Dentures are a common dental treatment for missing teeth, mainly because over 36 million Americans have lost all teeth and more than 120 million people are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. As a customized means to replace missing teeth, dentures can be placed in and taken out of the mouth as needed. With modern technology, dentures replicate the look and feel of natural teeth, though they may never feel exactly like natural teeth. Dentures can improve the smile by maintaining the vitality of facial muscles and help improve comfortability with eating and speaking. Below are several frequently asked questions about dentures to help you better understand this treatment option.
About Dentures: What are the different types?
There are two kinds of dentures–full and partial dentures. The type of dentures you will need depends on how many teeth are missing. With full dentures, all the remaining natural teeth are removed, and the tissue must heal before the dentures can be placed. During the healing process (usually a few months) you will be without teeth. On the other hand, partial dentures replace some, not all of the teeth. For partial dentures, a metal framework attaches to your natural teeth to provide a removable alternative to full dentures.
Do I need dentures?
Losing teeth is an issue that affects people of all ages, especially when tooth decay or gum disease is the cause. However, with proper dental care, a low-sugar diet, and routine teeth cleanings, some people can go their whole lives without needing dentures. To assess your need for dentures, we’ll need to conduct a comprehensive dental examination to learn more about your condition.
What should I know about dentures and keeping them clean?
Dentures require proper cleaning to keep them in top shape. Follow these best practices to provide the best care for your dentures:
- Always handle your dentures gently.
- Use a soft toothbrush when cleaning.
- Remove dentures and rinse them after meals.
- Brush your dentures once daily (at minimum).
- Soak dentures overnight in a mild soaking solution and rinse thoroughly before returning them to your mouth.
- Visit your dentist regularly to examine the condition of your dentures.
Due to typical wear and tear, you may need to have your dentures relined, reconfigured, or rebased over time. Because the mouth naturally changes as we age, these changes may cause dentures to loosen, which can negatively impact the gums and cause discomfort. Have your dentures checked at least once each year to ensure that there are no significant changes to the fit. With intentional care for your dentures, you can have a healthy, beautiful smile!