Dental treatments are artificial replacements used for your natural teeth and gums. If an accident, poor dental health, or disease has caused you to have only a few healthy natural teeth or none at all, a dentist or prothodontist will recommend dentures to replace the missing teeth.
Dentures are most ideal if you have significant erosion of the gum and jaw line which makes other dental procedures such as crowns and implants less desirable. They also may be used to replace an entire row of teeth rather than a single tooth.
The ideal candidate for dentures
Because dentures are reliably non-invasive, they are well suited to people who are unwilling to go through a more intensive dental procedure such as that used for dental implants.
Elderly people who can not sit still for a long visit in a dentist's chair are ideal candidates for dentures. Some people also have eroded their teeth and jaw line to the point that it is difficult to do a crown or dental bridge.
Dentures also may suit you if you are missing a row of several teeth or your entire top or bottom teeth in a line. In these cases it may be easier and less expensive to get an entire set of false teeth rather than trying to rebuild each lost tooth.
What will the Dentist do first?
Your dentist will make impressions of your mouth and fit you with a false tooth or set of teeth that are molded based on the shape of your mouth. You will be asked to bite down on something to check for fitting. The dentures are affixed in place with an adhesive that you can buy in most chain grocery or drug stores.
What are the different types of dentures?
1. Complete Dentures
These dentures replace all of the teeth and are what we often refer to as "false teeth". They are made of colored plastic base to duplicate the gum tissue and the artificial teeth are made either porcelain or plastic. Complete dentures are held in place in the mouth by suction, thus forming a seal to the gums, or they can also be attached to dental implants which are placed into the jaw bone through surgical procedure. However, the use of dental implants cost more than the traditional way of attaching complete dentures.
Most people might experience sereness at first during the initial placement of complete dentures and it might take them some time to get used to it. Immediate dentures and conventional dentures are the two types of complete dentures.
- Immediate dentures are made in advance and are placed right after your teeth are extracted. Your dentist will first take measurements and models of your jaw and teeth during the first visit to make the immediate dentures. One advantage of immediate dentures is that you do not have to go without teeth during the healing period (which can usually take up to six months). This type of complete dentures also act as a protection for the tissues and can reduce bleeding after the extraction of the teeth. However, one drawback is that immediate dentures require frequent adjustments during the healing period when the bones and gums shrink over time from reduced swelling.
- Conventional treatments are placed in position after the jaw and gum tissues have healed, usually about 8-12 weeks after the tooth / teeth extraction, but sometimes longer.
2. Partial Dentures
Also called "parts" or "removable partial denture prostheses", this type of dentures are for individuals who still have some natural teeth remaining or when the remaining natural teeth are not strong enough to support a bridge. Partial dentures fill the gap caused by missing teeth and prevent the other natural teeth from shifting position. They are held in place by clasps and rests that are carefully fitted around the natural teeth, and can be taken out for cleaning or at night.
These dentures are made either of metal framework or plastic base to support the artificial teeth needed to replace the lost ones. There are more advanced materials used for partial dentures such as Valplast which offers a flexible and durable option and uses internal attachments instead of clasps for a more natural-looking appearance.
Both complete and partial dentures, like natural teeth, need to be cleaned regularly to prevent tartar and plaque build up which can cause gum problems, stains, or bad breath. It is important to understand that plaque from dentures can also spread to your natural gums and teeth, causing possible cavities and gum disease in the future.
You should use a soft bristled brush to clean your dentures just as you would brush your regular teeth, with extra care taken to brush your tongue and the area around the gum line. Some foods may get under the gum line of dentures and your false teeth should be taken out sometimes, ideally every night before you go to bed. When you take out your dentures they should be placed in water that is not hot or in a denture solution for maintenance.
How long can they last?
If your treatments were fitted well to your gum line and are properly cared for, they can last many years. Regular visits to the dentist are still necessary to ensure that everything looks and feels right.
Your dentist may also use a denture liner to prolong the life of your dentures. This is done by using the denture liner to refit the denture to the oral tissues. There are also denture repair kits available online or in drug stores to fix minor fractures or cracks. However, it is highly recommended to see your dentist immediately if denture problems occur to be able to repair it properly.
Dentures can sometimes cause sores in your mouth due to improper care or being poorly fitted. If you do not like to wear your denture due to irritation, soreness, or trouble chewing food, then new false teeth may need to be made or your dentist can adjust your current set of dentures.
Although you may be tempted to adjust or fix poor fitting denture yourself, this could make the problem worse as you will not be using the correct materials.
Make an appointment with your dentist, who can mold a new better fitting set of dentures, or who can discuss other more permanent tooth replacement options such as implants.
How much do dentures cost?
The cost of dentures will depend on the type of materials used, as well as the area in which you stay. There are discount dental companies that can provide savings of up to 60% off the usual price.
Unless you already have an active dental insurance policy your need for dentures would likely be deemed as pre-existing. This would result in you having to pay for all costs out of your own pocket.
Depending on the area you live in and the type of dentures you require, one can expect to pay up to a couple of thousand dollars for a new set of treatments. Using a dental insurance alternative such as a discount dental plan can typically provide you with substantial savings if you do not already have insurance.
People of any age, not just the elderly, may require dental treatments due to accidents, disease, or poor dental hygiene. It is important to continue practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for checkups at least twice a year to avoid having to go through the procedure of getting dentures to replace missing tooth / teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease, or other issues.
Source by Joe R. Stewart