solution to repair your smile.
Modern dentures are comfortable, reliable, and designed to look just like your natural teeth. Dentures restore functionality to your mouth, enabling you to eat and speak confidently without worrying about the stability of your teeth.
Reasons You Might Need Dentures
Sometimes permanent teeth need to be extracted from your upper or lower jaw. In some situations, there are special circumstances that lead to tooth loss. There are a variety of reasons why a person may have a need for dentures, including the following:
- Periodontal disease is one of the most common oral health problems and affects a large proportion of the population. However, there are different forms of gum disease. In the beginning stages, symptoms like bleeding and swollen gums – gingivitis – are signs that something big is festering. If allowed to progress to full-blown periodontitis, your teeth will develop pockets of pus and bacteria around them, loosen in their sockets and, eventually, fall out or need to be extracted.
- If you have severe tooth decay from neglecting to tend to your oral health at home with daily brushing and flossing, and if you don’t visit your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings, cavities will form en masse. Some teeth become so badly decayed that restorative dentistry isn’t an option – the teeth simply have to be removed.
- A negative side effect of aging is, unfortunately, declining oral health. Your teeth work hard every day and the older you get the more susceptible you are to teeth that chip, crack, or break. Even if you take exceptional care of your teeth, your genetics may make you predisposed to having thin or weak enamel which leaves you at risk for developing large cavities or needing to have severely damaged teeth pulled.
- Whether a car accident, fall, sports injury, fight, or some other trauma occurs to your mouth, the aftermath can result in permanent tooth loss that must be resolved with a denture or dental implants rather than cosmetic dentistry.
Types of Dentures
Dentures aren’t only for people who are missing all of their teeth. A full denture replaces all of your teeth, whether on the top or bottom of your jaw. But there is also the partial denture which is used to replace a few missing teeth, fitting snugly into your smile to fill a hole.
Whatever type of denture you get, the porcelain teeth of a denture are attached to a gum-colored base and held in place with a denture adhesive, dental implants, or, in some partial denture cases, clips that are attached to existing teeth.
Do I Really Need Dentures?
Some people mistakenly believe that the need for dentures automatically puts them in the “old” category, but this is not the case. People of all ages make good use of dentures as a restorative dentistry solution. And these are the same people who also know that it’s better to fill the space than to allow a hole to live in your smile.
Having a gap in your smile is not only aesthetically distracting, it’s detrimental to the function of your smile and impacts the health of the rest of your teeth. When you have missing teeth and do not fill the space, your mouth may attempt to find a way to solve the problem and your remaining teeth may shift into the space – this isn’t ideal because it means that you have far too many teeth that are in the wrong places, compromising your oral health and how your jaw works.
Plus, over time, leaving a hole in your smile means your face shape will change. Missing teeth are responsible for the appearance of a shrunken jaw, when the lips curl in the jaw pushes out in response, compromising jaw alignment.
Getting Your Customized Dentures
In most situations, getting dentures takes place over several visits to your dentist. The process will begin with your dentist taking impressions and measurements of your mouth in order to create a completely accurate and customized set of dentures.
In order to make sure the dentures fit just right, and to produce dentures that are the right size, color, and shape for your mouth, you will have a series of fittings to confirm whether the dentures feel comfortable and look right. This is the time when you should voice any concerns you may have about the appearance of the dentures, their functionality, and how they feel in your mouth. The goal, of course, is to provide you with a set of teeth that look and work like natural teeth, allowing you to speak and eat without concern and smile happily.
When you reach the final denture appointment, the denture will be placed and it will be time for you to get used to the new sensations that this prosthetic will create. It is normal to experience some soreness, increased saliva flow, some chewing difficulties, and possible speech interruptions as your mouth gets used to the change. As your jaw muscles and gum tissues adjust to the dentures, these side effects will eventually fade away.
Caring for Your Dentures
It is not complicated to take care of your dentures. You should already approach every bedtime with the same tooth-brushing and flossing ritual. Now you just need to replace that with your denture ritual (or add to it in the case of a partial denture).
You will want to remove your dentures nightly according to your dentist’s car instructions. It is typically recommend that you soak the dentures with a nonabrasive denture cleaner and gently brush them in order to clear away any bacteria, plaque, or other buildup that has gathered over the course of the day. It’s also important to clean your mouth with a separate soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to go over your gums, cheeks, roof of your mouth, and tongue to keep your mouth healthy and maintain a solid base for your dentures to adhere to.
If you are ready to discuss a semi-permanent or permanent tooth replacement solution, contact Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez or Dr. Sharon Schmeiser in Miami, Florida, to make your appointment. Discuss full dentures, partial dentures, and dental implants to find the restorative dentistry solution that is right for you.