Dentures otherwise known as false teeth are a replacement for missing teeth and helps restore your smile. Dentures help to restore the aesthetic value and functionality of your teeth. It makes it easier to eat and helps you to speak better. Dentures benefit your appearance and your overall health.
Causes of tooth loss
You may lose your teeth due to any one or more of the following reasons
- Gum disease
- Genetic defects
- Developmental defects such as severe malnutrition
Advantages of Dentures
People with missing teeth have the following benefits
- Mastication: improves chewing ability
- Aesthetics: improves appearance of the face. Loss of teeth may lead to sagging of facial muscles making you appear older.
- Pronunciation: improves speaking ability
- Self esteem: improved speech and looks boost self confidence
Types of Dentures
There are two types of dentures- complete and partial. When all the teeth are missing complete dentures are used whereas partial dentures are used when some of the teeth are missing.
They are again subdivided into two types- Conventional dentures and Immediate dentures.
Conventional dentures are made after the teeth are extracted and the gums have healed. They are placed in the mouth only after complete healing which takes approximately eight to twelve weeks after extraction.
On the other hand immediate dentures can be placed immediately after tooth extraction as they are made in advance. Hence you don’t have to be without teeth after extraction of natural teeth. But as a result of healing your bones and shrink over time and as such would require adjustments with the immediate dentures. As such it should be considered only as a temporary option until the conventional dentures are ready.
In some cases one or more natural teeth remain in the mouth. In such cases partial dentures or bridges are used which consist of a series of replacement teeth attached to a pink coloured (gum coloured) plastic base which may be connected by a metal framework to hold it in place in the mouth. In case of a fixed bridge, crowns are placed on the remaining natural teeth on either side of the gap (caused by missing teeth) and artificial teeth are attached to them. It is then cemented into place. This prevents the remaining teeth from changing position and helps filling in the space. A more natural looking appliance is a precision partial denture. It does not have clasps but internal attachments to attach to adjacent crowns.
An alternative to dentures are dental implants that can be used to support cemented bridges. Though they are comparatively expensive their look and feel are closer to natural teeth. But unfortunately not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. So talk to your dentist before you decide on it.
Even the best fitting dentures may feel awkward initially. You may feel the dentures to be loose or experience minor irritation and soreness. Some people may also notice an increased flow of saliva or a change in facial appearance or discomfort while speaking or chewing. These initial problems usually go away as you get accustomed to the dentures. Your dentist would schedule follow-up appointments once the denture is fixed to check for fit and make necessary adjustments if required. It is very important to practice good oral hygiene even with dentures. Brush your gums and tongue every morning before inserting dentures with a soft bristled toothbrush to stimulate circulation. It is also important to brush your dentures to remove food particles or plaque and to prevent staining.
When you are not wearing the denture remove it and place it in water or a denture cleanser. Occasionally your dentist might recommend adhesives which helps improve the stability and retention of dentures especially for first time denture wearers. In case you are using adhesives make sure you read the instructions properly as use as directed.
In case you experience any discomfort or your dentures stop fitting or get damaged then contact your dentist immediately. In case you have any more queries regarding dentures talk to our dentists who would be more than pleased to help you.
Wearing a denture at night
You might have questions whether to continue wearing your dentures at night. Initially your dentist might recommend you to wear day and night but later it is best to remove them for atleast 8 hours usually night. Removing the denture allows the gums to rest and help in normal stimulation and cleansing by tongue and saliva promoting the health of gums.