According to the American College of Prosthodontists, there are over 36 million Americans do not have any teeth. Additionally, 120 million people are missing at least one tooth. Dentures (snap on teeth, false teeth) are one solution used by dentists to replace one, several, or all of your missing teeth. These false teeth fit snugly over the gums and can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, they can help you to continue to eat and drink normally.
Types of Dentures
Dentures are made specially to fit your mouth. Your dentist will take measurements and impressions of your mouth and then a dental technician or laboratory will make the custom denture. This often requires several dental visits to make sure the dentures fit well.
Full dentures – These are used when all of your teeth are missing.
Partial dentures – These are used when there are some teeth missing, but other teeth remain. The denture replaces only the teeth that are missing.
Some of the common materials used to make dentures are:
• Acrylic – Easiest for repairs, relines or when additional tooth loss may occur. It may have stainless steel retention or an acrylic retention which is clear or tooth coloured.
• Thermoplastic nylon – Used for flexible partial dentures, it is translucent and does not require metal retainers because of the flexibility of the base to retain the denture. It makes repairs, relines or further lost teeth adjustments easy.
• Cast Metal – Offer support for remaining teeth and provide great strength and stability. Repairs, relines or further lost teeth is sometimes possible but may require laser welding.
Alternatives to Dentures
There are a few other alternatives to replace one or several missing teeth. Your dentist will determine the appropriate treatment for you based on your oral health, physical health, whether the tooth can be saved, bone density and more. A few choices can include:
Implant supported bridge – A dental implant is used to support a bridge. The bridge is attached to small titanium posts embedded in the jaw. The number and placement of the posts will depend on the size of the bridge.
Dental implants – An artificial tooth root, made of titanium, which provide permanent base for fixed, replacement teeth. An abutment, is placed on the prosthetic and connects it to the replacement tooth.
Advantages of Dentures
Dentures can give you back the confidence you had before you were missing teeth. Some of the advantages of dentures include:
- Improved appearance
- Speak more clearly
- Improved confidence
- Eat the foods you love
Complications of dentures
Because dentures may require one or more teeth extractions, you can experience some side effects when wearing your dentures for the first time. Additionally, over a period of time, your denture will need to be relined, repaired or rebased due to normal wear. Some issues to look out for are:
- Pain, especially when eating foods for the first time
- Uncomfortable fitting dentures
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Mouth ulcers (sores) that last more than two weeks
- Sore teeth and gums
- An abscess (pus-filled sore on the gum)
- Bad breath
If you currently have dentures and need a reline, are interested in getting dentures or want an alternative to dentures, give Sedation and Implant Dentistry of Tehachapi a call at (661) 822-3727. We will be happy to talk to you about your options. Appointments can also be made online at DentistTehachapi.com.