As we age, our teeth can begin to deteriorate. The deterioration process usually begins with the enamel under the gums and then spreads to other areas on or near the surface of the teeth. For some patients, this is just a minor inconvenience that is easily addressed through modern dentistry methods such as porcelain veneers, bonding, and composite resins. Unfortunately for many patients their dental problems are more severe than just cosmetic issues. These individuals often experience serious oral health problems due to advanced tooth loss which affects both the soft tissue in the mouth and bones which have supported healthy teeth over a lifetime. In some cases these conditions require multiple teeth be removed from a patient’s mouth which has a huge impact on their ability to eat , speak and enjoy life with confidence.
The traditional solution to multiple tooth loss has been for the patient to purchase removable dentures. These appliances are easy, convenient and affordable for most people who lose their teeth. Dentures can be fabricated in a variety of materials ranging from the traditional acrylic resin base with metal snaps and clasps to newer models which use clear polymers or ceramics. Many patients today only purchase and wear only partials (front upper and lower) while others opt to purchase complete sets (upper and lower).
Regardless of whether you’re considering partial or full dentures, your dentist can advise you on what options will work best for your specific situation including cost, comfort, function, appearance and time period you wish to wear the appliance. If you decide to purchase and wear dentures, your dentist will need to construct a custom-made appliance that fits perfectly in order to ensure comfort and maximum results.
If you suffer from extreme tooth loss due to an accident or other traumatic event, implants may provide an excellent treatment alternative which can eliminate both your need for removable dentures and dental bridges. Dental implants work by first placing a titanium post into the jawbone under the surface of the gums above where teeth used to be. Once placed properly, this post fuses with your body’s natural bone structure allowing future insertion of replacement teeth (implant crowns) without any ridges or other visible signs of. Any additional costs associated with the placement and replacement of these implants will be covered by your medical and dental insurance companies.
Is it hard to wear dentures?
Those who wear dentures today will likely remember that moment the dentist informed them that there was nothing they could do and they would take a cast of their mouth, produce some dentures which they would wear for the rest of their life. To those who have no idea of the new denture technology available it can feel like the end of the world, they are about to lose teeth which have been with them for years. However, wearing dentures is not the end of the world; it is the start of a new phase of your life and one which you should actually embrace.
Reasons for dentures
There are many different reasons why people are forced to wear dentures which include:
• Individual broken teeth
• Gum disease
• Extensive tooth decay
In reality those who are advised to move towards dentures would likely have been expecting that moment for some time. In the back of their minds they will have tried to ignore the problems, perhaps eaten and drunk through the pain and sensitivity only to find there was no reprieve or chance of recovery. The truth is that the longer you leave the requirement for extensive dental care the greater the potential problems and this could be the difference between a full set of dentures and only partial dentures. Even though we should all undertake regular dental checks, if you feel excessive sensitivity or pain in one or more of your teeth, or perhaps your gums are bleeding and receding, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.
If you ask anybody who has converted to dentures they will describe that nightmare scenario when you first venture out with friends and family wearing your dentures. You will be conscious, you will no doubt be quiet and people will begin to notice a difference. The reality is that when you are in company you are probably not the only person with a set of dentures, whether partial or full, as others will have likely undertaken such treatment. The good news is that you probably didn’t even notice those who had dentures before? You never gave it a second thought and you never realised any difference in the way they spoke or the way they acted?
Dentures are for many people a last resort and the very fact that they are advised by dentists would suggest this is the case. It is difficult to look back at a time when you were denture free although many of us look back on this period and try to convince ourselves “it wasn’t that bad”. We forget the excruciating pain, the inability to smile because we had teeth ground down or missing and an uncomfortable feeling when in company.
Smile and the world smiles with you
There are many people who now wear dentures that are happy to smile until their hearts content because we all know when you smile the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone. We hear instances of individuals who over the years have seen their front teeth ground down to next to nothing and have had a “toothy grin” for as long as people can remember. After just a few weeks or few months of wearing dentures, just see the difference, they are happy to smile, show their teeth because they know that nobody will even know the difference. We often underestimate the opportunity to smile, the fact that it makes us feel happy and can bring a calming and welcoming influence to others.
In many ways our brains are extremely selective as to what we remember and how we see things of the past. Many of us may associate dentures with years gone by when their parents had the most basic of dentures which often seemed larger than they needed, often caused their teeth to protrude and that terrible clink at the end of the night as they dropped their dentures into the glass of water. Technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the years, the dentures of today are unrecognisable to those who have never seen a set and they can help to create the best smile. However, it is worth noting that the best miles do come from the heart!
Cleaning your dentures
That first day when you drop a cleaning tablet into a glass of water containing your dentures can be depressing, drag many people down but it is not the end of the world. For those who are conscious of cleaning their dentures they can simply place them out of sight and within five or 10 minutes they will be clean again. Nobody needs to be any the wiser about the fact you have dentures but, on the plus side, within just five or 10 minutes of using your Denture Cleaner they will be spotless!
Your dentures should be cleaned on a regular basis because even denture free mouths are a haven for germs and bacteria. If you clean your dentures on a daily basis this will help remove a potential haven for germs and bacteria and associated health issues. Those who fail to remove their dentures and clean them on a regular basis risk leaving decaying food in between their gums and their dentures which can not only create harmful bacteria but bad breath. If you are out of the house and it is not possible to give your dentures a “good clean” then simply go to the bathroom and run them under some warm water. This should help to remove any potential food debris until you are able to give them a proper clean. It can also be extremely uncomfortable in the knowledge that you know there is food between your dentures and your gums and there is nothing you can do about it. Well there is!
Using your dentures as a positive example
There are many occasions where dentures are advisable as a consequence of health issues or accidents. However, the vast majority of people are advised to take on dentures simply because they failed to look after their teeth to a high enough standard. Missed health checks, lack of funds and general day-to-day living challenges are often used as an excuse for missing dentist appointments. The fact is that if you cannot genuinely afford to visit your dentist then there will be funding available from the authorities. Unfortunately, many people choose to use their funds elsewhere assuming their teeth will always remain healthy. This is not always the case!
Therefore, where friends or family are having trouble with their teeth, those who are brave enough, can use their dentures as a positive example. Tell them that in a perfect world you would not have chosen to take on dentures and wished that you had looked after your teeth better. Take your teeth out, show them what they look like and, while you may be used to them, friends and family will get a shock when the potential reality stands before them. This course of action is not for everybody because many people would prefer to keep the matter private. However, that is not to say you cannot use them as a means to encourage your children to look after their teeth.
Using dentures is not the end of the world
As we touched on above, that first moment when you are told that you require dentures can feel as though your world has caved in. You become very conscious, feel socially isolated and for some it can be difficult to regain that confidence in the short to medium term. However, dentures today are nothing like those of years gone by, they are moulded around your existing teeth and gums and fit perfectly.
You may need to update your dentures from time to time as you get older but it is worth noting that these are extremely durable, great value for money and in many cases invaluable to your everyday life. It may seem difficult, but you should embrace your dentures, make the most of them and even pretend that they are your normal teeth. Flash a smile, start eating that food you avoided in years gone by because of toothache and above all, start to live again!