What are Dentures?
Dentures are commonly associated with the elderly as seen on T.V and possibly even in your own family. You often only see one type of denture in the media though: the full mouthpiece that Grandma or Grandpa take out of their toothless mouth and put in the glass of water, but that’s not the case all of the time. While the elderly association with dentures is fitting as people often get dentures to tooth decay caused by age, but anyone at any age can be a candidate for dentures–both partial and complete–depending on their situation. Periodontal disease, malnutrition, and even drug use all speed up the decay of teeth and cause the need for dentures at an earlier age.
Along with their aesthetic function, dentures serve a variety of other beneficial uses for the recipient. Wearers are able to chew their food better without the risk of choking, and are also able to articulate themselves more clearly due to enhanced pronunciation.
Partial and Complete Dentures
Dentures come in two different types: partial and complete. A consultation with your dentist can determine which is the best option for you, should they decide that dentures are the right fit for your situations.
Partial dentures are recommended to patients who still have healthy, existing teeth. Much like a bridge, the false teeth can be connected to your real teeth. Partial dentures are typically placed using either a series of wires or by using a fake gum base which will adhere to the mouth. This can be done to a single tooth or several teeth.
Complete dentures are used on patients who need an entire row of teeth to be replaced. Even if there are healthy teeth in place, they may need to be extracted for the purpose of properly fitting the dentures in the patient’s mouth. Complete dentures often take a little longer to create as they’re made once the teeth that needed to be extracted have been taken out and the gums have healed. Once done, the patient will need to make an impression of their gums by biting into a putty. This will ensure that the dentures are customized to fit their mouth for maximum comfort and efficiency.
In the meantime, the patient may be given a set of immediate dentures to use in the meantime while their permanent dentures are being made. The only downside to these dentures is that they are not custom fitted to your mouth and may cause discomfort and a decreased ability to do certain tasks such as chewing. However, the process shouldn’t take long and your dentist will contact you as soon as your dentures have come in so you can live in comfort.
Your dentist will go over detailed care instructions on how to look after your dentures, something which we will discuss in a future blog post in detail.
In the meantime, if you feel like dentures are the right choice for you or a loved one, please contact your family dentist and schedule in a consultation.