What are dentures?
If you have missing teeth, you most likely want to do something about it. Missing teeth can progress to bone loss within your jaw, creating a hollow look on your lower face. Many people attribute this effect to facial aging, but you can avoid this look with various tooth replacement options such as dentures or dental implants. And though dental implants are the only dental restoration treatment that ensures patients do not experience further bone loss after missing teeth, dentures are a great choice in certain scenarios.
Dentures are temporary, removable dental devices designed to act as replacements for your missing teeth. You may benefit from this dental appliance whether you have lost your teeth due to dental decay, trauma, or illness. They can help restore your self-confidence and can help you to avoid that hollow look in your face. Partial dentures are also a popular choice as they serve as a bridge to replace missing teeth and are fixed to your adjacent real teeth. Partial ones provide the feeling of real teeth in place of your missing teeth and provide a firm hold compared to removable full dentures.
How do dentures work?
Full dentures function as a replacement for all of your teeth and cover your gums completely. Partial dentures, on the other hand, are synthetic dental devices created to replace just some of your teeth. Partial ones are bridges that replace your teeth and are fixed to your adjacent natural teeth by crowns. Whether you get full or partials, these dental appliances are custom-made for you in a dental laboratory based on measurements taken by your dentist, to ensure that they fit comfortably.
What are the benefits?
Though the decision to get dentures vs. dental implants is a personal choice and needs to be made by you as the patient, in partnership with your dentist, there are many benefits to this tooth-replacement option. In fact, many patients select dentures as one of the best tooth replacement options for the following reasons.
- Compared to dental implants, dentures are a highly cost-effective option.
- Due to updates in dental technology, today’s dentures are designed to be far more comfortable, with a better fit, than ones of the past.
- Dentures will give you back your smile, which can help restore your self-confidence and make you appear more approachable and welcoming to others.
- When you lose your natural teeth, your facial muscles begin to sag. Dentures replace the support in your face caused by the lack of teeth and keep your facial appearance intact. In turn, this can help prevent you from looking older than you actually are.
- Similarly, when you lose your teeth, your oral bone structure will begin to deteriorate. Dentures decrease the rate of bone disintegration.
- Missing teeth can have a derogative impact on your speech too since your teeth are needed to pronounce certain words such as those containing the sounds of “sh” or “f.”
- You can be discreet about your dentures as the ones today are available in natural-looking porcelain or plastic materials, all intended to give you a natural-looking smile.
- Full dentures are removable to enable proper cleaning.
- Unlike dental appliances of the past, the ones today have fewer restrictions on what you can eat. While we will still advise you to avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods, like popcorn and sticky candy, the list of foods to avoid is much shorter than it used to be.
- If you have any remaining natural teeth, your partials will prevent unnecessary wear and tear on those teeth since the force of chewing becomes evenly distributed to all teeth.
Are there any disadvantages?
Selecting dentures vs. other tooth replacement options is a personal decision. Patients should partner with their dentist to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of dentures vs. options such as dental implants. This said, common disadvantages of dentures include the following:
- Dentures don’t look quite as natural as dental implants.
- Though today’s dentures can fit quite snugly and comfortably, they can slip, making it more challenging to chew and speak.
- Patients with this type of dental appliance have an increased risk of gum disease due to food that can get trapped in the dental appliance. For this reason, daily cleaning is critical.
- Dentures cannot be worn overnight when you are sleeping. Wearing your dental appliance at night can have a negative impact on your saliva flow, leading to denture stomatitis. Sleeping with your dental appliance in can also deprive your gums of bacteria-free rest, creating an increased risk of inflammation.
Have missing teeth? Discuss your options with your family dentist
If you are in need of a tooth replacement option and are trying to decide between dentures and implants, the best thing to do is talk to your family dentist. If you live or work in the area of Hampton or Griffin, GA, Allred Family Dentistry is happy to help. Simply set up a consultation to discuss your options.
If you do not live or work nearby, search online for dentists experienced in tooth-replacement options in your area. Once you identify a few options, be sure to check their patient testimonials to make sure patients before you were satisfied with their dental treatment.